December 8-9, 2001
United Poultry Concerns, Machipongo, Virginia

Who Are the Presenters and What Will They Talk About?

Steve Best, PhD is Associate Professor of Philosophy and Humanities at the University of Texas, El Paso. Author of numerous books and articles on social theory and philosophy, he is also President of the El Paso animal rights group, Voice for All Animals, and Vice President of the Vegetarian Society of El Paso.

Undoing False Oppositions: Lessons From the Social Revolutionaries. This talk provisionally defends recent "reforms" such as fought for in the PETA campaigns against McDonald's, Burger King, and Wendy's, and argues that "welfarism" and "reforms" are not logically or practically separate from "revolution" and "rights." He examines lessons we can learn from the 19th and 20th century Marxist tradition for how we might rethink these oppositions and develop a coherent strategy for the animal rights movement.

Bruce Friedrich is the Vegetarian Campaign Coordinator for People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA). Before coming to PETA, Bruce spent more than 6 years working in a shelter for homeless families and soup kitchens in inner-city Washington, D.C. While in Washington, Bruce has been arrested many times, and has spent a total of 3 years incarcerated for civil disobedience in the Gandhian tradition.

Welfare v. Liberation: Mutually Exclusive? Bruce will discuss PETA's campaigns against McDonald's, Burger King, and Wendy's, and will discuss PETA's work with Tricon (parent company of KFC, Pizza Hut, and Taco Bell), Safeway, Kroger, the National Council of Chain Restaurants, and the Food Marketing Institute. He will contend that animal rights activists should support such efforts, and that such efforts are one excellent method of advancing the cause of animal liberation in society.

Lee Hall is a lawyer who investigates how and why the law has failed to accord oppressed groups-including slaves, non-citizens, and nonhumans-the valuation of respect that is extended to constitutional persons. Hall has published articles on the subject in Spanish and in English, in both philosophical and legal journals. Hall is an author of an article that appeared this year in the Seton Hall Constitutional Law Journal. A model U.S. Supreme Court brief on behalf of a non-human plaintiff, it is the first article of this style to be published in the legal literature. The article is designed to spark further debate, to enhance ethics courses, to be cited in court, and to be used in an actual case on behalf of a non-human plaintiff and her class.

Beyond Paternalism. Lee will argue that it is morally unjustifiable to treat sentient individuals as chattel property, and that legal welfarism's focus on the level of suffering after the animal's status as property has already been accepted and codified into law is superficial and ineffective. Lee will describe the effects of this acceptance on the contemporary animal rights movement. In an interactive dialogue with conference attendees, rights theory will be discussed in light of successful emancipation movements.

Joe Miele has been an animal rights activist since being exposed to the cruelties of factory farming in 1991. Since going vegan 9 months after his introduction to the movement, Joe has worked on a range of projects for the New Jersey Animal Rights Alliance (NJARA). In addition, Miele writes "The Fur Trade Today," an email newsletter for activists interested in the fur trade. He is a member of the Board of Directors of the Coalition to Abolish the Fur Trade, and he is on the Board of Directors of Pets Alive, a no-kill shelter and sanctuary for homeless animals in Middletown, New York.

Getting Back to the Core of the Animal Rights Movement. Several animal rights groups have lowered their campaign standards by accepting welfarist reforms within animal abusing industries as signs of progress for other-than-human animals. Groups that once vocally pushed veganism have recently softened their message to one of seeking improved welfare rather than demanding rights for animals. The acceptance of "less cruel" killing or confinement will lead to the end of the animal rights movement as we know it. Only by getting back to the core of the animal rights movement will we hasten the day when all animals are freed from human tyranny.

Kirsten Rosenberg is a lifelong animal advocate and a vegetarian since the age of 12. She has been professionally involved in the animal protection movement since 1991, when she began working for the L.A.-based Ark Trust. As Project Assistant, Kirsten helped produce the annual Genesis Awards ceremony and TV show, while also serving on California's veterinary state licensing committee. In 1996, Kirsten joined The Animals' Agenda as Assistant Editor. Now the Managing Editor, she oversees the production of each issue. Kirsten is currently the Chairperson of the Summit for the Animals' Executive Committee. She is a founding member of the Animal Rights Legal Foundation, a new nonprofit organization dedicated to educating attorneys, law students, and the public about laws and cases concerning animals and their status in society.

Throwing the Baby Out With the Battery Cage: Looking Out for Animals' Welfare in the Pursuit of Rights. What do animal rights advocates want? For most avowed rightists, that's easy: The complete liberation of animals from human exploitation as quickly as possible. Yet while we work diligently to achieve such a status for animals over the long term, we also have a duty to respect the "rights" of those individuals who are currently suffering to a life less miserable. To dismiss opportunities to ameliorate their pain and distress is to treat those animals as mere abstractions rather than as sentient beings inherently worthy of consideration now-a position, ironically, often held by the very exploitive institutions we seek to overturn.

Discussion Leaders

Joyce Friedman has worked as Northeast Campaign Coordinator for In Defense of Animals for 3 years. In NYC she works extensively on anti-animal circus campaigns and on vegan outreach using Faunavision- the showing of video footage of factory farms and slaughterhouses to the public on a grassroots level. She has also worked on companion animal campaigns involving overpopulation, animal shelter and "pet" store issues. She was successful in organizing the liberation of birds held on display as property at Barney's NY department store and placing them in good homes. She regularly works jointly with other groups on local campaigns, such as in helping to organize the Fur Free Macys Tour in NYC. She has recently begun to work with politicians on getting a bill introduced in NYC to ban traveling animal acts.


Saturday, December 8th, 8 AM - 5 PM


    8:00 - 8:30 Registration.

    8:30 - 8:45 Welcome by Karen Davis, United Poultry Concerns.

    8:45 - 9:45 Kirsten Rosenberg, The Animals' Agenda: "Throwing the Baby Out With the Battery Cage: Looking Out for Animals' Welfare in the Pursuit of Rights."

    9:50 - 10:50 Joe Miele, New Jersey Animal Rights Alliance, "Getting Back to the Core of the Animal Rights Movement."

    10:55 - 11:10 Coffee Break.

    11:15 - 11:45 Paul Shapiro, Compassion Over Killing, Video Presentation of Hope for the Hopeless: An Investigation and Rescue at a Battery Egg Facility.

    11:45 - 12:15 Discussion.

    12:15 - 1:15 Vegan Buffet Luncheon.


    1:15 - 1:25 Introduction of Afternoon Session by Karen Davis, United Poultry Concerns.

    1:25 - 2:25 Steve Best, Steve Best, PhD, Associate Professor of Philosophy and Humanities, University of Texas , "Undoing False Oppositions: Lessons From the Social Revolutionaries."

    2:30 - 3:30 Lee Hall, Attorney, "Beyond Paternalism."

    3:35 - 3:50 Coffee Break.

    3:50 - 5:00 Discussion led by P.J. McKosky, Animal Advocates of Pittsburgh.
Sunday, December 9th, 9 AM - 2 PM.


    9:00 - 9:15 Welcome by Karen Davis, United Poultry Concerns.

    9:15 - 9:25 Announcements.

    9:30 - 10:30 Bruce Friedrich, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, "Welfare v. Liberation: Mutually Exclusive?"

    10:35 - 11:35 TBA

    11:40 - 11:50 Coffee Break.

    11:50 - 12:45 Discussion led by Joyce Friedman, In Defense of Animals.

    12:45 - 2:00 Vegan Buffet Luncheon and Visits with the Sanctuary Birds.

    2:00 The End. With thanks to everyone who participated in United Poultry Concerns' Third Annual Forum!

United Poultry Concerns, Inc.
PO Box 150
Machipongo, VA 23405-0150
FAX: 757-678-5070

(Presenters, Topics & Schedule UPC Forum 2001:Do Animal Welfare Campaigns Hurt Or Help Animal Rights? )

Home | What's New? | News Releases | Action Alerts | PoultryPress | Resources | Merchandise | Links | E-mail