August 16-17, 2003, University
of Colorado-Boulder Campus
There’s still time to register!
By Karen Davis, PhD, President
A few years ago, United Poultry Concerns began holding an annual
forum, each one based on a topic of particular interest to animal
advocates and vegetarians. The idea was to create a stimulating
atmosphere consisting of approximately 100 participants, including
the speakers, in which to explore ideas and strategies of critical
importance that tend to get buried at the larger conferences.
Our Forum on Direct Action in 1999 introduced the concept of the
“open rescue” to US activists through the rescue operations
of Australian activist Patty Mark, whose presentation inspired the
undercover factory-farm investigations now being successfully conducted
by activists in the United States. Our Forum on the Role of Farmed
Animal Sanctuaries was the first one ever to explore the concept
of the farmed animal sanctuary and how farmed animal sanctuaries
further the overall effort of promoting animal rights and vegetarianism.
Our Forum on Welfare vs. Rights debated a controversial issue that
had not until then been the subject of an entire conference.
This year we look at how to promote veganism widely and effectively.
In 1989, activist Henry Spira (1927-1998) explained why he was turning
his attention from product testing to the then 5 billion animals
on US farms (New York Times Magazine, Nov. 26). By eating
animals, he said, “society makes a statement that all lives
are not equal.” While noting that an improvement in the lives
of 1 percent of farmed animals “would do more to reduce animal
suffering than eliminating all of the testing," he pointed
out that the farmed animal issue is harder than the lab issue because
of the greater number of animals and because of the public’s
Thirteen years later, the number of animals on US farms is 10 billion,
and meat consumption is “record high.” Government statistics
show that in 2000, Americans, per person, ate 195 pounds of red
meat, poultry, and fish, 57 pounds above annual consumption in the
At the same time, “there is a proliferation of vegetarian
products,” says food trend watcher Dr. Jonathan Seltzer, and
a 2000 consumer report predicted the vegetarian market will grow
100 percent to 125 percent over the next five years, with vegetarian
food sales topping $1.25 billion in 2001, thanks to a US vegetarian
population of 7 million to 12 million people (Free Press,
July 30, 2002).
Our Forum on Promoting Veganism Widely and Effectively is being
held the weekend of August 16-17, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., at the
University of Colorado’s Boulder Campus. Two delicious buffet
luncheons prepared by vegan chef Lynn Halpern are included in the
registration fee of $75 prepaid by August 1 ($40 for students and
seniors). The forum is being organized around speakers’ presentations
and workshops, question and answer sessions, whole-group discussions,
exhibit tables ($50 with registration, $125 without), and book-signing.
The speakers are author Carol Adams, Jack Norris of Vegan Outreach,
Dave Crawford of Rocky Mountain Animal Defense, Karen Davis of United
Poultry Concerns, Bruce Friedrich of PETA, Lauren Ornelas of Viva!USA,
Norm Phelps of The Fund for Animals, Paul Shapiro of Compassion
Over Killing, and Zoe Weil of the International Institute for Humane
Topics include how best to engage people at the high school and
college levels who are open to fresh ideas and old enough to make
their own dietary decisions; reaching out to faith-based communities;
unblocking the “blocked vegetarian” inside meateaters,
adapting corporate success strategies to vegan activist campaigns;
developing a collaborative grassroots website on dietary health
issues; and whether animal activists should support “humane”
animal-based diets as a step toward vegetarianism or, at least,
as an alternative to the consumption of conventional factory-farmed
animal products. We will also consider the proposal that vegan advocates
should emphasize animal suffering over health and personal purity
issues, and bridging the gap between anti-vivisection campaigns
and vegan campaigns. Our forum is an excellent opportunity for those
seeking to hone their vegan activist skills, voice their opinions,
and increase their confidence in how they personally and collectively
can promote a vegan ethic and diet throughout society. For more
information, contact Karen Davis at 757-678-7875 or email Karen@upc-online.org,
or go to www.upc-online.org.
$75 Registration by check or money order ($40 students & seniors)
should be mailed payable to UPC, PO Box 150, Machipongo, VA 23405.
UPC thanks VegNews for running this article in the July/August
2003 issue. VegNews is North America’s Vegetarian News Magazine,
providing up-to-date information on living a compassionate and healthy
United Poultry Concerns is a nonprofit organization that promotes
the compassionate and respectful treatment of domestic fowl: http://www.upc-online.org.