United Poultry Concerns August 7, 2003

United Poultry Concerns’ Forum on Promoting Veganism
Why, Who, and Where?

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 attitude.

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 1950s (http://www.usda.gov/factbook/chapter2.htm#meat).
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 Education.

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. Ph: 757-678-7875

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 lifestyle. www.VegNews.com

United Poultry Concerns is a nonprofit organization that promotes the compassionate and respectful treatment of domestic fowl: http://www.upc-online.org.


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

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