UPC President Karen Davis Wins Hearts and Minds for the Birds and an Animal-Free Diet

Photo By: Annie & Neil Hornish

"You are a powerful speaker, and the audience has the feel that your heart is really in it." – Doris Gerhart

In recent months UPC President Dr. Karen Davis has talked to receptive audiences about the plight of birds in the global food economy and the need to go vegan. More talks ahead!

Humanists Meeting

In December, the Humanists of Spokane, Washington were all ears as Karen described the grim realities of all forms of animal farming. Humanism holds that humans are a part of nature possessing genuine freedom of creative choice and action. Based on these values, Karen urged the 80-member audience to choose to be vegan. UPC is grateful to Bill and Doris Gerhart for arranging this inspiring event.

Brock University Conference

In February, Karen gave a keynote speech at Brock University in St. Catherines, Ontario on the ethics of avian influenza control. Speaking at the 2-day "Thinking About Animals in Canada" conference, Karen discussed British Columbia's 2004 extermination of 19 million birds and the horrendous cruelty of the slaughter by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (the equivalent of the U.S. Department of Agriculture).

UPC wishes to thank Brock University Professor of Sociology, John Sorenson, for inviting Karen to speak, and Debra Probert, Executive Director of the Vancouver Humane Society, for making the society's avian flu documents available. Karen's paper "The Avian Flu Crisis in Canada: Ethics of Farmed-Animal Disease Control" can be read online at www.upc-online.org/poultry_diseases. For a copy by regular mail send $10 to UPC.

Environmental Law Conference

In March, Karen told a student-packed room about the animal cruelty and environmental destruction caused by industrialized poultry farming at the 23rd annual Public Interest Environmental Law Conference at the University of Oregon in Eugene. This year's conference was completely vegan and included a panel on "Vegetarianism: Why It is Essential to Save the Environment." "Our table was flooded with people who wanted more information!" UPC volunteers exclaimed. UPC thanks Bob Berman for organizing the panel on "Factory Farming and the Environment," and Kevin Tubbs and Michelle Page for staffing our table and donating Karen Davis's books Prisoned Chickens, Poisoned Eggs, More Than a Meal, and Instead of Chicken, Instead of Turkey to the University of Oregon library, making them available to students and faculty at 30 colleges and universities in Oregon, Washington and Idaho.

Grassroots Animal Rights Conference

In April, Karen spoke at this vibrant 4-day conference in New York City on the divide and alliances between animal rights and environmentalism, speciesism in the animal rights movement, and sanctuary animal care and rescue. UPC thanks Adam Weissman and other volunteer organizers.

Conference on Holidays

In June, Karen will present a paper on "The Thanksgiving Turkey as Ritual Scapegoat in the American Tradition of Sacrifice and Protest" at the 9th annual Conference on Holidays, Ritual, Festival, Celebration, and Public Display hosted by the Department of Popular Culture at Bowling Green State University in Bowling Green, Ohio, June 2-4. Karen will present ideas from her book More Than a Meal: The Turkey in History, Myth, Ritual, and Reality. For more information about the conference, visit www.bgsu.edu/departments/popc/.

Animal Rights 2005 National Conference July 7-11, Los Angeles

Karen will speak at this premier annual conference hosted by Farm Animal Reform Movement, which includes plenary sessions, workshops, networking, vegan cuisine, exhibit tables, and lots more. At the 2002 national conference, Karen was voted into the Animal Rights Hall of Fame for "outstanding contributions to animal liberation." To register for this year's conference, visit www.AR2005.org or call 888-ASK-FARM (275-3276).

American Vegan Society Summer Conference

As an author with the Book Publishing Company, which published Prisoned Chickens, Poisoned Eggs and Instead of Chicken, Instead of Turkey, Karen will speak at this historic conference organized by the American Vegan Society August 10-August 14 at The Farm in Summertown, Tennessee. The Farm is known for its pioneering soy food production, vegan practice, book publishing, famine relief work, and more. For conference information, contact Vickie@thefarmcommunity.com, or call Vickie at 931-964-3574. Or call the American Vegan Society at 856-694-2887. Email info@americanvegan.org and visit their website at

To invite Karen Davis to speak at your event, call 757-678-7875, or email Karen@upc-online.org.