AR2014 Unites Our Movement and Inspires Action
“Most inspiring weekend of my life!”
“I had high expectations, but this blew me away!”
“Best conference ever.”
Those are just three samples of what we’ve heard from 1,300+ animal activists and other caring people who joined the Animal Rights 2014 National Conference in Los Angeles, CA on July 10-13! This record-shattering number of participants came from forty-five U.S. states and fifteen other countries. They attended for many reasons: to learn about animal exploitation, to receive training in personal growth and organizing, to discuss complex issues, to network with other activists, to "recharge their batteries," and to visit exhibits of new vegan food and fashion products. They certainly returned better equipped to work towards animal liberation.
Program Booklet Audio Recordings Photo Gallery
120 Presenters in 80 Sessions Inform, Inspire, and Mobilize Attendees
This year, we were honored by the presence of an unprecedented 120+ speakers representing virtually every sector and viewpoint of our movement. Plenary headliners included Ingrid Newkirk, Nathan Runkle, Chris DeRose, Michael Klaper, Colleen Holland, Will Potter, Steve Best, Gene Baur, Michael Budkie, Merritt Clifton, Natalie Prosin, Rachel Meeropol, and our own Alex Hershaft.
Other popular speakers were Nick Cooney, Bruce Friedrich, Melanie Joy, Erica Meier, lauren Ornelas, Colleen Patrick-Goudreau, Ryan Shapiro, and Peter Young.
New sessions this year included Feminism & Animal Rights, organized by Charlotte Cressey, and Tales from theTrenches,which moved the audience to tears with harrowing first-hand accounts by undercover investigators Taylor Radig, Simone Reyes, and TJ Tumasse.
Rap discussions allowed all participants to weigh in on questions including "What Are Our Goals, and How Do We Achieve Them?" "Abolitionism vs. Welfarism," and "Education vs. Direct Action."
Film screenings, including Cowspiracy and Speciesism: The Movie, played to packed houses.
The program closed on a highly inspirational note, showcasing our movement huge strides in achieving popular and institutional changes for animals. A multi-media closing ceremony featured live and video testimonials from animal activists around the world pledging how they will save animals in the coming year.
Awards Banquet Honors Change-Makers
Saturday night’s Awards Banquet, MC’d by Dawn Moncrief, marked the exciting climax of the conference. Magic Castle headliner Brandon Scott performed a one-of-a-kind magic show, followed by a benefit auction hosted by actress and activist Elaine Hendrix. FARM directors Michael Webermann and Jen Riley paid tribute to Dr. Alex Hershaft for his founding role and 38 years of activity in the animal rights movement with a Lifetime Achievement Award.
Vegan Outreach vice president Jon Camp was elected by fellow presenters to the Animal Rights Hall of Fame for personally distributing over one million informationalpamphlets and training activists to pass out millions more.
NFL lineman David Carter accepted our Outstanding Vegan Athlete Award from last year’s recipient Seba Johnson, and eighteen-year-old Andrew Puccetti received the Young Activist Award for his work to end classroom dissection and promote vegan eating.
Judy Carman and Armaiti May each received a Henry Spira Grassroots Animal Activist Award for their decades of unpaid activism, including Judy’s founding role in Circle of Compassion and Armaiti’s work pioneering veganism in veterinary circles.
Shopping, Food, and Networking
Newcomer orientations, daily networking receptions, and especially the packed Exhibit Hall provided abundant opportunities to meet like-minded people.
More than 70 organizations offered literature, merchandise, and food, including generous free samples of new products by Tofurky and Cool Cups, pay-what-you-can coffee, and a bounty of animal rights shirts and paraphernalia.
Morning and evening snacks featured tasty treats from our generous food donors.
Re-living AR2014 and Looking to AR2015
You can re-live the conference (or experience it for the first time) by browsing the Program Booklet, viewing hundreds of photos at the preliminary photo gallery, and purchasing audio recordings of select sessions or the entire event.
Join us for another unforgettable event next summer!
AR2015 will take place just outside of Washington, DC at the Hilton Alexandria Mark Center July 30th - August 2nd. Registration will open in February -- join early to take advantage of the highly discounted early-bird rates!
AR2014 Management Team