July 7th - 10th Los Angeles, CA
 at the Sheraton Gateway Hotel


Matt Ball has been a globally-recognized authority on pragmatic and effective advocacy, factory farming, and applied ethics for more than 25 years. Currently Senior Manager for Farm Sanctuary, Matt has presented at and written for diverse forums over the past quarter century, and he is the author of many essays and several books, including: The Animal Activist’s Handbook and The Accidental Activist. In 2005, he was inducted into the Animal Rights Hall of Fame. His wife, Anne Green, is Director of Operations for Our Hen House; Ellen, their daughter, is a lifelong vegan, top scholar, and athlete.

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Gene Baur is co-founder and president of Farm Sanctuary, America’s leading farm animal protection organization. Gene Baur has been hailed as “the conscience of the food movement” by TIME magazine. For 25 years he has traveled extensively, campaigning to raise awareness about the abuses of industrialized factory farming and our cheap food system. His book, entitled Farm Sanctuary: Changing Hearts and Minds About Animals and Food, was published by Touchstone in March 2008 and has appeared on the Los Angeles Times and The Boston Globe best-seller lists.

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Jon Bockman has spent the last decade working in a large variety of animal advocacy causes, including concurrently managing multiple wildlife rehabilitation centers, serving as a humane investigator in Illinois, and working at a humane society. Jon also founded a 501(c)(3) farm animal advocacy group and ran a small business selling vegan food locally. After several years of intensive outreach efforts, Jon joined Animal Charity Evaluators as Executive Director, as he believes that using evidence and reason to inform our philanthropy is paramount to our success as a movement. 

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Michael Budkie, A.H.T., is the co-founder and Executive Director of Stop Animal Exploitation NOW! (SAEN), which works exclusively on the animal experimentation issue by successfully terminating research projects, forcing the USDA to take legal action against laboratories, & coordinating release of animals into sanctuaries. After witnessing the atrocities of animal experimentation during his education, he successfully ended a head injury experiment on cats at the Univ. of Cincinnati, which launched his career leading to positions with several national organizations and co-founding SAEN. He has been published & travels extensively, appearing on TV & radio programs to expose the truth about animal experimentation.

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Jon Camp is the National Grassroots Director for The Humane League. Prior to coming to THL, Jon spent 11 years working for Vegan Outreach, eventually serving as their Executive Vice President. Throughout 2004 - 2014, Jon traveled throughout North America, leafleting college campuses for VO. In this time, he personally leafleted over a million individuals at over 500 colleges and universities. In 2014, FARM recognized Jon for his contribution to grassroots animal advocacy by inducting him into the National Animal Rights Hall of Fame.

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Katie Cantrell is the founder and executive director of the Factory Farming Awareness Coalition, which she founded in 2010 to educate people about the ecological and social justice hazards of industrial meat production in the United States. She has delivered over 250 presentations to venues like Yale University and the National Resources Defense Council, and her presentation has been used as a resource by food justice activists across North America.


Chen Cohen is a key protagonist in Israel's well known animal rights movement. He speakes on strategy and deals with efficiency in the local vegan movement. He has been a leading mentor in the successful Challenge22+ program, he produced and was involved in many protests, demos, marches and VegFests. Although he has a degree in electrical and computer engineering and he's a software engineer, Chen decided to make a shift, leave his work in a High Tech company (NICE) and be a full time activist for the animals. His presentation this year will review Israel's inspiring success and what lessons we can learn from it.


David Coman-Hidy is the Executive Director of The Humane League. Under his leadership, The Humane League has grown into a national presence with offices spanning from coast to coast—winning campaigns against some of the largest food corporations in the world and reaching millions of young people each year with a message of compassion for farm animals. The Humane League is ranked as "Best In America" by the Independent Charities of America, and has been named "Top Charity" by the charity navigator Animal Charity Evaluators three times in a row, the only group with this distinction.

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Nick Cooney is the Vice President for Mercy For Animals. He is also the author of Change Of Heart: What Psychology Can Teach Us About Spreading Social Change (Lantern, 2011) and Veganomics: The Surprising Science on What Motivates Vegetarians, from the Breakfast Table to the Bedroom (Lantern, 2014). He has lectured across the U.S. and Europe on effective animal advocacy, and his work for farmed animals  has been featured by hundreds of media outlets, including “Time” magazine, “The Wall Street Journal,” and National Public Radio.

Cressey Charlotte14

Charlotte Cressey is an animal rights activist and educator, ecofeminist, student of Women's Studies, originator of Earth Energy Yoga, a certified Chopra Center Meditation Instructor, lover of life, and enthusiast for the many benefits of a vegan lifestyle. Charlotte's passion for helping animals began at the young age of 3 when she asked her parents, "Did a cow have to die for me to eat this?" She views veganism and treating all animals with respect as the foundation of a larger goal to create a peaceful, harmonious existence for humans, animals, and the Earth.   Her yoga, meditation, and empowerment sessions are designed to help each individual become happy, healthy, and a beneficial presence on the planet.  Learn more at www.CharlotteCressey.com


Karen Davis, PhD, met her first farmed animal face to face - Viva, a chicken in a muddy shack in Maryland - and was awakened to the sufferings of chickens in all poultry and egg industries. In 1990, she founded United Poultry Concerns, dedicated to promoting compassionate, respectful treatment of domestic fowl, including a sanctuary for rescued birds. She has authored several books including Prisoned Chickens, Poisoned Eggs; More Than a Meal: The Turkey in History, Myth, Ritual, and Reality; The Holocaust and the Henmaid’s Tale and A Home for Henny. She was inducted into the National Animal Rights Hall of Fame in 1992.

Devries Mark14

Mark Devries is the producer and director of Speciesism: The Movie, which has become widely used by animal advocates as an introduction to animal rights. He also directed the world's first drone-based investigation of factory farming, which has been viewed by millions worldwide and received major press coverage.

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Bruce Friedrich is the Executive Director of The Good Food Institute (GFI), a nonprofit organization that promotes plant and culture-based alternatives to animal agriculture, and managing trustee of New Crop Capital (NCC), a venture capital fund that funds companies that produce plant-based and cultured alternatives to meat, dairy, and eggs. Bruce worked previously as vice president for campaigns at PETA and policy director for Farm Sanctuary. He has presented repeatedly at most of the nation's top universities, co-authored one book, contributed to four more, and has written six law review publications. Bruce graduated manga cum laude from the Georgetown Law and Phi Beta Kappa from Grinnell College.

Glover Matthew14

Matthew Glover is the co-founder of the UK online campaign Veganuary. As a business man, Matthew wanted to use his skills to contribute to the animal rights movement and developed the idea for Veganuary to inspire and support others to go vegan for the month of January. Matthew is also working closely with the non-profit organisation Animal Equality to develop their Compassionate Outreach on Campus programme. As part of this campaign, Matthew has supported the production and distribution of thousands of information booklets, helping to promote veganism on university campuses nationwide.


Che Green is a former analyst, investment banker, and research manager with significant experience developing and implementing research projects of all kinds. In addition to his for-profit experience, Che has worked and volunteered for animal advocacy groups at both the local grassroots and national levels. As Faunalytics' executive director and lead researcher, he brings a unique and informed perspective to the problems facing animal advocates. Che has a BA in business administration, with a concentration in finance; he founded Faunalytics (as the Humane Research Council) in 2000 to empower animal advocates through research.


Zach Groff is a Research Analyst at Innovations for Poverty Action (IPA), a leading research group that uses cutting-edge behavioral economics experiments to investigate solutions to global poverty. Zach works on all stages of study design and implementation for randomized controlled trials (RCTs), considered the gold standard in social science. Zach is the recipient of Yale University’s Wrexham Prize for scholarship in the social sciences. Zach is also an international organizer with Direct Action Everywhere, where he has secured more than 10 media hits in some of the biggest news outlets in New England. All opinions are his own.

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Andrea Gunn is the Managing Director for The Humane League (THL), overseeing staff and developing strategies, organizational systems, and new departmental programs. After serving as Charlotte Grassroots Director she became National Grassroots Director to implement outreach programs nationwide, and has since transitioned into her new role to support the entire organization. She has presented on factory farming to over 3,000 students and has been featured on Charlotte Today and FOX News speaking about animal protection issues. Andrea believes that effective management and communication is the foundation of effective advocacy. In her leadership role, Andrea helped facilitate the Humane League’s growth from 7 to 40+ staff in under 3 years as well as build the infrastructure to sustain continued growth. 

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Alex Hershaft, Ph.D., is the Animal Rights Conference Chair and founding President of Farm Animal Rights Movement (FARM). He launched World Farm Animals Day in 1983, the Great American Meatout in 1985, Gentle Thanksgiving in 1990, and has organized 20 national Animal Rights conferences. He is a member of the Vegetarian and the Animal Rights Halls of Fame. Dr. Hershaft describes himself as a "late bloomer", having accomplished all this after earning a Ph.D. in chemistry and devoting nearly 30 years to science research and consulting.

Hindi Steve14

Steve Hindi is the Founder and President of Showing Animals Respect and Kindness (SHARK), which has been documenting and exposing pigeon shoots,  rodeos, hunting, bullfights, government deer kills and other forms of animal abuse since 1993.  SHARK’s number one tool is video footage using hidden video, long range video, and even video cameras that see in the dark. The latest innovation is the "Angels." These remote controlled aircrafts are equipped with video cameras to document and expose the animal cruelty that would otherwise be hidden from the public. SHARK battles tirelessly on many issues that involve violation of the innate rights of living creatures.


Wayne Hsiung is a lawyer, writer, and co-founder of the global animal rights network Direct Action Everywhere (DxE) and lead investigator in the DxE Open Rescue Network. His work as an investigator has been reported on in The New York Times and Mother Jones, and he organizes grassroots campaigns that have mobilized activists in over 110 cities and 25 countries. Prior to DxE, Wayne studied behavioral economics at MIT, taught at Northwestern School of Law, and practiced securities law at two national law firms while maintaining a pro bono animal practice. Wayne has lectured at Harvard, Yale, Stanford, and, most recently, at a summit in Beijing for activists organizing against the Yulin Dog Meat Festival.

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Melanie Joy, Ph.D., Ed.M., is a Harvard-educated psychologist, professor at the University of Massachusetts, Boston, celebrated speaker, and author of the award-winning book Why We Love Dogs, Eat Pigs, and Wear Cows. Dr. Joy is the eighth recipient of the Institute of Jainology’s Ahimsa Award, which was previously awarded to Nelson Mandela and the Dalai Lama and was presented to her in the British House of Commons. Dr. Joy has given her acclaimed carnism presentation in 17 countries, and her work has been featured by numerous media outlets worldwide. She is also author of Strategic Action for Animals, and is the founder and president of the Carnism Awareness and Action Network


Sebastian Joy holds a masters degree in NGO-management and is CEO of VEBU - Europe’s biggest veg association. He has brought the successful "Veggieday" campaign to Germany and initiated "VeggieWorld", Europe`s largest veg fair with more than 30,000 visitors each year. Sebastian invented the first B12-toothpaste and established an influential veg catering training program as well as a vegan start-up program. Through political lobbying, Sebastian has promoted the EU-wide legal definition of the terms "vegetarian" and "vegan". Recently, he launched a carnism awareness campaign with Melanie Joy. He has received several international awards for his activism.

Levine Joshu
Joshua Levine is a Senior Vice President, Financial Advisor with RBC Wealth Management. He focuses on integrating environmental, social, and governance metrics (socially responsible investing) in investment decisions.  Within that framework, he specializes in animal welfare investing through customized social screening and shareholder advocacy.  Joshua works with individual investors and nonprofits to provide highly customized financial and investment solutions.  Joshua’s team is structured to provide a consultative relationship with clients to preserve their wealth, develop detailed Investment and Social Policy statements, and construct properly diversified portfolios within the context of supporting animal welfare.  As an investment fiduciary, he empowers clients to make investment decisions that are in line with their personal ethics, without sacrificing return. 

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Carrie LeBlanc, MA, is a nonprofit management and fundraising consultant, and is the Executive Director of CompassionWorks International, a nonprofit dedicated to building a more compassionate world for all beings. Carrie has been advocating for animals since she was a teenager and brings a decade of experience in the nonprofit sector to the animal protection movement. In addition to serving as the former Director of Operations for Mercy For Animals, Carrie has consulted for numerous groups including Compassion Over Killing and Darwin Animal Doctors and has served on the board of the Association of Fundraising Professionals Santa Barbara/Ventura Counties.

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Dr. Shirley McGreal is the founder of the International Primate Protection League (IPPL). She began her work on behalf of primate protection while residing in Thailand in 1973. She formed IPPL after witnessing the deplorable conditions under which primates were captured, sold and transported. IPPL specializes in fighting the highly organized and often illegal traffic in apes and monkeys and makes grants to overseas primate sanctuaries and rescue groups. IPPL operates a sanctuary which is home to 37 gibbons, many from research labs. Dr. McGreal has received a number of awards, including the Order of the British Empire in 2008.

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Erica Meier is the Executive Director of Compassion Over Killing, a non-profit animal advocacy organization based in Washington , D.C. that focuses on exposing cruelty to farmed animals and promoting vegetarian eating. COK’s undercover investigations inside factory farms have been featured in various newspapers, including the New York Times and the Washington Post. Before working at COK, Erica spent four years as an animal control officer in D.C., rescuing sick, injured, and homeless animals as well as enforcing animal protection laws.


Ginny Messina, MPH, RD (TheVeganRD) is the co-author of three books on vegan nutrition, Vegan for LifeVegan for Her, and Never Too Late to Go Vegan, as well as a nutrition textbook for health professionals. She has taught nutrition to college students, and worked with national non-profit health care agencies. She writes and speaks about vegan nutrition for dietitians and physicians, as well as the public. Ginny is on the board of directors of Vegfund, Eden Animal Sanctuary, and Alley Cat Rescue and the advisory boards of VegYouth, One Step for Animals, the Vegan Trade Council, and the Vegetarian Resource Group. She is a dedicated volunteer for her local TNR group and animal shelter.

Moncrief Dawn14

Dawn Moncrief is the Founder and Executive Director of A Well-Fed World, a Washington DC-based hunger relief and animal protection organization that partners with and financially strengthens vegan feeding programs for people in need, farm animal care and rescue efforts and vegan outreach campaigns. She holds two master’s degrees from The George Washington University in international relations and in women's studies, both with a focus on economic development. Her work highlights the ways in which high levels of meat consumption in the U.S. and internationally exacerbate global hunger and climate change, and also to the ethical and environmental misconceptions in “gifting” animals for food in poor countries.


Ingrid E. Newkirk is the president and founder of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) and the author of several books, including One Can Make a Difference, 50 Awesome Ways Kids Can Help Animals, Making Kind Choices, The PETA Celebrity Cookbook, Free the Animals, and The PETA Practical Guide to Animal Rights. Numerous publications have featured Newkirk’s work, including The New Yorker, Time magazine, People magazine, Forbes, and the Financial Times. She has appeared on television shows all over the world and is the subject of a BBC special and the HBO documentary I Am an Animal.


Jack Norris is a Registered Dietitian and the Executive Director of Vegan Outreach. Vegan Outreach promotes individual outreach primarily through distribution of their booklets on college campuses through their "Adopt a College" program. In 2005, Jack was elected to the Animal Rights Hall of Fame. Along with Ginny Messina, MS RD, Jack has written the book, Vegan For Life: Everything You Need to Know to Be Healthy and Fit on a Plant-Based Diet. Jack writes a nutrition blog at JackNorrisRD.com. He is also the author of Vitamin B12: Are You Getting It? and maintains VeganHealth.org.

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Sharon Nuñez is the co-founder and International Director of Animal Equality.  In less than 8 years since its foundation, Animal Equality has become a leading animal rights organization active in the the Americas, Europe and India. Sharon has been interviewed about Animal Equality's work and investigations in the CNN, BBC, The Guardian, La Republica and El País. Animal Equality has reached millions of people, successfully campaigned to get farms, slaughterhouses and markets closed, supermarket chains to change their policies, and worked with authorities to get animal abusers convicted. She is also the coeditor of "LiberAnima," a book collection that promotes animal rights in Spanish speaking countries.

Oberg John
John Oberg is the Director of New Media for The Humane League. John previously served as Director of Communications for Vegan Outreach and increased their social media following tenfold while reaching tens of millions of individuals. John runs and oversees The Humane League's Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Snapchat accounts and uses these platforms as tools to reach millions of individuals with the plight of today's farmed animals.


lauren Ornelas is the founder/director of Food Empowerment Project (F.E.P.), a vegan food justice nonprofit seeking to create a more just world by helping consumers recognize the power of their food choices. F.E.P. works in solidarity with farm workers, advocates for chocolate not sourced from child labor, and focuses on access to healthy foods in communities of color and of low-income. While lauren was the director of Viva!USA, she investigated factory farms and ran consumer campaigns. In cooperation with many activists, she persuaded Trader Joe’s to stop selling all duck meat. She served as campaign director with the Silicon Valley Toxics Coalition for six years. Watch her TEDx talk on The Power of Our Food Choices.

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Will Potter is an award-winning investigative journalist and author based in Washington, D.C. He specializes in the animal rights and environmental movements, and civil liberties post-9/11. His work has been featured in the world’s top media outlets, including the Washington Post, National Geographic, and Rolling Stone. He has testified before the U.S. Congress as the only witness opposing the Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act, and his book, Green Is The New Red, was awarded a Kirkus Star for “remarkable merit.” This year he was selected as a TED Senior Fellow, and also awarded a prestigious Knight-Wallace Fellowship in investigative reporting.

Reiman Tracy
Tracy Reiman is the executive vice president of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals. She oversees the organization's campaigns, online marketing, corporate affairs, and youth outreach divisions. Among many other accomplishments, she has led efforts to convince more than 100 top fashion brands to stop selling fur, angora wool, down, and exotic-animal skins; prompted numerous major corporations to end partnerships with Ringling Bros. and SeaWorld; oversaw the successful, precedent-setting campaign against McDonald's in 2000, which marked the first time in U.S. history that a major seller of meat agreed to make welfare improvements for chickens; and her investigative and rescue work resulted in the first-ever cruelty charges and conviction against a factory farmer for the mistreatment of chickens.


Simone Reyes was the breakout star of Oxygen's reality tv show Running Russell Simmons, and has been entertainment mogul Russell Simmons' right hand woman. Simone boldly shed her clothes for PETA's "Rather Go Naked" demonstrations, and Stray Cat Alliance and has used her voice in countless media outlets to speak out in support of animal liberation. Simone is a 20+ year vegan and has been a grassroots animal rights activist for most of her adult life. PETA 's Animal Rahat Sanctuary in India was officially given a new name, "Simone’s Place," in her honor. She was also a Sea Shepherd Cove Guardian in Taiji, Japan to report on the atrocities of the dolphin drives. She has also been active and protesed agains the SeaWorld float.

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Matt Rossell is the Campaigns Director for Animal Defenders International heading up their grassroots effort to end circus cruelty by passing the Travelling Exotic Animal Protection Act (H.R. 4525). This federal bill introduced by Congressman Jim Moran (D-VA) aims to ban wild animals from traveling circuses in the United States. Matt’s extensive experiences working undercover inside abusive industries including circuses, fur farms, factory farms, research labs, and a slaughterhouse, have all helped to personalize his advocacy work. Matt’s expert comments and undercover work have appeared in hundreds of news stories and documentaries and he frequently speaks publicly on animal issues.

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Ruby Roth - Featured on CNN, FOX, Today, and other major media outlets, Ruby Roth is an activist, blogger, and the world's leading author and illustrator of vegan and vegetarian books for children.  Roth has received international attention for her sensitive, yet frank advocacy of a vegan diet and lifestyle, sharing her philosophy and practice of a veganism with over 80,000 worldwide followers. Complementing her degrees in art and American Studies, she has researched animal agriculture, health, nutrition, and the benefits of a plant-based diet for over a decade, lending her expertise to schools, radio, blogs, print publications, festivals, and conferences. 


Nathan Runkle is the Founder and President of Mercy For Animals. Since founding MFA a decade ago, Nathan has overseen the organization's growth into a leading national force for the respectful and compassionate treatment of farmed animals. Nathan has appeared in hundreds of interviews including 20/20, Nightline, ABC World News Tonight, CNN, NPR, and The New York Times. Nathan has worked to pass landmark farmed animal protection legislation, raise public awareness about vegetarianism, and implement animal protection policy changes.


Paul Shapiro is the vice president of farm animal protection at The Humane Society of the United States, the founder of Compassion Over Killing, and an inductee into the Animal Rights Hall of Fame. He's been interviewed in hundreds of print and broadcast media outlets and has published dozens of articles about animal protection in publications ranging from daily newspapers to academic journals.

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Ryan Shapiro is a longtime animal rights activist who has organized successful sit-ins, blockades, protests, hunt-sabotages, undercover investigations, and open rescues. Ryan is now also a doctoral candidate at MIT. His research explores the use of the rhetoric and apparatus of national security to marginalize animal protectionists, from the late 19th century to the present. As part of this work, Ryan has nearly 600 Freedom of Information Act requests in motion with the FBI, as well as multiple ongoing lawsuits challenging their failure to comply.  Ryan is a plaintiff in Blum v. Holder, the federal lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act.

Shaw Hannah
Hannah Shaw is an animal protection professional and nonprofit director with a special focus in the welfare of cats and kittens. Her rescue and advocacy project, Kitten Lady (kittenlady.org), reaches advocates across the globe with viral media and educational resources about the protection and care of neonatal kittens. Hannah resides in Washington DC with her two cats and a revolving door of orphaned felines. Hannah is also the founder of Rock to the Rescue, a foundation supporting nonprofit partners nationwide in their efforts to save animals' lives.

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Veda Stram saw a brochure about animals in drug addiction experiments in 1988, went to a Last Chance for Animals meeting that night, went vegetarian within days, vegan within months. She volunteered with Last Chance for Animals, has been on the Boards of Orange County People for Animals, Northwest Animal Rights Network, Pigs Peace Sanctuary and United Poultry Concerns, and was administrative editor of Animals Voice Magazine. She created and has coordinated Newcomer Orientations at the National Animal Rights Conference, and has volunteered weekly since 2006 at Vegan Haven, vegan grocery store in Seattle. Veda has been employed by All-Creatures.org since July 2008.


Jane Velez-Mitchell is the editor of JaneUnChained, a social media news outlet that produces popular videos for animals, animal rights, the environment and compassionate lifestyle. Jane's reporting on animal issues has won 4 Genesis Awards from the Humane Society of the United States. She has published 4 books by now, including a New York Times bestselling memoir. Jane hosted her own national cable TV show for 6 years and was also on the nationally syndicated TV show Celebrity Justice. She is also the director/producer of Anita Velez: Dancing Through Life, an award-winning documentary. She's worked coast to coast as a TV journalist for decades in popular TV channels.

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Michael A. Webermann is the Executive Director of Farm Animal Rights Movement (FARM), where he oversees FARM’s Sustained Vegan Advocacy approach to reducing (and eventually eliminating) the number of animals raised and killed for food. He produces literature, advertisements, and videos that expose animal agribusiness, determines how to best bring these messages to key target audiences, and helps develop follow-up resources to make the vegan path fun and easy. Michael also gives presentations to high school and college students, helping them make the connection between companion animals and farmed animals, and he speaks nationally on effective strategies, tactics, and messaging for promoting veganism.

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Peter Young is a veteran activist, former Animal Liberation Front (ALF) member, author, publisher, and creator of the website Animal Liberation Frontline. He is a former political prisoner sentenced to two years in prison for releasing thousands of mink from fur farms. After 7 years wanted by the FBI and a 24 month federal prison sentence, today Young speaks to activists on using creative and often controversial tactics in in the struggle for animal liberation. He brings a message of urgency, speaking on first-hand accounts of animal rescues, animal liberation, direct action, and more.