August 3 - 6 ♦ Hilton Mark Center
just outside of Washington, DC

AR2016 Speaker Profiles

 Atcheson Rachel

Rachel Atcheson is the Senior Campus Outreach Director with The Humane League. Previously she led The Humane League's Philadelphia office, coordinating all work in the Philadelphia and Southern New Jersey areas. She spearheaded the Meatless Monday initiative with the City of Philadelphia, resulting in passage of the City Council Resolution and the adoption of Meatless Monday throughout the School District of Philadelphia. Rachel now works with college students across the country to conduct veg advocacy on their campuses.

Bar Ronen

Ronen Bar is a board member of The Modern Agriculture Foundation, a NGO that promotes the scientific research of cultured meat. In recent years, Ronen has worked as an undercover investigator in the factory farming industry, documenting standard practices and law violations in several farm factories, such as the biggest cattle abattoir in Israel, a chicken slaughterhouse, etc. The investigations were broadcast on Israeli media and received international attention. During 2014 and 2015 Ronen was the manager of the investigation team of Anonymous for Animal Rights, the biggest animal protection group in Israel. Ronen aspires to raise awareness of technological solutions that can provide alternatives to current meat production methods, and thereby give rise to funding of revolutionary studies in the field.

Baur Gene14

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.

Beach Marji
Marji Beach is passionate about ending farmed animal suffering. She earned her Animal Science degree from UC Davis, using that knowledge to advocate on behalf of farmed animals. As Animal Place’s Education Director, she has 12 years of farmed animal advocacy experience. She developed Animal Place’s flagship rescue and adoption program Rescue Ranch, which saves animals from slaughter, with a special emphasis on hens from the egg industry. She oversees the sanctuary’s advocacy, social media, adoption programs as well as the Brave the Cage campaign and Vegan Republic store. Her photography has been featured in several books. She shares her home with rescued vegan canines Celeste and Tobi.
Bockman Jon14 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. 
Bohanec Hope

Hope Bohanec has been active in animal protection and environmental activism for over 20 years and published the book The Ultimate Betrayal: Is There Happy Meat? She is a nationally recognized leader and speaker in the animal protection movement, and serves as Projects Manager for United Poultry Concerns. Hope is also the Executive Director of Compassionate Living, a Sonoma County, California based vegan outreach organization. Before this, Hope offered her organizational talents as the Campaigns Director at In Defense of Animals. Hope the primary organizer for UPC’s annual Conscious Eating Conference at UC Berkeley as well as the Sonoma County VegFest and she is currently working on her second book, The Humane Hoax. 

Botts Ken

Ken Botts has over 35 years of food service experience. He was previously with the University of North Texas where he helped launch the nation’s first vegan dining hall His work has been covered by USA Today, ABC News, and Food Service Director Magazine. In 2014 he joined the farm animal protection team at The Humane Society of the United States as a food policy manager. Since then, he has helped food service leaders around the world meet the demand for more sustainable plant-based dining through; menu design, culinary education and concept development. His mission in life is to help make the world a better place, one plate at a time.

Braz15 Johnny Braz is a documentary filmmaker, environmentalist, and yogi. He began his filmmaking career in 1996 working as a camera operator with Clint Eastwood on “The Monterey Jazz Festival: 40 Legendary Years.” In 2016, he completed “Truckin’; the Story of Eddie Traffic”, an uplifting glimpse into the unique bliss experienced by a pig named Eddie, who was rescued just hours from slaughter.  His years of experience designing and installing alternative energy systems culminated in touring twice with Bonnie Raitt as her environmental spokesperson. As Indraloka’s Creative Director, Johnny brings these gifts together, creating film and still portraits that reveal his reverence for all life and the earth herself, telling the story of Indraloka’s many rescues through art.
Brugger Paula

Paula Brugger is a Professor at the Ecology and Zoology Department of Santa Catarina Federal University, Brazil, where she coordinates the Ecological Justice Observatory. Graduate studies in Biology, Master’s Degree in Education, PhD in  “Environment and Society”. Lectures and research include environmental and abolitionist education; representations of nature and nonhuman animals in the media; ethical/epistemological implications of mechanistic paradigms in vivisection; and the ecological, ethical, social and economic dimensions of sustainability in industrial processes as livestock raising. Author of two books on environmental education.  She coordinated the Department of Environment of the Brazilian Vegetarian Society (2005-2007) and was Director of Education of the Animal Abolitionist Institute (2006-2008). She has been, since 2008, a columnist for the “Animal Rights News Agency”, ANDA (Brazil).

Buchwald Mirko

Mirko Buchwald is a 5th Degree Vegan black belt who has raised vegetarian since birth and has been vegan for 38 years. He came to the United states for the world games in Los Angeles .A 2 time British karate champion, he placed first in his division  at the games. Mirko now own's and runs his own yoga/martial art's studio's in San Francisco. He travels international teaching and promoting a healthy vegan lifestyle. Mirko is involved in animal rescue and outreach and volunteer's with northern California's Animal Place. Mirko is a living example of a life long plant based athlete. This july he head's to Japan to test for his 6th degree black belt which will make him one of the highest ranking vegan black belt in the world.

Budkie Karen12 Karen Budkie, is Co-Founder & Operations Manager 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 labs, & coordinating release of animals into sanctuaries. Karen’s activism started in the 1970s by supporting leg hold trap legislation and eliminating live dissection of guinea pigs at her high school, and has been a vegan since 1986. For the past 20+ years, she has concentrated her many talents on SAEN’s campaigns and daily operation.

Budkie Michael7

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.

Camp Jon14

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.

Cantrell Katie12

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.

Cast Turner Juliana

Juliana Castañeda Turner is the director and co-founder of Juliana's Animal Sanctuary, the first ever animal sanctuary in South America and the only sanctuary in Colombia in South America. In addition to running a sanctuary for the past decade, she has been an activist for 20 years: she launched the first 100% vegan cookbook in Colombia, she teaches vegan cooking, gives lectures across the country on veganism and animal rights, and is also the South America coordinator for Food for Life Global, the world’s largest vegan food relief non-profit. Juliana is a lifelong animal advocate, starting at age 6 when she became vegetarian by personal request and went vegan at 26.

cehn michelle Michelle Cehn is the founder of World of Vegan, a multi-media website dedicated to making veganism accessible, delicious, and fun. Michelle is also a YouTube personality who has reached millions through her creative, relatable, and engaging vegan videos. Following her passion for filmmaking and helping animals, she has produced more than 100 videos for vegan advocacy organizations including Farm Sanctuary, Mercy for Animals, and Vegan Cuts. She has also worked for several nonprofits including PETA, PCRM, and One Step for Animals, and is currently the social media manager for Vegan Outreach. Michelle lives to inspire change through positive, upbeat, and creative activism!
Cliffton Merrit Merritt Clifton is the editor of the online news periodical ANIMALS 24-7 since 2014,  published in partnership with his wife Beth Clifton,  has covered animal-related news beats for more than 45 years,  including 22 years as editor of the Animal People newspaper,  four years as news editor for the Animals' Agenda magazine,  and 15 years as editor of the annual Watchdog Report on Animal Charities.
Cohen Chen Chen Cohen is a key protagonist in Israel's well known animal rights movement. He speaks and gives trainings on strategy and 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.

Coman Hidy David

David Coman-Hidy is the Executive Director of The Humane League. Under his leadership, The Humane League has grown into an international 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 farmed 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 four years in a row, the only group with this distinction.

Cooney Nick14

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

Cupi Mateo

Matteo Cupi has been involved in the animal protection movement for over a decade.
He started working for Animal Equality in 2010 as animal cruelty investigator in Spain, and as the General Manager and Head of Investigations in the UK.
Matteo has successfully coordinated animal cruelty investigations in several countries, one of them resulted into one of the longest prison sentences for animal cruelty in England as well as the closure of a pig farm. Thanks to Matteo’s campaigning 7 out of every 10 Italians have dropped their lamb consumption during the easter holidays in the last 4 years.
Passionate about strategy, communication and innovations, Matteo is currently serving as Animal Equality’s Executive Director in Italy.

Darer Alan Headshot

Alan Darer is education project coordinator with Mercy For Animals, overseeing MFA's fellowship program whereby he works with students at elite universities in the U.S. and U.K. to conduct veg advocacy on their campuses. He also gives talks on effective veg advocacy to student groups at these renowned schools. Additionally, Alan spearheads MFA’s impactful online advertising campaigns, which reach tens of millions of people each year and inspire hundreds of thousands to pledge to go vegetarian.


Karen Davis, PhD is the Founder and President of United Poultry Concerns, a nonprofit organization that promotes the compassionate and respectful treatment of domestic fowl including a sanctuary for chickens in Virginia. Karen is the author of The Holocaust and the Henmaid’s Tale; Prisoned Chickens, Poisoned Eggs: An Inside Look at the Modern Poultry Industry; and More Than a Meal: The Turkey in History, Myth, Ritual, and Reality. An influential speaker and writer, Karen contributes to many publications including an article on Animal Personhood in the forthcoming book, Meat Culture. Award-winningly profiled in The Washington Post in “For the Birds,” in 2002 Karen Davis was inducted into the National Animal Rights Hall of Fame for Outstanding Contributions to Animal Liberation.

Day Jackie

Jackie Day is an award winning health educator, health policy consultant and author of The Vegan Way: 21 Days to a Happier, Healthier, Plant-Based Lifestyle That Will Transform Your Home, Your Diet And You (Macmillan, Fall 2016). Jackie’s advocacy efforts have spanned from pleading before a school board to rescue a pig in Miami to speaking on behalf of fish in Malibu. Jackie is credited with spearheading the grassroots activism that ended soda sales during school hours in LAUSD, providing an impetus and foundation for elected officials to do the same throughout California. Jackie's successful advocacy efforts have been featured on CNN, NPR, PBS, The Dr. Oz Show, and TIME Magazine. Jackie has been vegan for over 28 years and writes at

 Denys colour

Patricia Denys is an artist, photographer, teacher, writer and activist. Denys has published and presented several papers at the School of Visual Arts Conference in New York regarding society’s relationship with animals and women and how they are viewed and marketed, and on the subject of animals in containment. She also has a published paper; “Animals and Women as Meat,” in The Brock Review, Vol. 12, No. 1, 2011, and a book of photographs called Animal Magnetism. Her current studio work is focused on the dichotomies that exist between society’s perception of, and the reality of, animals in containment such as in factory farms and the public display industry with a particular focus on the plight of Tilikum, the Orca held hostage at SeaWorld.

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.

 clara arturo headshot

Arturo Elizondo is CEO of Clara Foods, a sustainable ingredients company developing performance protein products and vegan egg whites. Prior to joining Clara Foods, Arturo served under Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and the investment bank Credit Suisse. Arturo holds a degree in Government and Comparative Politics from Harvard University.
Clara Foods is a performance ingredients company developing protein-based ingredients and vegan egg whites. By harnessing the protein production power of fungi, Clara aims to lay the groundwork for a food system fit for the 21st century––one that is far more ethical, sustainable, and safer for consumers.


Stacey Ellison is a Research Analyst for 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 labs, and coordinating release of animals into sanctuaries. In addition to traveling for SAEN and appearing regularly in the news media to expose criminal labs, Stacey is a mother to three special needs animals and a vegan for 10+ years.

Enoch Janet

Janet Enoch has been working as an Investigator for SHowing Animals Respect and Kindness (SHARK) for the last 10 years documenting and exposing animal cruelty often ignored by the animal movement. When not exposing animal cruelty, Janet is a volunteer with the  local Wildlife Center and on the Board of a Chicago Humane Society. Previously, Janet was Vice President of Kinship Circle and President of the St. Louis Animal Rights Team (START) working on a wide range of animal cruelty issues. As Executive Director of The Animal Trust of America. Janet worked on the puppy mill issue and assisted in the closing of two Petland Stores in the St. Louis area.

Finelli Mary

Mary Finelli is founder and president of Fish Feel. Mary is a long-time animal rights activist with a B.S. in Animal Science. She has worked with various animal protection organizations, having a primary focus on farmed animals. Mary was the Producer of Farmed Animal Watch, a weekly online news digest. She has also assisted with research for several books, and co-wrote a chapter of In Defense of Animals: The Second Wave. Fish Feel is the sole organization devoted exclusively to promoting the recognition of fishes as sentient beings deserving of respect and protection. Fish Feel primarily serves to help educate the public about these wondrous animals, the immense problems caused by the exploitation of them, and how we can help protect them.

CFreeman15 Carrie P. Freeman, PhD, is an Associate Professor of Communication at Georgia State University in Atlanta. She publishes on media ethics and strategic communication for the animal rights and environmental movements, specializing in animal agribusiness. Her new book on U.S. vegan advocacy is Framing Farming: Communication Strategies for Animal Rights. She also co-authors pro-animal style guidelines for media practitioners at An activist for two decades, she served as a leader of local grassroots animal and veg groups in Florida, Georgia, and Oregon, and now co-hosts animal rights and eco radio programs on Atlanta’s WRFG-Radio Free Georgia.

Friedrich Bruce14crop

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.

Frohoff Toni

Toni Frohoff, Ph.D. is the Cetacean and Elephant Scientist for In Defense of Animals. She is wildlife behavioral-biologist who has specialized in the psychological wellbeing and protection of dolphins, whales, and elephants for over 30 years.  Dr. Frohoff conducted the first research on impacts to dolphins used in captive “swim” and “petting pool” programs and has been studying cetacean communication, cognition, and personhood in the wild –  on their terms – in pioneering Interspecies Collaborative Research. She has presented at TED Global in Oxford and the Smithsonian on animal emotions and her work has been featured various media including TIME, National Geographic TV, Animal Planet and the New York Times.

Gazzola Lauren

Lauren Gazzola is best known as one of the SHAC 7, six activists and a nonprofit organization convicted of "animal enterprise terrorism" charges for publishing a website in support of the international Stop Huntingdon Animal Cruelty campaign, for which she served 40 months in prison.  Lauren works at the Center for Constitutional Rights, serves on the Executive Committee of the NYC National Lawyers Guild, and organizes with the NLG Animal Rights Activism Committee. Her recent writing includes “Don’t buy the Chipotle hype: There’s no such thing as ‘humane’ slaughter” on Salon and “Is freeing minks terrorism? And other questions we should be asking ourselves” on Truthout."

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 the Ling-Ann Hsiung Memorial Fellow and International Press Coordinator for the grassroots animal liberation network Direct Action Everywhere (DxE). As part of his work with DxE, Zach has secured press hits in the New York Times, Washington Post, and CNN. Zach leads DxE’s metrics team, which monitors and evaluates progress and consults with social scientists on social movement strategy. Zach was previously a Research Analyst for Yale economist Dean Karlan at Innovations for Poverty Action, a leading global nonprofit that pioneered the use of “gold standard” randomized evaluations for poverty alleviation programs.

Gunn Andrea small
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. 
Hargreaves Susan

Susan Hargreaves is the author and the woman behind Animal Hero Kids, empowers and recognizes kind youth. She's an award-winning educator, radio host, ex-undercover investigator and activist. She will conduct an interactive program on how to use her new guidebook Animal Hero Kids: Voices for the Voiceless, which includes tips from famous animal advocates; Joaquin Phoenix, Russell Simmons, Sir Paul McCartney, and Jessica Chastain. Russell Simmons said her “book is for anyone who cares about animals, kindness and justice.” Hargreaves headed up ARKII -the Canadian Animal Rights Network, Earth Save Miami, created Animal Voices, a Toronto radio series; is a Distinguished Educator, Eco-Hero Humane & Environmental Education award-winner; former Wildlife Care Center Education Director. Susan has been an animal defender for almost four decades.

Hershaft Alex9

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.

Holland Colleen

Passionate about media, Colleen Holland is the publisher and co-founder of VegNews Magazine. Since the company's founding in 2000, she has grown the vegan lifestyle brand into an award-winning, international media company complete with a flagship magazine, digital properties, events, e-cookbooks, and global vacations. A graduate of UCLA and the Natural Gourmet Institute culinary school, Colleen is one of just six people worldwide to have been inducted into both the Vegetarian Hall of Fame and the Animal Rights Hall of Fame. A 21-year ethical vegan, she is a die-hard foodie and yogi, and looks forward to attending her 16th Animal Rights Conference.


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.

Iyer Sangu

Sangamithra Iyer is a writer and engineer. She is the editor of Satya: The Long View, a reflection on over two decades of activism. Sangu is an Associate for Brighter Green. She is the author of The Lines We Draw (Hen Press). Her essays have been published by n+1, Creative Nonfiction, Waging Nonviolence, Hippocampus Magazine, and have been anthologized in Primate People: Saving Nonhuman Primates through Education, Advocacy and Sanctuary (University of Utah Press), Sister Species: Women, Animals and Social Justice (University of Illinois Press) , and Letters to a New Vegan (Lantern Books). In 2012, she presented at Tedx Cooper Union. Her work explores animals, social and environmental justice and the intersection of the personal and the political.

Jacobson Andrea

Andrea Jacobson is the International Campaigns Manager at Farm Animal Rights Movement, where she organizes the World Day for Farmed Animals, Meatout, and Vegan Earth Day campaigns. Since arriving at FARM, she has mobilized thousands of activists to take part in these initiatives, including over 21,000 people participating in the global Fast Against Slaughter on October 2nd. Andrea also manages FARM's international partnerships, working with grassroots groups around the world to maximize their efficacy in culturally relevant and sustainable ways. Andrea lives in Portland, OR with her beloved canine companion, Polly.

Jauron Kezia

Kezia Jauron works with animal rights nonprofits and campaigns, documentary films, books, and vegan companies as co-founder of the public relations agency Evolotus. By generating positive media coverage for animal issues, Evolotus serves a unique niche in the movement and helps organizations gain visibility, increase their followings, and generate revenues. Evolotus has promoted animal rights and veganism in the mainstream for nearly ten years using professional media relations, communications, strategic planning, and public advocacy, and the result is far greater awareness, understanding, and support for our cause. 

Johnson Seba14v3 Seba Johnson made history at the tender age of 14 as the youngest Alpine Ski Racer in Olympic History and the first Black female to ever ski in the Olympics, a title which Johnson still holds today. As an animal rights activist, and a vegan since birth, Seba protested what would have been her third Olympic Games because the host country lifted their moratorium and resumed practice of commercial hunting for minke whale. Always compelled to speak out against various forms of oppression, Seba's unique perspective on life solidifies her unwavering commitment to helping the lives of all human/nonhuman animals.

Joy Melanie10

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.

Kemmerer Lisa 2

Dr. Lisa Kemmerer is a philosopher-activist and a professor, known internationally for her work on behalf of anymals, the environment, and disempowered human beings. An activist for decades, she has written/edited nine books advocating for animals, including Eating Earth: Dietary Choice and Environmental Health; Animals and World Religions; and Sister Species: Women, Animals, and Social Justice.  (For more information, visit

King Sonnen Renee Renee King-Sonnen, a native Houstonian, is the Executive Director and Founder of Rowdy Girl Sanctuary in Angleton, Texas. She remarried her husband Tommy Sonnen, a multi-generational cattle rancher in 2009 and moved to the ranch. She fell in love with farm animals, having no idea her life was about to transform. After witnessing time and again the baby calves going to the sale barn she became extremely depressed. In October 2014, she went vegan as a result and began researching factory farming and the compassionate alternative, farm sanctuaries. She desperately consulted with leaders in the vegan movement, determined to do whatever she could to create sanctuary out of what was once a beef cattle operation in the heart of cattle country.
Kjonas Kevin

Kevin Kjonaas is the Vice President of Beagle Freedom Project, a national research animal rescue and advocacy organization. Over the last three years Kevin has championed the Beagle Freedom Bill, passing legislation in four states that mandates the post-experiment adoption of laboratory animals.  Prior to his work with Beagle Freedom Project, Kevin was the President of Stop Huntingdon Animal Cruelty USA, an anti-vivisection campaign that bankrupted the world’s biggest CRO, earning him induction in 2007 to the Animal Rights Hall of Fame.

Kroplick Marilyn

Marilyn Kroplick, MD, is president of In Defense of Animals, a board-certified psychiatrist, and award-winning socio-political photographer.
Her passion for animal rights was ignited in 2002 after purchasing a puppy from a pet store who became terribly sick. Dr. Kroplick’s fight for justice led her to discover the system of abuse that brings puppies to pet stores, and successfully expose and shut down that store.
Since 2011, Dr. Kroplick has led In Defense of Animals’ powerful campaigns to end the dog meat trade, advocate for elephants, strengthen animal cruelty laws, and save animals in need around the world. Dr. Kroplick is using her extensive expertise to build a movement that supports activists to achieve animal liberation.

Kuhn Keegan

Keegan Kuhn is a videographer, award-winning documentary filmmaker, and professional musician living in California. He has worked with nonprofit organizations and social justice movements for virtually his entire life. As a filmmaker, he helps organizations reach an ever-greater community of supporters with the highest quality films and videos. His film career has taken him as far as the remote interior of Alaska to document modern homesteaders, to the high deserts of the American west filming the nation’s remaining wild horses, to rural agricultural communities and dirty urban streets. He is motivated by a deep desire to shed light on untold stories of the most downtrodden in our society, and to raise to awareness through greater visibility of social justice issues.

ILahiri15 Indra Lahiri, PhD was called “a storyteller, dreamer, and friend of the animals,” by the Anishinaabe Medicine Man who adopted her into the White Earth Nation, naming her  “Ishkudeikwe” (Woman of the Fire). She has rescued thousands of animals from dire circumstances around the world.  Indra tells the animals’ stories in her writing and speaking, and lives amongst them between her travels.  In the course of her decades of learning from the animals, Indra founded Indraloka Animal Sanctuary (2005) and co-organized the newly forming Global Coalition of Farm Sanctuaries.  Her award-winning blog is followed by tens of thousands of readers on every continent.  Indra is grateful to dedicate her life to helping traumatized animals rediscover joy, love, and trust.

Lindsay Larris isthe Animal Legal Defense Fund’s (“ALDF”) first regional director, and directs ALDF operations and resources in Southern California. In this position, Lindsay develops objectives specific to the Los Angeles region and coordinates regional resources in support of ALDF’s national goals. Prior to joining ALDF in 2015, Lindsay spent seven years practicing civil litigation in Los Angeles, in the areas of environmental and trust & estate litigation. While in private practice, Lindsay worked on several pro bono cases with ALDF, including lawsuits against a Hollywood animal trainer and against a chain of pet stores.
Lindsay graduated from University of Pennsylvania Law School in 2007 and cum laude from New York University in 2003 with a degree in political science.

LeBlanc Carrie12 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.
Lenneart Tobias

Tobias Leenaert (°1973) is the founder of the Belgian non profit vegetarian organisation EVA, which in 2005 was probably the first vegetarian organisation in the world to receive significant structural support from its national government. In 2010, Tobias was elected as a Fellow of Ashoka, an international organisation supporting high impact social entrepreneurs. Tobias blogs, is a regular international speaker, and together with Dr. Melanie Joy is co-founder and co-director of the Center for Effective Vegan Advocacy. He’s also working on a book on strategy and communication to reduce animal suffering, which will be published by Lantern Press end of 2016. 

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. 
Levinson Lisa14

Lisa Levinson is the Director of In Defense of Animals’ Sustainable Activism Campaign, a trained movement therapist and museum exhibit designer. Lisa uses her therapeutic skills to promote activist self-care on the Animal Activist Support Line and Sustainable Activism Webinars. She organizes Vegan Spirituality Meetups and Retreats across the country to explore Veganism as a spiritual practice and develops exhibits for the National Museum of Animals and Society. She co-founded Public Eye: Artists for Animals to teach compassion for animals through the arts and founded the Toad Detour to help migrating toads safely cross the road in Philadelphia, PA.

Locke Chirstopher

Christopher Locke worked in the television industry for over a decade before pursuing his passion project, Persimmon Takes On Humanity, which is the thrilling first book of the young adult series, The Enlightenment Adventures. The story follows Persimmon, a compassionate raccoon, who teams up with a group of courageous critters who risk their own lives to rescue any creature they see suffering at the hands of humans. As the epic tale entertains readers, it challenges them to question what being humane really means. Since the novel’s debut, it has received rave reviews. Christopher is currently writing Book Two of the series. Learn more at

Mars Andy Andy Mars is a Ph.D. in Education actively leading the way in raising a more conscious generation for over thirty years.  The go-to-guy for raising vegan kids, he directs and  Hundreds of kids have gone vegan from attending, and vegan kids can not find a more conducive oasis.  Dr. Mars lectures around the country, training teachers and parents in Raising a More Conscious Generation. He consults to hundreds of school and works with countless individual families and children directly. Vegan for thirty-three years, he has served on the Board of American Vegan Society for thirty years, was a Founding Member of PCRM and EarthSave, and serves the boards of various other worthwhile organizations.
Maughan Lorrin

Lorrin Maughan is a Vegan activist, Reiki Master and Life Coach who works with animal activists and advocates to create a more compassionate world, starting with themselves. She helps people renew their sense of purpose through self-awareness and alignment of values, needs and actions. With coaching, they learn to heal from trauma, burnout and overwhelm in order to move forward in positive, healthy and sustainable ways. In addition to volunteering with the In Defense of Animals Activist Helpline, Lorrin coaches clients individually by phone and Skype, in group workshops and via limited in-person experiences in partnership with Gift and Fella, both talented equine coaches and healers. Learn more at  

McGreal Shirley14

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.

Meier Erica10

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.

Middleton Kristie Kristie Middleton is the senior  food policy director for The Humane Society of the United States. She has helped dozens of corporations, hospitals, and other institutions improve the plight of farm animals through humane-minded purchasing programs. Today she oversees the HSUS’ meat reduction efforts. She's worked with some of the nation’s largest school districts, including Los Angeles Unified School District, Detroit Public Schools, and Boston Public Schools, to implement Meatless Monday. Her work has been covered by national media, including The New York Times, Los Angeles Times, and CNN. 
Modi Pulin Pulin Modi lives in Washington, DC where he works as a Senior Campaigner for He has nearly 20 years of experience in youth outreach, grassroots organizing, and online campaigning. His work has amplified campaigns about marine mammals in captivity, trophy hunting, the food industry, and other animal protection issues to million of people on social media. His goal is to help anyone, anywhere make the change they want to see in the world.

Dawn Moncrief 2016 120x140

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.

Monson Shaun Shaun Monson is the writer/director of the documentaries EARTHLINGS (2005), and UNITY (2015). Narrated by Academy Award Nominee Joaquin Phoenix, and featuring music by Moby, EARTHLINGS is available in over 40 languages, and is considered a milestone in documentary films for animal rights organizations around the world. His follow-up film, UNITY, features an astounding cast of 100 celebrity narrators, and was released in the fall of 2015.  It’s now available On-Demand in more than 100 countries and a dozen languages. Produced under his production company, Nation Earth, his films illustrate how we are “not the same but equal,” and are also a sobering reminder that we all share this planet and have the responsibility to act with conscience.
Montes Carlyn

Carlyn Montes De Oca is a vegan, acupuncturist, and plant based nutritional consultant. She is a six-year member of Toastmasters, an organization dedicated to public speaking skills. Carlyn has a bachelor’s in Communications and a Master’s in Chinese Medicine. She enjoys speaking to business groups, animal lovers, and media. A passionate animal advocate, Carlyn was “PETA’s Sexiest Vegetarian over 50” in 2012, and has been a spokesperson for In Defense of Animals’ Guardian Campaign. Next spring Carlyn will publish her book, Dog as My Doctor, Cat as My Nurse, An Animal Lover's Guide to a Healthy, Happy, and Extraordinary life! Carlyn lives in Marin County with her husband and beloved rescue animals.

Nadler Gaiaisi i120x140

Gabriel Nadler - Gaiaisi (pronounced Gaia’s Eye, and meaning Gaia is I) is a rapper, singer, comedian, actor and animal rights activist based in Toronto, Canada. His music videos on climate change, the fur industry, vegan athletes, attacking Donald Trump, and various other, less serious topics have reached a global audience of over 3 million people.  This past winter his focus was on the #MakeFurHistory campaign, centered around the “You’re Wearing Who?” music video highlighting numerous Hollywood celebrities’ support for the brutal fur industry that is responsible for killing over 100,000,000 animals each year.  He’ll be sharing insight and useful lessons from this campaign (and video-based activism in general), with the aim of finally abolishing the already struggling fur industry ASAP!


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.

Nielsen Mikael Mikael Nielsen is the Volunteer Manager of Mercy For Animals. He oversees grassroots outreach and volunteer coordination in North America, Latin America, Brazil, India, and China. He also assists with the development of MFA’s effective advocacy resources and ensures volunteers have the knowledge, equipment, and tools to be the most effective advocates they can be. Serving as MFA’s spokesperson in the greater Chicago area, Mikael has been active in animal protection since 2002. He has worked a variety of events, including Chicago VeganMania and Chicago Veggie Pride Parade, to promote and educate the public about the benefits of a plant-based diet.

 Nobari Nassim

Nassim Nobari is co-founder and program director of Millahcayotl Association and a long-time food justice and food sovereignty activist. In 2015, she launched an annual vegan food sovereignty forum, the People’s Harvest Forum, to contribute to the movement for just and sustainable food systems while working within—and normalizing—a vegan framework. She holds a Masters in Social Psychology and her areas of focus have included the social representations and cultural significance of meat and milk and the mechanisms by which dominant groups define dietary norms. Nassim is currently conducting research on the global spread of milk consumption for her first book.


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 He is also the author of Vitamin B12: Are You Getting It? and maintains

Novic Zoe Zoe Novic is currently working as a Peace Corps volunteer in Indonesia where, along with other projects, she successfully implemented a sustainable system of humane education for Indonesian youth.  After completing a comprehensive undergraduate thesis about vegan communities in the U.S., Zoe graduated with honors from Brandeis University in 2013 with a BA in Anthropology.  She interned at The Humane League in Boston in 2013, and was later the volunteer coordinator for the Animal Film Festival in northern California. When Zoe returns from the Peace Corps she will be the On Tour Director of the Animal Film Festival, and she plans to pursue a career in animal rights.

Nunez Sharon14

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.

Aylam Orian headshot

Aylam Orian is the president and founder of Our Planet. Theirs Too.  – a non-profit that fights for animal rights through its flagship projects: The National Animal Rights Day (NARD), and The Declaration of Animal Rights. NARD introduced the European type of vigils with deceased animals, to North America, and is expanding rapidly across the continent. The Declaration of Animal Rights has been translated to multiple languages, and signed by thousands of people around the globe. An actor by trade, Aylam started his activism in the early 1990’s in Israel, fighting for the country’s street cats and labor horses. He then shifted his activism to the international arena, upon moving to the US in 2000.

lOrnelas15 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.
Patrick Coleen

Colleen Patrick-Goudreau is a recognized expert and thought leader on the culinary, social, ethical, and practical aspects of living vegan. Colleen is an award-winning author of seven books, including the The Joy of Vegan Baking, The Vegan Table, Color Me Vegan, Vegan's Daily Companion, On Being Vegan, and The 30-Day Vegan Challenge. She is an acclaimed speaker and beloved host of the inspiring podcast, “Food for Thought," which was voted Favorite Podcast by VegNews magazine readers. Colleen shares her message of compassion and wellness on national and regional TV programs, including the Food Network, CBS, PBS, and FOX. Interviews with her have been featured on NPR, Huffington Post, U.S. News and World Report, and her recipes have been featured on and Colleen is a regular contributor to National Public Radio.

Paul Jonathan

Jonathan Paul has been an eco-animal activist since the early 1980's. Jonathan founded and co-founded numerous grass roots organizations like the US Hunt Saboteurs, Global Investigations, Sea Defense Alliance, Ocean Defense International, America's Whale Alliance, Siskiyou Forest Defenders and is on the board of advisors for The Civil Liberties Defense Center. A 32 year vegan and deep ecologist Jonathan has worked in both defending animals and the planet while bridging the gap between the environmental and the Animal Rights movements.
Jonathan was also arrested for the 1986 liberation of over 300 animals, spent 6 months in jail, and was imprisoned for 4 years for the permanent shutting down of a horse slaughterhouse. 

Paz Omri Omri Paz is the founder of the non-profit organization Vegan-Friendly whose goal is to promote the vegan lifestyle in Israel and increase the awareness of animal rights as fast as possible. Among many projects, Vegan-Friendly works to add vegan dishes and menus to restaurants throughout the country and grants the Vegan-Friendly "Vegan Seal of Approval" to vegan products. The organization produces highly attended events, such as the largest Vegan-Fest in Israel ever, a conference of the Israeli AR movement, and just last year Vegan-Friendly organized together with other animal-rights organizations “The March for Animal Rights” which brought together 15,000 people marching through the streets of Tel Aviv. This year Omri is also completing his law studies at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem.
Brittany Peet is the deputy director of the Captive Animal Law Enforcement Division for the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals Foundation. Peet, an attorney, works in behalf of animals who are held captive in roadside zoos, circuses, and aquariums. She also coordinates exotic-animal rescues for PETA and has overseen the rescues of more than 400 chinchillas, more than 50 bears, and seven chimpanzees formerly kept in solitary confinement.
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.

Rosell Matt14

Matt Rossell is the Campaigns Director for Animal Defenders International heading up their Stop Circus Suffering and No Fun for Elephants campaigns to end the abuse of animals in entertainment. Combining hard-hitting undercover video with solid science and grassroots organizing, ADI has helped pass dozens of circus bans and convince multiple cities, fairs and other venues to end cruel elephant rides and performances. 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.

Runkle Nathan

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.

Sanders Brenda Brenda Sanders is Executive Director of Better Health, Better Life, a public health organization and Co-Director of Open the Cages Alliance, an animal advocacy organization in Baltimore, MD. Through Better Health, Better Life, Brenda runs Eating for Life, a series of free workshops aimed at teaching people in low-income communities how to prepare healthy vegan food. With Open the Cages Alliance, she co-organizes the Vegan Living Program, a six-week education program that teaches the basics of the vegan lifestyle. Brenda is also co-creator of Vegan SoulFest, a festival that celebrates culture and the vegan lifestyle and she's a founding member of PEP Foods, a collective of food justice activists whose goal is to bring affordable vegan food to low-income communities.
Sethu Harish Full
Harish Sethu received his PhD in computer engineering and subsequently worked for IBM on the development of supercomputers that included Deep Blue, the first machine to beat a world chess champion. He later joined the faculty of a large private university in Philadelphia where he teaches and conducts research in the fields of data science, web security, and computer networks. He enjoys all things numbers and is the author of the blog, Counting Animals, conceived as a place for people who love animals and numbers.
Sewell Christina Headshot Christina Sewell is PETA's fashion campaign coordinator and oversees the campaign's media initiatives, collaborations with style influencers, production of custom lifestyle content, and partnerships with eco-conscious brands to encourage clothing companies to embrace sustainable, vegan materials—so that we don't have to sacrifice our values in order to look and feel great. Christina has organized PETA's annual Vegan Fashion Awards, seasonal fashion lookbook products, fashion pop-up retail events, and sustainability-focused panels for fashion design students in the Los Angeles area. She is excited to discuss the particulars of innovative animal-friendly materials, the animal-welfare implications of often-overlooked garments such as wool sweaters and down jackets, and her top tips for incorporating vegan style into any wardrobe.


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.

Shapiro Ryan13

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 (, 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.
Sjodin Victor

Vic Sjodin is the Director of Outreach for Vegan Outreach.  Vic has traveled to over 600 different universities to promote veganism and has started outreach programs in several countries such as India, Mexico and the UK.  He has personally handed out over 850,000 booklets to promote veganism and frequently speaks to college classes and local activist groups about both advocacy and veganism.

ASmith15 Allison Smith is the Research Manager at Animal Charity Evaluators, where she leads a team that researches interventions and organizations to determine how advocates can do the most good for animals. Before joining ACE she studied mathematics and worked in math education, but left those fields to pursue a higher impact career in animal advocacy. Allison utilizes her research and technical communication skills to assist ACE in finding the most effective ways to help animals.
Soeters Karen Karen Soeters was appointed as director of the Nicolaas G. Pierson Foundation (the scientific bureau of the Party for the Animals) in August 2007. She was the project manager for the much-discussed documentary Meat the Truth, was responsible for its sequel Sea the Truth and was one of the makers of a visual document about religious slaughther without pre-stunning. She is the executive producer of the documentaries The Pacer in the Marathon, about 10 years Party for the Animals, and One Single Planet. Soeters also works as a lecturer of media psychology at the Institute for Media and Information Management, Hogeschool van Amsterdam and the founder of the internet platform on animals, nature and environment, 
Stallwood Kim

Kim Stallwood is the author of Growl: Life Lessons, Hard Truths, and Bold Strategies from an Animal Advocate with a Foreword by Brian May (Lantern Books, 2014). He is an international consultant, independent scholar and author and speaker in animal rights. He has 40 years of personal commitment and professional experience in leadership positions with some of the world’s foremost animal advocacy organisations. Currently, he is a consultant to Philip Lymbery, Chief Executive, CIWF, in the UK and Becky Robinson, President and Founder, Alley Cat Allies, in the USA. He became a vegetarian in 1974 after working in a chicken slaughterhouse. He became a vegetarian in 1974 after working in a chicken slaughterhouse. He has been a vegan since 1976.

Stewart Martin
Martyn Stewart specializes in location and field recordings, mostly for natural history documentaries. Many of these documentaries have been broadcast on BBC television and radio. Martyn has visited over 45 countries and dealing in all aspects of animal abuse from the Gadhimai festival in Nepal, dolphin killings in Taiji, Japan, rhino  and elephant poaching in Africa, seal clubbing in Namibia, meat dog farms in South Korea, the Yulin festivals of China. and bear bile collecting in Vietnam. Martyn’s website is found at .

Stram Veda11

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 since July 2008.

Su Pei

Pei F. Su, MSc is the Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder of ACTAsia since 2006. Pei is an activist dedicated to helping Asian cultures evolve into caring societies respecting all forms of life. Her breakthrough work in China is producing solid results, changing the attitudes and behaviors of people by helping them to see that having compassion and empathy toward people, animals, and the environment enriches each person’s life and the community as a whole. One of ACTAsia’s project focus on promoting a compassion lifestyle by inspiring the Chinese consumers to make compassionate choices in their daily life. Its annual Fur Free fashion event in China is a world first, influencing millions of fashion shoppers across the globe and gaining momentum and recognition with each successive year.

Sugalski Adam

Adam Sugalski is the Founder/Executive Director of OneProtest, a Florida based advocacy organization. He has dedicated his efforts to empowering local social justice, environmental, and animal-rights activists and activist communities to carry out peaceful, lawful demonstrations that are well-organized, media-savvy and effective with well-designed, professionally produced posters, and other media. Adam has also co-written essays with Marc Bekoff, Ph.D. about the highly controversial Florida black bear hunt in Psychology Today and The Huffington Post

Tanner Almira Almira Tanner is an organizer with Liberation BC and Direct Action Everywhere, two grassroots networks of animal rights activists. She splits her time organizing in Vancouver and the San Francisco Bay Area while also working as an Occupational Therapist. Almira coordinates local and global campaigns, mentors new activists and chapters, liaises with press, and is an investigator with DxE's Open Rescue Network. 
Seth Head Shot

Seth Tibbott is the founder and chariman of the Tofurky Company. In 1980, after making home-brew tempeh to share with friends and family, 30-year-old teacher, naturalist, and hippie Seth Tibbott launched his own company in Forest Grove, OR. In 1995, he introduced the first nationally marketed vegan holiday roast named "Tofurky".  Today, Tofurky is a major producer of plant-based meats, with products available in many countries. Seth has been a regular visitor to the AR conference and a generous contributor to its scholarship fund.

Torella Kenny

Kenny Torrella serves as the public policy coordinator for Farm Animal Protection at The Humane Society of the United States. He’s helped to stop “ag-gag” bills in states across the country, and is currently working on the historic ballot measure in. Prior to his current position he worked at the HSUS to increase plant-based food at K-12 schools, and prior to that worked at Mercy For Animals. 


Jose Valle is co-founder and Director of Investigations at Animal Equality  With over 50 investigations in 8 countries, the organization has exposed millions of people to the realities of factory farms and slaughterhouses. This work has been featured by CNN, BBC, the Sunday Times, The Guardian and other media outlets. More recently, Jose has introduced the use of virtual reality technology as an innovative outreach tool under Animal Equality's latest campaign, iAnimal  Animal Equality has been recognized as a top charity two years in a row by Animal Charity Evaluators.

Velez-Mitchell15 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.
Vlasak Jerry2004 11 1

Jerry Vlasak, MD is a board-certified surgeon specializing in trauma and critical care. He is a former vivisector who has seen the agony of animals in laboratories. He debates the scientific invalidity of animal experimentation around the world, speaks out about the benefits of a vegan diet and offers lectures on the right of all sentient beings to live free of pain and suffering. His essays and interviews have been published in numerous journals and magazines and he has been interviewed on radio, TV and in print by journalists worldwide regarding animal rights. He resides in Los Angeles.
You can reach him at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Vougot Shawn Raised on the philosophy that “Animals Are Teachers,” Shawn Vougeot developed a deep love and respect for animals at any early age. Shawn’s musical experience spans from classical violin training beginning at age ten, through the gracious reception of two prestigious international songwriting awards, to continuing performances of benefit concerts for animal organizations. She is delighted to have this sixth opportunity to share her appreciation of music and animals at FARM’s National Animal Rights Conference, especially for the chance to meet so many wonderful dogs and animal-loving people! You may find out more about Shawn's music at
Waite Rachel

Rachel (Waite) Hipp is a leader in the microsanctuary movement and founder of her own small-scale animal rescue. Rachel advocates that vegans support and provide sanctuary for farmed animals in need. Her passion is rescuing and caring for chickens and other animals and sharing their individual stories. Rachel is an animal rights activist who serves as the community organizer for Direct Action Everywhere Grand Rapids and as an admin for her favorite forum, Vegans with Chickens. Rachel holds two Master's degrees, a Master’s of Public Administration with a Nonprofit Management concentration and a Master’s of Social Work with a public policy focus. Rachel resides in Lowell, MI with her vegan husband, Ryan, and their 30 microsantuary residents.

Webermann Michael14

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.

Weid Jodie

Jodie Wiederkehr is the founder of the Center For Ethical Science (CFES), a grass roots nonprofit created to raise much needed awareness of the egregious cruelty, immense tax dollar waste, numerous violations of the Animal Welfare Act and misleading and dangerous results of animal experimentation. Before forming CFES, Jodie worked in animal protection professionally for eighteen years, including as Signature Campaign Director on the successful Greyhound Protection Act, the 2008 Massachusetts ballot initiative which ended greyhound racing in MA. She is also leading the Chicago Alliance for Animals, a volunteer organization recently formed to make Chicago more humane with initial goals of banning horse carriages and animal circuses.

Wolf Mike headshot

Mike Wolf spent several years working as an Undercover Investigator with a focus on animal agriculture. His investigations include hog farm suppliers to Smithfield and Hormel, which combined, have resulted in dozens of criminal cruelty charges. His cases have been featured in several national media outlets as well as multiple books written on the topic. Mike joined COK in 2014 as the Investigations Manager, and he now oversees investigative efforts into meat, dairy, and egg facilities. He also has a strong passion for vegan fitness, and hopes to help show how easy it is to gain vegan muscle as a member of PlantBuilt’s Powerlifting team.

Young Peter14

Peter Young is a veteran activist, former Animal Liberation Front (ALF) organizer, author, publisher, and media strategist. After a 2 year prison sentence for animal rescues at fur farms, today Young speaks to activists on using creative tactics to achieve animal liberation - from direct action to innovative media generation. He brings a message of urgency, speaking on first-hand accounts of animal rescues, direct action, and more.