“What an amazing, empowering, inspirational event. I love the passion of the individuals and grassroots efforts within the AR movement. I saw an overwhelming desire, across the majority of us, to coalesce into a force of revolution!" - AR2018 Attendee
Nearly 2,000 animal rights activists united for the Animal Rights 2018 National Conference at the Sheraton Gateway Los Angeles Hotel (June 28 – July 1) to learn about the issues, share skills, network, and become inspired. They represented 90 organizations from 18 countries, including: France, India, Russia, China, Thailand, New Zealand, Australia, Canada, Mexico, Brazil, England, Germany, Nepal, Denmark, Spain, Israel, Pakistan, and the United States. The conference brought in 1,487 registrants, with an additional 250 visitors to the free exhibit areas plus more than 200 who joined for the US film screening of Dominion on Saturday evening.
The conference was honored to feature presentations from 180 speakers including: James Aspey, Susie Coston, A. Breeze Harper, pattrice jones, Colleen Holland, Aph Ko, Anita Krajnc, Harish Sethu, Melanie Joy, Damien Mander, Clare Mann, Tracye McQuirter, Erica Meier, Milton Mills, Shaun Monson, lauren Ornelas, Brenda Sanders, Miyoko Schinner, KR Vargas, Jane Velez-Mitchell, and many others.
More than 80 sessions addressed animal abuse, organizing, advocacy, and strengthening the movement with a wide variety of topics, including: “Power of Individual Advocacy,” “Shutting Down Ag-Gag Laws,” “International Animal Advocacy,” “Power of Social Media,” “Nourishing Community,” “Running a Sanctuary,” “Building Our Compassion Endurance,” “The Power of Diversity: Strategic & Demographic” and more.
“My first animal rights conference. It was amazing… An activist’s work is never done. Met some wonderful people and sad to leave my vegan bubble of the past few days.” – AR2018 Attendee
More than 120 exhibits offered vegan food, literature, merchandise, and other cruelty-free products. Networking receptions provided opportunities for attendees to connect and unwind. We are most grateful to the many food companies and sponsors that donated meals and snacks throughout the event.
Attendees were introduced to screenings of several animal rights documentaries, including the U.S. Film Premiere of Dominion featuring Rooney Mara and Joaquin Phoenix, directed by Chris Delforce and produced by Shaun Monson. Additional screenings included: The Invisible Vegan, Kangaroo: A Love-Hate Story, Stolen Lives Project, So Give Me An F and The Last Pig.
“I have been attending the conference since 2005. I always learn something new and I love seeing my friends from all over the world.” – AR2018 Attendee
Saturday night’s Awards Banquet featured vegan actress and singer Daniella Monet, who received this year’s Celebrity Animal Advocate Award. Genesis Butler, of Genesis for Animals, was selected for the Youth Activist Award, and the two recipients of the Grassroots Animal Activist Award were longtime activist and organizer, Ellen Ericksen, and founder of Afro-Vegan Society and Vegan SoulFest, Brenda Sanders. Food Empowerment Project founder and longtime activist, lauren Ornelas, was inducted into the U.S. Animal Rights Hall of Fame.
The event concluded with a Celebration of Animal Rights MC’d by renowned vegan drag queen Honey LaBronx featuring Vegan Evan and musicians Chucho Merchan, ANML, and DJ Shawn Alexander.
Also, check out the #AR2018 hashtag on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to see posts from attendees.
We’re honored that you joined us, and we hope it was a valuable experience for you. This year’s event will take place July 25-28, 2019 at the Hilton Alexandria Mark Center just outside Washington, DC.