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

AR2015 Speaker Profiles


Silvana Andrade has been a journalist for the last 31 years, working primarily as a reporter, and chief editor of TV networks, and video production. A vegan and animal rights activist, she is the founder and president of ANDA, an animal rights news agency, the first and only agency of its kind in Brazil. Silvana's ideal is to form a worldwide network of journalists to help develop a strong international network of animal rights media, including radio, TV and other means of communication. She is also a founding member of the Brazilian Vegan Society. In addition, she proposed a bill to create public animal hospitals in the São Paulo state. She often speaks at public events about animal rights issues.


Rachel Atcheson is Director of 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; she is currently promoting the adoption of Meatless Monday throughout the School District of Philadelphia. Rachel’s duties include giving “Humane Education” presentations at schools across the US, organizing large fundraising events, engaging with donors, writing and distributing outreach materials, and recruiting and organizing volunteers.

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Vandhana Bala serves as general counsel for Mercy For Animals and oversees the organization’s legal initiatives, which include working local law enforcement for criminal prosecutions of farmed animal abusers, developing lawsuits and initiating complaints to governmental agencies relating to illegal agribusiness operations, and lecturing on legal issues relating to farmed animals. An honors graduate of the Indiana University School of Law in Bloomington, Indiana, Vandhana is currently admitted to practice in Illinois, the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals, and United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois.


Jonathan Balcombe is an ethologist, author and public speaker for animals. He has published over 50 scholarly articles and book chapters, and his books include Pleasurable Kingdom: Animals and the Nature of Feeling Good, Second Nature: The Inner Lives of Animals, and The Exultant Ark: A Pictorial Tour of Animal Pleasure. He is currently Director for Animal Sentience with The Humane Society Institute for Science and Policy, and Department Chair for Animal Studies with Humane Society University, in Washington, DC. His next book, What a Fish Knows, is scheduled for publication in 2016.


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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Anthony Bellotti is the National Campaign Manager of the White Coat Waste Movement. For over a decade, Anthony worked as a political consultant to national Republican candidates and public affairs campaigns including Gov. Arnold Schwarzenneger, Sen. Lisa Murkowski, and Americans for Prosperity’s “Hands off My Health Care." He's been honored as a "Rising Star of Politics" by Campaigns and Elections Magazine. The American Association of Political Consultants named him one of the “best and brightest" campaign professionals under 40 in the United States. His life was changed after witnessing animal experimentation during a chance summer internship in a vivisection laboratory.


Jamie Berger is the Media Campaigns Coordinator at Mercy For Animals, executing mass media vegan advocacy efforts, including pitching stories to online and print outlets; placing op-eds and letters to the editor in major publications; and creating viral video content for distribution on Facebook, YouTube, and other platforms. Her professional experience includes both public relations and federal lobbying, and The New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, Yahoo News and other major national news outlets have featured her written work.


Jaya Bhumitra serves as director of corporate outreach for Mercy For Animals, encouraging major food companies, grocery stores, and restaurant chains to adopt animal welfare policies and expand vegan offerings. Previously, she spearheaded Meatless Monday initiatives in Los Angeles and New York City, and led the campaign to introduce vegan options at Subway. Jaya is also editor of the animal rights-themed novel Persimmon Takes on Humanity, the first book in The Enlightenment Adventures trilogy. She holds a bachelor’s degree in business from Georgetown University and a master’s degree in psychology from Pepperdine University.


Edita Birnkrant is Campaigns Director for Friends of Animals, (FoA) an international animal advocacy organization founded in 1957. Edita runs FoA’s NYC office, and for over a decade has worked on local, national and international campaigns protecting and defending animals; leading efforts to ban horse-drawn carriages and other industries exploiting animals for entertainment, challenging the fur trade, transforming policies for wildlife, and promoting a vegan diet. Edita is regularly interviewed and quoted in the media, works with legislators to enact pro-animal legislation into law and leads many on the ground actions and protests across the country.


Darina Bockman is a business professional working in a senior management role (Sr. Director of Finance) at a major global company. Outside of work, she has had strong involvement with leading vegan advocacy organizations in the board, advisor and top volunteer capacity. Realizing the untapped potential of influential vegans in the corporate world – especially the wealth, social power and expertise - in 2014 Darina founded Vegan Leaders, a global network to identify, connect and activate vegan Fortune 500 professionals.

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Hope Bohanec has been active in animal protection and environmental activism for over 20 years and recently published the book The Ultimate Betrayal: Is There Happy Meat? She is a nationally recognized leader and speaker in the animal protection movement, and is currently serving as Projects Manager for United Poultry Concerns. Before this, Hope offered her organizational talents as the Campaigns Director at In Defense of Animals. Hope the primary organizer for the annual Conscious Eating Conference at UC Berkeley as well as the Sonoma County VegFest and is currently working on a vegan themed sci-fi novel.


Johnny Braz is a documentary filmmaker, environmentalist, yogi, and Creative Director of Indraloka Animal Sanctuary. He began his filmmaking career in 1998 as a camera operator for Clint Eastwood on “The Monterey Jazz Festival: 40 Legendary Years.” In 2011 he released “Peace, Love & Animals,” which has been called “a lyrical message of hope” and premiered to rave reviews in Scranton and at the International Animal Rights Conference 2013 in Luxembourg.  Johnny’s years of experience designing and installing alternative energy systems culminated in touring twice with Bonnie Raitt as her environmental spokesperson.

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Karen Budkie is the co-founder and 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 laboratories, & coordinating release of animals into sanctuaries. Karen’s activism started in the 1970s by supporting leghold trap legislation and eliminating live dissection of guinea pigs at her high school. Her activism has come full spectrum as she lends her many talents to the daily operations of SAEN while traveling extensively & organizing SAEN’s Free the Animals – Effective Action Against Vivisection conferences.

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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 Executive Vice President for Vegan Outreach, which publishes and distributes informational booklets promoting veganism throughout the world. Jon travels across the US leafleting on behalf of Vegan Outreach's Adopt a College campaign, which, as of May, 2014, has handed out over 11 million hard copies of Vegan Outreach brochures. Jon has personally handed out over one million booklets at 500 schools, and has mobilized hundreds of others to join the outreach program.

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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 100 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 the country.


Merritt Clifton,  editor of the online news periodical ANIMALS 24-7 since 2014,  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.


Chen Cohen is a key protagonist in Israel's highly successful Challenge 22+ program that recruits and supports thousands of vegans in Israel. He is employed as a software engineer at NICE Systems in Tel-Aviv. He received his degree in electrical and computer engineering from Ben-Gurion University. At the Animal Rights 2015 National Conference, Chen will be speaking on Israel' rapid growth of vegan population and the role of their unique Challenge 22+ program.


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 Director of Education 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.


Alan Darer serves as education project coordinator for Mercy For Animals overseeing and executing the organization’s pro-veg online advertising campaigns and managing the “MFA Fellowship” program at elite universities including recruiting and training MFA Fellows to conduct impactful vegan advocacy on campus.


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.

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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.


Anne Dinshah coauthored Powerful Vegan Messages, the posthumous book of H. Jay Dinshah who is widely considered the father of the modern vegan movement in America. She coauthored Apples, Bean Dip, and Carrot Cake: Kids! Teach Yourself to Cook with her mother Freya. Anne is the author of Dating Vegans, a lifelong vegan, and a professional rowing coach. She is vice president of American Vegan Society and a trustee for Unexpected Wildlife Refuge.


Jordan Ezell is a co-founder and organizer with The Bunny Alliance, and works on the international Gateway to Hell (GTH) campaign to end the transportation of animals to laboratories. He has worked on the successful campaigns against EL AL airlines, China Eastern Airlines, and China Southern Airlines to stop the transportation of primates, and is currently organizing against the Air France/ Delta/ KLM group and ATSG/ ABX Air/ DHL group with the international GTH network. Jordan is an adamant anarchist and antifascist who began working on anti-vivisection campaigns through Stop Huntingdon Animal Cruelty  (SHAC).


Mary Finelli is Founder and President of Fish Feel. She has a B.S. in Animal Science, and is a long-time animal rights activist. With a primary focus on farmed animals, Mary has worked with various animal protection organizations. She was the Producer of Farmed Animal Watch, a weekly online news digest sponsored by numerous animal protection organizations: http://www.farmedanimal.org. Mary has assisted with research for several books, and co-wrote a chapter of In Defense of Animals: The Second Wave. She has long been a top contributor to various animal rights and vegetarian news listservs.


Missy Freeland is a lead coordinator on the Direct Action Everywhere (DxE) International Organizers Committee. She advises and mentors organizers around the world including India and Australia, and in Latin American communities in the United States. Coming from a Mexican American background, Missy has developed a vibrant and diverse community of activists in Southern California. She has also played a key role in the international growth of the DxE network, which has mobilized participation in over 110 cities and 25 countries and triggered press coverage across the world.


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 www.animalsandmedia.org. 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.


Lester Castro Friedlander, BA, DVM, is a veterinarian and president of the not for profit organization, Citizens Against Equine Slaughter. He is a former New York Racing and Wagering Board Veterinarian, as well as a former USDA Food Safety Inspection Service Supervisory Medical Officer, who was awarded a USDA Veterinary Trainer of the Year.

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Bruce Friedrich oversees Farm Sanctuary’s policy, litigation, and outward facing vegan advocacy, including the “Someone, Not Something” Project. Previously, Bruce worked for 13 years at PETA, where he was vice president for campaigns. Bruce has written about farm animal issues for top newspapers, appeared repeatedly on national television, and debated animal ethics at most of the top colleges and universities in the country. Bruce co-authored The Animal Activist’s Handbook, about which Princeton bioethicist Peter Singer raves: “Rarely have so few pages contained so much intelligence and good advice. Get it, read it, and act on it. Now.”

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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. Follow @LaurenGazzola.


Caryn Ginsberg helps leading advocates get better results for animals. As a consultant and graphic recorder, she brings strategic and visual approaches that enable organizations to see what's most important for success. Her clients have included ALDF, Farm Sanctuary, HSUS and more. She is a member of the Faunalytics board of directors and the advisory boards for FARM, Jewish Vegetarians of North America and Institute for Humane Education. Caryn's book on effective advocacy, Animal Impact: Secrets Proven to Achieve Results and Move the World, has earned praise from luminaries including Peter Singer, Erica Meier, Gene Baur and Bruce Friedrich.

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Justin Goodman is the Director of Laboratory Investigations at PETA, where he leads efforts to expose and stop the use of animals in experiments, product tests, and medical training. He and the team effectively utilize undercover investigations, protest campaigns, public policy efforts, scientific research, shareholder activism, and legal actions to uncover violations of laws, modernize government and corporate testing policies, and end experiments on animals. Additionally, they promote and fund the development and use of non-animal research methods by universities, government agencies and consumer product companies. Justin is also an adjunct professor of sociology at Marymount University in Virginia.


Robert Grillo is the director of Free from Harm which he founded in 2009. As an activist, author and speaker, Grillo focuses awareness on the animal’s experience and point of view, drawing on insights from sociology, psychology, popular culture, ethics and social justice to bridge the gap between humans and other animals. As a marketing communications professional for over 20 years, Grillo has worked on large food industry accounts where he gained a behind-the-scenes perspective on food industry marketing. A typical day involves organizing events, coordinating rescues, writing articles or a letter to the editor, brainstorming ways to enhance the Free from Harm website and looking for the next viral video idea.


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.


Nicole Green is the Director of Animalearn, an educational program of the American Anti-Vivisection Society (AAVS). She has worked for AAVS for over 15 years, helping to enlighten students, educators, and others about the harmful use of animals in education. Animalearn promotes solutions to animal use in the classroom through its free alternative to dissection loan program called The Science Bank. Nicole travels to numerous science education venues to make educators aware of the many viable humane alternatives that exist today to replace animal specimens in classrooms. Nicole holds a MA in Education & Innovation with an emphasis in Humane Education.


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.


Andrea Gunn is the National Grassroots Director for The Humane League (THL), overseeing all national program work and 11 regional offices in metro areas from coast to coast.  In September 2013 she had left her previous career in research to open the Charlotte, North Carolina office for THL as Charlotte Director. She founded Charlotte Vegan Drinks, co-organizes the annual Charlotte VegFest, and has fostered a strong activist and veg community in the Charlotte area. Andrea has presented on factory farming and veg eating to 3,000+  high school and college students in the greater Charlotte area, given talks on effective advocacy across the Carolinas, and has been featured on Charlotte Today and FOX News speaking about local advocacy and animal welfare issues. She now has a national role with THL to assist with and implement similar programs across the country.

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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.


Julieanna Hever, M.S., R.D., C.P.T., is a Registered Dietitian, host of Z Living’s wellness talk show series What Would Julieanna Do?, author of the new book, The Vegiterranean Diet, The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Plant-Based Nutrition, and nutrition columnist for VegNews Magazine. Julieanna co-authored The Complete Idiot's Guide to Gluten-Free Vegan Cooking and is a recipe contributor to both New York Time Best-Selling Forks Over Knives books. She counsels clients throughout the world from her Los Angeles-based private practice. Julieanna was recently featured on The Dr. Oz Show, The Steve Harvey Show, Reluctantly Healthy, and E! News. To learn more, visit: PlantBasedDietitian.

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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. His written work has been featured in the Oakland Tribune, The Huffington Post, and Truthout.  Wayne has lectured at Harvard, Yale, Stanford, and, most recently, at a summit in Beijing for activists organizing against the Yulin Dog Meat Festival.


Bob Ingersoll was an undergrad student at the University of Oklahoma when he worked with many chimpanzees, including Washoe, the first chimpanzee to learn sign language, and the young chimp Nim Chimpsky, who was sent to Columbia University as the subject of a study to examine how chimpanzees could communicate using sign language. Bob's close relationship and kinship with Nim and other chimps at OU has been chronicled in a book called Nim Chimpsky: The Ape Who Would be Human by Elizabeth Hess, and the award-winning documentary Project Nim, by Academy Award winning producer Simon Chinn and director James Marsh. Bob has served as President of the Board of Directors at Mindy's Memory Primate Sanctuary in Newcastle, OK, currently serving on their advisory board. He is also an advisor at the Center for Great Apes.  Bob holds an MS from the University of Oklahoma.  More info on nimchimpsky.

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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.


pattrice jones is a cofounder of VINE Sanctuary, an LGBTQ-run farmed animal sanctuary celebrating its 15th anniversary this year. An ecofeminist scholar and writer with 37 years of activist experience in various movements, pattrice has authored numerous texts concerning activist strategy including, most recently, The Oxen at the Intersection (Lantern, 2015).

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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

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Lisa Kemmerer, professor of philosophy and religions at Montana State University Billings, is a philosopher-activist working on behalf of nonhuman animals, the environment, and disempowered human beings. Graduate of Reed, Harvard, and Glasgow University (Scotland), Kemmerer has written/edited nine books, including Eating Earth: Dietary choice and Environmental Health, Animals and World Religions, Animals and the Environment: Advocacy, Activism, and the Quest for Common Ground, and Sister Species: Women, Animals, and Social Justice.  You can learn more about her work at lisakemmerer.com.


Anita Krajnc is co-founder of and co-organizer at Toronto Pig Save and The Save Movement. She has a PhD in Political Science and has taught courses in social movement strategies and tactics, applying what she learned as well as from extensive readings of Tolstoy and Gandhi's work on bearing witness and non-violent, love-based community organizing to Toronto Pig Save's weekly vigils at area slaughterhouses. She is working on book projects on Tolstoy's edifying literature, animal rights ideas, and non-violent, love-based social activism. Anita was recipient of 2012 Lisa Grill Compassion for Animals Award from the Toronto Vegetarian Association.


Indra Lahiri is “a storyteller, dreamer, and friend of the animals,” said the Anishinaabe Medicine Man who adopted her into the tribe of the White Earth Nation, naming her “Ishkudeikwe” (Woman of the Fire). She has rescued thousands of animals from around the world, and cared for more than 600 of them through their natural lifespans.  She tells their 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 Global Coalition of Farm Sanctuaries (2014).


Robin Lamont is an animal advocate and an award-winning suspense novelist. She is the author of The Kinship Series, novels that feature an animal rights investigator. The first book of the series, The Chain, was a Foreword Reviews 2013 Book of the Year Award Finalist, and the second The Trap, was released in June, 2015. In addition to writing for blogs and websites, she has appeared on radio and TV programs, speaking about her books and the craft of creating a memorable story.


Greg Lawson has been a National Park Service ranger for 31 years. He is Vice President of the Vegetarian Society of El Paso and a certified Vegan Lifestyle Coach and Educator. Since 2002 he has hosted a vegan/animal rights oriented radio show on KTEP, National Public Radio for the Southwest. He has written for Animal’s Voice and American Vegan magazines. This is the twelfth year he has spoken at FARM’s annual conference. Greg Lawson has been a National Park Service ranger for 31 years. He is Vice President of the Vegetarian Society of El Paso and a certified Vegan Lifestyle Coach and Educator. Since 2002 he has hosted a vegan/animal rights oriented radio show on KTEP, National Public Radio for the Southwest. He has written for Animal’s Voice and American Vegan magazines. This is the twelfth year he has spoken at FARM’s annual conference.

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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.


Amy Levin is the Community Outreach, Development, and Program Associate for Jewish Vegetarians of North America. She holds an M.A. in Religious Studies from New York University and is currently pursuing her Master’s Degree in Social Work at the University of Pennsylvania. She worked as a political organizer for the 2012 Obama campaign and on American foreign policy promoting Middle East peace. Amy has been published at The Revealer, Feminism and Religion, and is co-editor of the forthcoming book, Faithfully Feminist: Jewish, Christian, and Muslim Feminists on Why We Stay.

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Lisa Levinson has a BA in biology and MFA in Museum Exhibition Planning & Design. Lisa organizes Vegan Spirituality Meetups and Retreats to explore veganism as a spiritual practice, through www.VeganSpirituality.com. She works at In Defense of Animals (IDA), protecting the rights of nonhuman animals and serves as co-chair of IDA’s Sustainable Activism Advisory Council, along with Judy Carman, providing resources to support activists. Lisa also coordinates speakers for the Healthy Hut at Worldfest, and develops exhibits for the National Museum of Animals & Society. She enjoys hiking in the Santa Monica Mountains and leads a Veggie Hikers Meetup in Los Angeles.

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Jeffrey Light is a social justice attorney, working with the National Lawyers Guild and doing pro-bono work for the DC Trans Coalition (DCTC) and Defending Animal Rights Today and Tomorrow (DARTT) in cases involving First Amendment rights. As a student at Georgetown Law, Jeff originally intended to work in patent law, but instead discovered the importance of protecting civil rights and liberties. He found a passion for the public interest, specifically in the criminal justice arena, and now works as a criminal appeals lawyer in Washington, DC.


Liz Marshall is an award-winning Canadian filmmaker based in Toronto. Since the 90s, she has written, directed and produced a body of work, including broadcast, theatrical, grassroots and cross-platform documentaries shot around the world, largely focusing on social justice and environmental themes. Liz is best known for her celebrated feature length films Water On The Table (2010) and The Ghosts In Our Machine (2013), which illuminate social-political issues through character-driven and cinematic perspectives. Both films pose significant questions about our human relationship to the natural world, and to other species.


Armaiti May is a vegan veterinarian in Los Angeles. She has been an activist since campaigning for improved vegan options at her university. While a vet student, she organized a surgery training class using donated cadavers as an alternative to terminal surgeries which were subsequently replaced with a rotation in which students perform needed procedures on patients with faculty supervision. Active in Vegan Toastmasters, she gives talks on vegan diets for dogs and cats. She does vegan outreach with United Animal Advocates of LA and helps homeless animals. Podcasts of Animal Issues with Dr. Armaiti May are available here.


Ginny Messina, MPH, RD (TheVeganRD) is the co-author of three books on vegan nutrition, Vegan for Life, Vegan 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.

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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.


Keith McHenry is an artist, author, and activist who co-founded Food Not Bombs in Boston with seven friends in 1980. He has recovered, cooked and shared food with the hungry with Food Not Bombs for over 30 years. Keith was arrested "for making a political statement" by sharing vegan meals in San Francisco, spent a total two years in jail and faced 25 years to life in prison. He has written three books including "Hungry for Peace - How you can help end poverty and war with Food Not Bombs," and the new version of the “Anarchist Cookbook.”


Rachel Meeropol is a senior staff attorney at Center for Constitutional Rights where she works on prisoners’ rights and First Amendment issues.  Rachel represents non-citizens suing high-level federal officials for illegal detention and abuse after 9/11, prisoners detained in restrictive federal prison units, California prisoners held for decades in solitary confinement, and environmental and animal rights activists targeted as “terrorists” for non-violent, protest activities.  Rachel has written two editions of the Jailhouse Lawyers Handbook, a do-it-yourself litigation manual for prisoners distributed free by CCR and the National Lawyers Guild, and was the contributing editor of “America’s Disappeared: Secret Imprisonment, Detainees, and the War on Terror,” published in 2005 by Seven Stories Press.

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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.


Mia MacDonald is Executive Director of Brighter Green, a New York-based public policy action tank that works to raise awareness and encourage dialogue on and policy attention to issues that span the environment, animals, and sustainable development globally, with a particular focus on equity and rights. She is also a Senior Fellow of the Worldwatch Institute, worked closely with the late Nobel peace laureate Wangari Maathai on writing and other projects, and has taught in the environmental studies program at New York University and the human rights program at Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs.


Nora Constance Marino, Esq. has been in the private practice of law since 1997, focusing on negligence, constitutional law, contract disputes, and family law.  She is a member of the Animal Law Committees of the American Bar Association and the New York City Bar Association.  In 2006, Ms. Marino ran for New York State Senate, and in 2011, Mayor Bloomberg appointed her for a 4 year term as the Queens County Commissioner of the NYC Taxi & Limousine Commission. 
A prominent advocate for animals, Ms. Marino acts as Chief Counsel to the League of Humane Voters, and also to Kinship Circle.


Kristie Middleton is the senior director of food policy for The Humane Society of the United States, the nation's largest animal protection organization. Today she oversees the HSUS' meat reduction efforts. She has 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.

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Pulin Modi lives in Washington, DC where he currently works as a Senior Campaigner for Change.org. He has been involved in animal rights for nearly 15 years. He organized with the Animal Defense League in NJ in the 90s, Vassar Animal Rights Coalition in NY as a student, and spent over nine years at PETA where he was involved with youth campaigns and outreach across the country, online organizing via social media, and managed the grassroots activism program. His goal is to help anyone, anywhere make the world a better place for all.

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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: one in international relations, the other 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. She also draws attention to the ethical and environmental misconceptions in “gifting” animals for food in poor countries and "humane" meat marketing, more generally.


Daphna Nachminovitch is the senior vice president of PETA's Cruelty Investigations Department, in which she has overseen numerous cruelty cases and investigations, including ones that have led to the seizure of 27,000 exotic animals from an international pet trade dealer/smuggler, the shutdown of product-testing company Professional Laboratory and Research Services, and the first-ever felony indictments for abuse of factory-farmed birds.  Daphna also oversees PETA's team of cruelty caseworkers, PETA’s mobile low-cost spay/neuter clinics, and PETA's animal shelter division and Community Animal Project, which serves neglected animals in underserved areas of southeastern Virginia and northeastern North Carolina. Daphna joined PETA in 1997.


Unny Nambudiripad is co-founder of Compassionate Action for Animals (CAA), and has more than 18 years of experience organizing fundraising and outreach events, writing about animal protection, and developing campaigns and projects. Under Unny's direction, CAA distributes tens of thousands of leaflets, screens videos exposing factory farms, distributes free vegan food samples, and organizes Twin Cities Veg Fest, which draws 2,000 people. Unny enjoys commuting by bike, swimming, camping, and cooking food with friends.


Calvin Neufeld is a vegan transsexual and a self-described speaker, writer and thinker whose topics of interest include sexual and gender diversity, bullying and suicide. Calvin is the founder of Purposeful Publishing House, editor and publisher of Suffering Eyes: A Chronicle of Awakening by Franceen Neufeld, and author/illustrator of Sanctuary: A children’s story for all ages, all of which raise funds for farmed animal sanctuaries through the Suffering Eyes Project. He is an advocate of life and quality of life for oppressed species, sexual and gender minorities, racial minorities, the physically, mentally, and economically disadvantaged, and absolutely everybody else.


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.


Robert Nixon has been in the animal rights arena for over 30 years, and has presented at animal rights conferences for 20 years, always on the subject of politics. He has coached people and groups on the process of how to get their idea made into law. For 14 years, Robert was a lobbyist on animal issues in IL, and co-founded the IL Humane Political Action Committee – what he considers to be one of the few “real” PACs in the nation.


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 US, Germany, United Kingdom, Italy, Spain, Venezuela, Mexico and India.  Sharon has been interviewed about Animal Equality's work in international media and the organization’s campaigns and investigations have appeared in the CNN, BBC, The Guardian, La Republica or El País. Animal Equality has reached millions of people, successfully campaigned to get supermarket chains to change their policies, worked with authorities to get animal abusers convicted, and closed farms, slaughterhouses and markets investigated by the organization.  She is also the coeditor of "LiberAnima," a book collection that promotes animal rights in Spanish speaking countries through key book publications.  


John Oberg is the Director of Communications for Vegan Outreach.  John had volunteered for VO for three years before being hired in 2012 as a traveling Outreach Coordinator. In his current role, one of John's duties is running VO's social media presence, including their Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter accounts. He uses these platforms as tools to reach millions of individuals each week with the plight of today's farmed animals.


Gustavo Olvera is a mass media producer who has been an advocate for animal rights for over 10 years.  He is the director and founder of Revolución Animal, as well as the co-founder of the farmed animal sanctuary “Santuario Libres al Fin”, located in Monterrey, Mexico.  He is also the coordinator for “Basta de Traccion a Sangre” (Stop Blood Traction) for Northern Mexico.  Gustavo’s activism includes fighting for the abolition of bullfighting as well as the rescue of “big cats” who are victims of exploitation.


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 the worst forms of child labor, and focuses on access to healthy foods in communities of color and low-income communities. While lauren was the director of Viva!USA, she investigated factory farms and ran consumer campaigns. In cooperation with activists across the country, she persuaded Trader Joe’s to stop selling all duck meat and was the spark that got the founder of Whole Foods Market to become a vegan. 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. Learn more about F.E.P.’s work at foodispower.org and veganmexicanfood.com


Kassy Ortega is the Washington DC Outreach Coordinator for national animal advocacy group, Vegan Outreach. Kassy facilitates mass-advocacy in the DC area through leafleting on college campuses, concerts, and festival events.


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 and has personally overseen the rescues of more than 400 chinchillas, more than 30 bears, and other animals from roadside zoos.

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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.


Natalie Prosin is the Executive Director of the Nonhuman Rights Project, which made history in 2013, when it filed the first-ever habeas corpus lawsuits seeking release from captivity and the fundamental right to bodily liberty for four chimpanzees who are being held in private homes and laboratories in New York State. Natalie oversees the organization’s growth and strategic direction. Natalie has appeared in the New York Times, Washington Post, Science, Rolling Stone, among others. Natalie graduated summa cum laude from Northeastern University. She holds a Masters in Public Policy from Brown University and a Juris Doctor from Boston College Law School.


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 since high school, often affectionately referred to as the "Boss" by Simmons himself. 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. Last year she traveled to Taiji, Japan as a Sea Shepherd Cove Guardian to report on  the atrocities of the dolphin drives. She was recently arrested for protesting the SeaWorld float at the Rose Parade.


Dallas Rising is celebrating her completion of two decades of animal rights activism this year. Her essays have been featured in two anthologies, Confronting Animal Exploitation and Defiant Daughters. She co-presented a talk entitled “Dear (Fellow) White People” at the second annual Sistah Vegan Conference this spring and serves on IDA’s Council of Sustainable Activism. She is currently the Executive Director for the Animal Rights Coalition and serves on the board of advisors for Chicken Run Rescue, both located in Minneapolis.


Nicole Rivard is a correspondent for Friends of Animals (FoA), an international animal advocacy organization founded in 1957. She’s been a journalist for 19 years and informs FoA members about animal advocacy issues and FoA’s progress in addressing them through a quarterly magazine Action Line, FoA’s website and other reports. Since FoA is one of the leading organizations advocating for the rights of wild horses to roam freely on public lands in the US, Nicole has been on the front lines opposing the government’s practice of rounding up wild horses and forcibly drugging them with fertility control through her reporting, as well as participation in protests in Montana, Nevada and Wyoming.


Dave Rolsky is a veteran animal advocate, having co-founded Compassionate Action for Animals (CAA) in Minneapolis in 1998. In his professional life he works as a software engineer, and has been involved in all technology planning at CAA since its formation. He is also an experienced presenter, having presented at dozens of technology conferences around the world, from Japan to Italy to the US, as well as several animal advocacy conferences.


Marla Rose is an award-nominated journalist, author, activist and community organizer based in Chicago. She runs VeganStreet with her partner, John Beske, and is co-founder of Chicago VeganMania, the largest free vegan festival in the region, now in its seventh year. Marla and her husband won Mercy for Animals' Activists of the Year awards in 2009. Vegan Street is dedicated to creating innovative, effective and thought-provoking stories, images and support that help to build a more compassionate and just world.

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Matt Rosell 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.


Nathan Runkle is the Founder and Executive Director 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.


Brenda Sanders is Co-Director of Open the Cages Alliance, an animal advocacy organization in Baltimore, MD that organizes the Vegan Living Program, a six-week education program that teaches the basics of transitioning to the vegan lifestyle. Brenda also co-created Vegan SoulFest, an annual festival that celebrates culture and the vegan lifestyle in Baltimore City and is a member of the PEP Foods Collective, a group of vegan activists and business owners whose mission is to make vegan food accessible to everyone, regardless of income.


Priya Sawhney is a Lead International Organizer for DxE. A national figure on racism and animal rights, Priya formerly worked for The Tenderloin Housing Clinic, one of the most prominent human rights organizations in the Bay Area, and has led DxE’s international campaigns. She is also founder of Animal Liberationists of Color, which empowers people of color for animal rights, and is a lead investigator in DxE's Open Rescue Network, which has undertaken investigations and rescues garnering international media attention, including in The New York Times.


Harish Sethu is the author of Counting Animals, a blog focusing on quantitative information relevant to the animal advocacy movement. Harish received his PhD in computer engineering and subsequently worked for IBM on the line of computers that included Deep Blue, the first machne to beat a world chess champion. He later joined the faculty of a private university in Philadelphia where he teaches and conducts research in the fields of data science, web security and computer networks.


Christina Sewell hails from Seoul, South Korea, and is PETA's fashion campaign coordinator, meaning she leads campaigns that ultimately compel companies to embrace sustainable vegan materials that prove we don't have to sacrifice our values in order to look and feel great. Christina hosted the country's first-ever Vegan Fashion Awards and vegan pop-up event (read: awesome shopping party) at PETA's Los Angeles office, and she's excited to discuss the particulars of how innovative animal-friendly materials are taking over the industry, the animal-welfare implications of often-overlooked garments such as wool sweaters and down jackets, and her top tips for incorporating vegan style into your 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.

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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.


Ori Shavit is a food writer and critic, media person, leading promoter of the Israeli vegan cuisine and culture and animal liberation activist. She is trained in cooking and for the last ten years has been writing about the food culture in Israel. Since she became vegan, she hosts vegan cooking workshops and dinners, and offers vegan culinary counseling, as well as publishing vegan recipes and guides on her website, Vegans on Top and on 'YNET', one of the most popular websites in Israel. Shavit organizes demonstrations and promotes animal rights issues appearing on national TV, lecturing at TEDx events and contacting key figures.


Hannah Shaw is a social justice activist with over a decade of experience fighting for the rights of animals. Her work has focused on advocacy, education, and rescue for domesticated species, farmed animals, and captive wildlife. Hannah develops wide-scale systemic change while protecting individual animals' rights, and has provided direct care to everyone from the largest tiger to the smallest neonatal kitten. She currently oversees the campaigns department at Alley Cat Allies, where she and her team promote policy change and humane education to protect cats throughout the world.


Ondine Sherman is the Managing Director and Co-founder of Voiceless in partnership with her father Brian Sherman AM since 2004. She holds a BA (Comms) and MA (Env Stds).  In 2013 Ondine published The Miracle of Love (Allen & Unwin). She is currently finishing a Young Adult fiction addressing animal protection and will soon be launching a global animal social-media platform for teens. Ondine has been profiled numerous times in Australian media. In 2012 she was Nominated by Cosmopolitan for "Fun, Fearless, Female" Award. She was honored to present the Commencement Speech for Macquarie University in 2011 and in 2009 nominated as Australia's top 10 Community Leaders by News Limited & Microsoft.  Ondine is also the Ambassador for Australia for Dolphins and Director of Israeli NGO, Kesher.

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Vic Sjodin is Vegan Outreach's Director of International Outreach and was instrumental in setting up a systematic program helping local activists promote veganism to nearly 400,000 students in Mexico each year. He is currently working on expanding these programs to South and Central America.


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.


Kim Socha, Ph.D., is an animal liberation organizer with Progress for Science and Minnesota Animal Liberation, with distinct focus on ending the vivisection and fur industries, respectively. She is author of Women, Destruction and the Avant-Garde: A Paradigm for Animal Liberation (2012) and Animal Liberation and Atheism: Dismantling the Procrustean Bed (2014) and is contributing editor of two anthologies on nonhuman animal issues. A professor of English at a community college in Minnesota, Kim is dedicated to a total liberation philosophy that includes intersectional solidarity work against ableism, ageism, racism, sexism, and environmental destruction.

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Doll Stanley is the Director of In Defense of Animals-Hope Animal Sanctuary and is a Director of Investigations. Since the 1980's, Doll has been known for her bold activism and leadership, organizing campaigns and direct action events including rodeos, circuses, anti-fur protests, and hunt sabotages. She entered the arena of disaster relief in the aftermath of the Bay Area firestorm in 1990, and her 1993 mission to shut down two animal dealers in Mississippi led to IDA founding Hope Animal Sanctuary and the rescue of thousands of animals, as IDA-HAS shut down puppymills, pet shop suppliers, exotic animal hoarders, dog fighting rings and rescued as many animals from neglect and suffering in backyards, barns, and pastures .  


Paul Rodney Turner, also known as the "food yogi" is the director of Food for Life Global the world's largest vegan food relief with projects in over 60 countries and volunteers currently serving up to 2 million meals daily. Paul was a monk for 14 years and is the author of FOOD YOGA - Nourishing Body, Mind & Soul. He is an experienced vegan chef and has cooked for presidents and dignitaries around the world.


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.


Kenny Torrella serves as the public policy coordinator for the Farm Animal Protection department at The Humane Society of the US. He works with animal advocates across the country to advance legislation that bans the worst factory farming practices, and works to stop legislation that is bad for farm animals, namely "ag-gag" bills. Before his current position he worked on Meatless Monday campaigns, and prior to that was an outreach coordinator at Mercy For Animals.


Jane Velez-Mitchell is the editor of JaneUnChained, a social media news outlet that produces widely shared videos for the voiceless, particularly on animals, animal rights, the environment and compassionate living/eating/shopping. Jane's reporting on animal issues has won 4 Genesis Awards from the Humane Society of the United States. Her four books include her New York Times bestselling memoir, iWant: My Journey from Addiction and Overconsumption to a Simpler, Honest Life and Addict Nation: An Intervention for America. Jane's most recent book is Exposed: The Secret Life of Jodi Arias. The New York Times bestseller offers a psychological study of a brutal murder and the lessons we can take from it. Jane hosted her own national cable TV show for 6 years on HLN (CNN Headline News) and before that was a correspondent on the nationally syndicated TV show Celebrity Justice. She is also the director/producer of Anita Velez: Dancing Through Life, a documentary which won a 2001 Gracie Allen Award. She's worked coast to coast as a TV journalist for decades including long stints reporting and anchoring at KCAL-TV in Los Angeles and WCBS-TV in New York.


Tino Verducci has been involved in grassrooots activism since the 1990's with the animal liberation movement in Italy and UK. For the last few years, Tino has been  running a centre in London with other social movements, working on self-organized, non-hierarchical projects for radical social change. Today he also works with Animal Justice Project an international, non-profit organization dedicated to ending animal experimentation and other forms of speciesism.

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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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Eileen Weintraub is a lifelong animal advocate. She began helping animals groups in India in 1998.  During her many trips to India, she discovered the existing welfare/rights groups that with little support were helping animals against extremely difficult conditions and against all odds. Being deeply impressed by the ways these dedicated people were making a big difference inspired her to start  the USA based nonprofit “Help Animals India,” whose purpose is to advise, strengthen and facilitate the flow of support for worthy Indian animal protection groups from donors worldwide.

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Odette Wilkens is Executive Director of the Equal Justice Alliance, whose mission is to repeal the Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act. She is a member of the Committee of Legal Issues Pertaining to Animals of the New York City Bar Association. As a corporate attorney, Odette was Assistant General Counsel for a major international recruiting firm. She holds a masters degree in business administration in Finance from Stern, New York University. She has spoken at bar associations, law schools and legal conferences on the Act's implications for civil liberties.


Lisa Winebarger joined Compassion Over Killing's Legal Advocacy Program in 2013, where her work focuses on challenging the widespread abuse of farmed animals in industrial animal agriculture through litigation and other legal avenues.  Lisa received her B.A. from the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada, and her J.D. with honors from the American University Washington College of Law.  She is a member of the California and Hawaii bars, and works out of COK’s Los Angeles office accompanied by her dogs, Puna and Kui.


Ethan Wolf joined the Sea Shepherd USA Board of Directors in June 2014. He founded the Sea Shepherd New York City chapter in 2010, working to build the most active United States chapter in fundraising and outreach events.  In 2011, 2012, and 2013, Ethan joined Operation Infinite Patience, Sea Shepherd's dolphin defense campaign in Taiji, Japan. He also participated in the 2013 Bonneville Dam sea lion defense campaign, monitoring the harassment of sea lions on Columbia River. Ethan holds a law degree from University of District of Columbia - David A. Clarke School of Law, and practices child protection law in NY.


Mike Wolf spent several years working as an Undercover Investigator focusing on animal agriculture, with his cases including hog farm suppliers to both Smithfield and Hormel. He joined Compassion Over Killing 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.


Wilson Wong is the organizer of Animal Liberationists of Colour and a co-founder of DxE Vancouver – the first Canadian DxE chapter and the second largest after SF Bay Area. Born in Malaysia, raised in the United Arab Emirates, and having lived in Canada, Singapore and Japan, Wilson has first-hand experience with the many colors of animal oppression. He is on the global steering committee of DxE International, which has mobilized animal rights activists in over 110 cities and 25 countries.

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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.


Bruce Zeman is an award-winning, Vermont radio personality who has been actively involved in the Animal Rights movement for over 25 years. Along with his canine co-host Hobbes, Bruce hosts the nationally broadcast “Bruce & Hobbes Radio Podcast,” currently heard in 10 countries, which is all about animals, animal welfare and animal rights. Hobbes , who Bruce rescued in 2009, is a domestic violence survivor, beaten almost to death by a man and his children. Since then, the two “best buddies” have been on a nation-wide book tour, promoting their children’s book, “Hobbes Goes Home”, about compassion for animals, bullying, anti-domestic violence and compassion. The book was recently recognized by President Barack Obama and VT Governor Peter Shumlin, as being important for kids and animals. Bruce & Hobbes were also honored by the VT Legislature and the VT Association of Broadcasters, for their work on behalf of animals and children. Utilizing their program to help animals, Bruce & Hobbes have helped over 1,000 animals find homes, and are donating the profits from “Hobbes Goes Home” to animal welfare / rescue organizations around the world.


Wanqing Zhou is an associate with Brighter Green and a research associate at the Worldwatch Institute. Her research touches on the global expansion of industrial animal farming, its impacts and alternatives. In 2014, Wanqing toured multiple cities in China with Brighter Green’s documentary film, WHAT’S FOR DINNER?. Wanqing also worked with the Alliance to Save Energy, China’s National Center for Climate Change Strategy and International Cooperation, and the World Wide Fund for Nature – China Program Office. Wanqing holds a B.S. in Biotechnology and Ecology from the University of Hong Kong, and an M.A. in Climate & Society from Columbia University.



Sebastian Zosch 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.