In Case You Can’t Attend the Grassroots Animal Rights Conference

Recently the Grassroots Animal Rights Conference, originally scheduled to take place in February at New York University, had to be pushed back to May and organizers are still looking for an alternative site.

In case you can’t make the May 2005 festivities, here are some of the sessions you’re going to miss out on,

Zines, Shows, Liner Notes: Communicating Animal Liberation Through Youth Culture and Music

Andy Stepanian, Long Island Animal Defense League

In the mid-late 1990s an entire new generation of activists joined the movement and created a massive groundswell of grassroots action. These young people were recruited not by an advertising campaign or outreach program of a national group, but through powerful pro-animal influences with the hardcore music subculture. Hardcore bands filled their albums, concerts, and liner notes with forceful cries for animal liberation. At the same time youth-based grassroots groups like the various Animal Defense League chapters became regular fixtures through their information tables at hardcore shows. While this particular trend has faded a bit, many new opportunities now exist to harness music and youth culture for animal liberation. Learn how your group can tap into this youthful energy from an activist who has had great success in keeping animal issues alive in the youth culture of Long Island, NY.

Coming Out Vegetarian/Coming Out Gay: Making Alliances

Marti Kheel, Feminists for Animal Rights
Pattrice Jones, Global Hunger Alliance

The lesbian and gay movements are logical allies of the animal rights movement. In this workshop, I underline their similarities and the potential for building alliances. Using an episode from the Simpson cartoon series I show how meat dominance and male dominance are intimately intertwined. This will be a participatory workshop and people will be encouraged to share personal stories and offer strategies for making links between the two movements. Since the animal advocacy movement is often viewed as lacking in humor, one of the intentions of this workshop is to show how humor and popular culture can be used to make serious points.

Commonality of Human and Non-Human Animal Oppression

Marjorie Spiegel, author, The Dreaded Comparison
Pattrice Jones, Eastern Shore Chicken Sanctuary
Merritt Clifton, Animal People
Adam Weissman, Activism Center at Wetlands Preserve
Charles Patterson, author, Eternal Treblinka

Explore the intersections between human and nonhuman exploitation. Marjorie Spiegel will address the disturbing similarities between human and animal slavery. Pattrice Jones will explore patriarchy and its link to animal abuse and all forms of exploitation. Pattrice will also frame the discussion, making the case for why looking at intersections of exploitation matters. Citing statistical data, Merritt Clifton will demonstrate a link between animal exploitation and domestic violence. Taking this one step further, Adam Weissman will explore the similarities between the property status of children and animals, exploring John Holt’s insight that our society frames children as “love slaves” and “super pets.” Charles Patterson will draw on years of experience as a Holocaust educator to draw the link between Nazi genocide and the institutional exploitation of nonhuman animals.

Ecofeminism and Animal Liberation

Marti Kheel, Feminists for Animal Rights
Helen Matthews, Boston Ecofeminist Action
Pattrice Jones, Global Hunger Alliance

Ecofeminists believe that speciesism and sexism are so closely linked that many theorists and activists believe them to be simply two aspects of the same underlying problem. Women and animals, along with land and children, have historically been seen as the property of male heads of households. Patriarchy and pastoralism cannot be separated, because they are justified and perpetuated by the same ideologies and practices. Learn about the ideas and action strategies of action strategies of ecofeminist activists.

Sounds like fun.


Grassroots Animal Rights Conference Agenda. Accessed: 02/02/2005.

An Animal Rights Activist Against the War

Anti-factory farm advocate and Global Hunger Alliance coordinator Pattrice Le-Muire Jones recently posted an article to an animal rights e-mail list offering reasons “Why Animal Liberation Activists Must Join the Peace Movement” and oppose any war against Iraq.

The article includes a top ten list of reasons why animal rights activists should join the peace movement which give a nice insight into the bizarre way that some animal rights activists see the world. Here are reasons 1 through 4 that Le-Muire Jones offers (emphasis added),

4. Because military attacks on urban spaces terrify, kill, injure, displace, and bereave companion animals.

3. Because military attacks on rural locations terrify, ill, and bereave farmed animals.

2. Because bombs and biological weapons destroy habitats and poison the environment upon which all animals depend for sustenance.

1. Because bullets, bombs, and biological weapons don’t distinguish between human and non-human animals.

What Le-Muire Jones means by “bereav[ing] animals” is anybody’s guess, but it is interesting that if there were a way for weapons to distinguish between human and non-human animals that Le-Muire Jones might have a different view of war.

It is telling that in a long list of “Do’s and Don’ts” for activists, Le-Muire Jones has to remind activist “Don’t forget to include humans when discussing the innocents who will be hurt in the course of warfare.” Presumably Le-Muire Jones is a student of the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals view of warfare in which a terrorist attack using a donkey as a bomb is reprehensible simply because a donkey is injured in the effort.


Why animal liberation activists must join the peace movement. Pattrice Le-Muire Jones, February 2003.