Bob Linden wrote:
THE WORLD VEGAN SUMMIT & EXPO is being organized for the purpose of creating a nucleus for VEGAN activism and advocacy, and for advancing the abolition of the use of animals for all purposes.
It is in complete opposition to recent trends in so-called "welfare reform" (where no one fares well) which are proving to be so detrimental to animals, including the contrivances of "humane meat, dairy, fish, eggs", "humane slaughter", "family farms", and all animal-derived "products" labeled "sustainable", "grass-fed", "pasture-raised", "local", "organic", "free-range", "cage-free", and "higher welfare" - and the promotion of the trivial such as flexitarianism, Meatless Mondays, baby steps, doing "something" now - and the release of undercover video unaccompanied by a vegan message.
It is to offer an alternative to a movement comprised of organizations that partner with animal-exploitation industry, including those who betrayed billions of chickens in support of amendments to the Egg Products Inspection Act.
Welcome to an event free from the deceptive propaganda of HSUS and its groupie groups that are ready to sell you "enriched" "furnished" cages, praise for pig killers, and "meat"- eating and "vegetarianism" instead of VEGAN activism at the upcoming trade show in LA in July.
It would be antithetical to the philosophical perspectives of the WORLD VEGAN SUMMIT & EXPO to feature speakers from organizations who admittedly routinely engage in "welfare reform" activism, as United Poultry Concerns openly states. It saddens me that Karen Davis thinks that I am refusing to schedule her because I "hate" her. Really, how can I hate someone who cares so deeply about chickens as I do, who so dramatically and empathetically articulates their suffering, and who rescues and provides them sanctuary. I don't consider her anything like the cold, calculating, deceptive, diabolical operatives of the Humane Society of the United States or Mercy For Animals, for example. I'm sure that her intentions are good. The problem is that when Karen deviates from the path for veganism to "welfarist" detours, it's bad for animals. UPC support for the heinous HSUS anti-vegan bigger-cages scam, Prop 2 in California, with its cynically-absurd title, "The Prevention of Farm Animal Cruelty Act", was instrumental in what is now becoming catastrophic for massive numbers of chickens. She was quoted in the NY Times back then saying that Prop 2 would provide "comfort" for chickens. A recent NY Times piece was speaking about how great chickens now have it in California (even though nothing has gone into effect). Our actions and our statements are so dangerous when they become marketing ammunition for animal-abuse profiteers. My understanding is that Karen now regrets support for Prop 2, and I wish she would be more vocal about that. Unfortunately, the "animal rights seal of approval" that the recent egg bill stamped on "enriched" or "furnished" cages, will equate to Prop 2 = "enriched" cages, a formula for disaster brought by "welfarist" activism, even without UPC support of that egg bill. And even at the time UPC was opposing the egg bill, it still invited an HSUS shill to address a conference that it was organizing. Most recently, a UPC public relations person again talked of the UPC goal to make chickens as "comfortable" as possible in chicken exploitation industry, which is a misleading unattainable exaggeration.
Some may assume that the WORLD VEGAN SUMMIT & EXPO may be endorsing the campaigns of its speakers, and I could not, in good conscience, for a variety of reasons, lead people to allocate resources of time or money toward installation of sprinkler systems in hen houses, as UPC so campaigns - perhaps not even fully considering the consequences to be suffered by birds ranging from compromised insulation to drowning, etc., should the systems actually be employed - as we activists save the burning barn for the ranchers. These days, newly-installed sprinkler systems will immediately be understood as "humane" and compassionate treatment of chickens, which turns us into chicken-"meat" salesmen again, as Prop 2 did, as the egg bill transformed animal advocates into egg salesmen. That same egg bill should and must be recognized as one of the most massive betrayals of animals ever, with supposed "protectors" reversing long-held positions against intolerably cruel and torturous concentration-camp conditions of "enriched" or "furnished" battery cage warehouses for chickens, and then campaigning FOR them in an incomprehensible new blood-brother partnership between chicken-massacring United Egg Producers and the pig farmer - led Humane Society of the United States, inexplicably joined by ("Animal Rights Conference" Organizer) FARM, Mercy for Animals, Farm Sanctuary, Compassion Over Killing, the ASPCA, and the (Hope Bohanec - influenced) In Defense of Animals (which now opposes). While the egg bill did not pass in Congress, it has permanently damned chickens to a future of deplorable conditions, of horrendous imprisonment, mutilation, and death which can now be stamped "humane", and become the Prop 2 standard in California, unfortunately thanks to misguided UPC past policy, and to those other groups that are about to gather at their fundraising trade show in LA.
I would suggest one possible strategy for UPC to win the hearts and minds of "anti-humane" vegans. There you have communications director Hope Bohanec, one of the biggest voices FOR Prop 2 (now against it), and one of the biggest voices FOR the egg bill (now against it), born again, writing a book against "humane meat", telling me it's everything I've been saying all along, and wanting to come on my radio program to talk about it. But she refuses to mention the groups by name who fed her the propaganda she vomited. It would not make a very compelling interview to hear something like... "So who told you that the 'enriched' cages previously considered too cruel for chickens are now good for hens, Ms. Bohanec?" "Animal Protection Group X, Bob" ..."and who told you that hens can engage in natural behaviors when crammed into such 'furnished' battery cages, even though they feel no sunlight or earth beneath their feet?" ..."Animal Rights Group Y, Bob"..."and who decided on the deceptive ploy to suggest advertising that the egg bill bans BARREN BATTERY CAGES, knowing that the public would believe that the CAGES would be banned, when in actuality, it was just that the cages not be BARREN, remedied by a stick or some wood shavings?" ..."Animal Welfare Group Z, Bob"... I'm sorry, but I just don't feel that UPC has its lines down right yet for what we're doing, but is welcome to register and attend and work to create vegan strategies that wont lead to so many such future regrets.
"Welfarist-reform" activism brings us empty promises today that only lead to broken promises in the future, giving the public rationalizations for not going vegan, when only vegan will do.
The animals need a vegan world now. The planet needs a vegan world now. The children need a vegan world now. In the face of the relentless massacre of innocent harmless billions, of climate change, of poverty, world hunger, and disease - how can we delay? Where is the sense of urgency? It is to be at the WORLD VEGAN SUMMIT & EXPO!