Farm Sanctuary will host the first National Conference to End Factory Farming: For Health, Environment and Farm Animals. It will be held Thursday, October 27 through Saturday, October 29, 2011 in Arlington, Virginia, just outside of Washington, D.C. Anyone interested in the topic is encouraged to attend.
“This is the nation’s moment,” Gene Baur, President and Co-Founder of Farm Sanctuary told me in an interview. “There is more awareness than ever before.” The goal of this conference is to raise the public’s consciousness to ultimately end factory farming as it exists today. He went on to say that “This is timely because we are starting to see a shift with mainstream opposition to factory farming.”
Factory farming has implications not just for the lives of animals and the suffering they endure but for the health of humans who eat animals and the detrimental effect it has on our environment.
Both panel and plenary discussions will occur. A convergence of issues include:
- Public Health: Disease and Contamination
- Farm Animal Sentience
- Waste Management, Mismanaged Resources and Climate Change
- Inside the Industry: The Treatment of Animals
- Economics of Factory Farming
- Rise of Factory Farming Globally
- Legal Advocacy and the Farm Bill
- Creating Change in the Marketplace
- Convergent Movements
- Consumer Awareness
- Plant-Based Living
- Models for the Future
There will be more than 30 speakers. In addition to Gene Baur, there is Jonathan Balcombe, PhD, author of “Animal Kingdom” and “Second Nature.” Wayne Pacelle, President and CEO of HSUS (Humane Society of the United States) joins people like Elizabeth Kucinich, Director of Public and Government Affairs for the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM) and John Mackey, President and Co-CEO of Whole Foods Market. Read the entire list of speakers; it is quite comprehensive.
Baur tells me there are a large variety of people who have already signed up to attend. That includes USDA members and those in agriculture. The Farm Bill that is coming up for legislative voting next year will also be discussed. Baur would like to see the bill include different policies that discuss factory farming. And encourage community agriculture and community gardening.
As the website says, “Over the past few decades, the rise of factory farming has institutionalized animal cruelty, caused massive environmental destruction and resource depletion, and posed a constant threat to human and animal health.” It is time to bring these facts to the attention of the public.
If this first ever conference to end factory farming sounds like something you may enjoy, consider signing up to attend. Go to the website and take a look at what it has to offer. It is also a way to connect with like-minded people and let your voice be heard.