Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Portland, Oregon and the Let Live Conference

I flew West from Virginia to Portland , Oregon on the 24th of June to attend a weekend of  animal rights and vegan advocacy workshops and meetings.   The Let Live Conference was organized by Student Animal Liberation Coalition, with support from Let Live Foundation as well as local area businesses such as Herbivore Clothing, and Food Fight Grocery. Total immersion  in animal exploitation issues for a several days in a row could be very difficult, but the organizers kept things mixed-up to keep the optimism and spirits high.   There was an animal rights themed spelling bee the first evening.....a  lot of fun, a little educational, and a great ice-breaker to relax everyone.   We came from all over the country and from many different perspectives, but advocating for the voiceless unified us all.
Jasmin Singer from Our Hen House guided several of the workshops and discussions, providing both framework and humor to the topics.     Gary Lowenthal from Compassion For Animals shared his experiences with animal rescue and tips and in developing the World Wide Vegan Bake Sale .   Isa Chandra Moskowitz, author of many great cookbooks, sat on several panels and offered her take on food activism.

Pictured below are , from the left : Glenn Gaetz, Lauren Ornelas, and  Christopher Greenslate in one of the workshops.   And some neat cast cement gigantic diatoms as sculpture on the streets of Portland....nice !

A strong showing of  very active, very brave activists who were hosting this event  implored us all to dig deeper and work beyond our comfort zones to be more effective advocates.   I am inspired by their dedication and applaud their work.  Check out the Let Live link for the list of speakers and exhibitors.
It's really hard to pick just a few favorite speakers, so I will close with two new-to-me people and their grassroots organizations that are working for positive change: Lauren Ornelas of the Food Empowerment Project and Glenn Gaetz Liberation BC.