The past week on the road has been filled with countless conversations, a few mechanical mishaps, about 500 viewers reached, and more stories from the road!  After our wildly successful stop at the Escondido Street Fair, we traveled slightly north to Irvine, California.  At UC Irvine, some bureaucratic complications altered our plans, but on went the outreach!  After an event at the University, we crashed a pod of food carts with our food for thought.  The next day, we headed over to beautiful Newport beach where sun seekers had light shed on the reality behind their food choices, and the vast majority of viewers pledged to cut back or eliminate animal products from their diets.  The beach side events proved to be very successful, so they carried us into the weekend.

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Each year, FARM’s Sabina Fund supports the effort of Eastern Europe’s most active animal rights group, Animal Friends Croatia (AFC). The group’s goal is to promote animal rights, animal protection and vegetarianism and veganism as an ethical, ecologically acceptable and healthy life-style. In more than ten years of its activity, AFC has organized hundreds of campaigns and demos which have focused on animal suffering in the food industry, laboratories, fur farms, hunting and fishing, the entertainment industry and which have promoted the ethical way of living.

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The 10 Billion Lives Tour has been on the road for just over two weeks now, and as a result, over 2,000 individuals in Oregon and California have seen the horrors inflicted upon animals on farms.  The vehicle took off from Portland after several events at Portland State University and a fantastic launch party at the vegan mini-mall.  The warmth and support from the Portland community was encouraging and inspiring as we set off to make some waves.

Our first event, after hitting the road (at University of Oregon in Eugene), reached 282 viewers in one day!  Many students had never been exposed to the reality of animal suffering that is so inherent to animal products that are so commonly ingested, and most pledged to eat fewer animal products.  The sun beat down and made for a gorgeous day as we recruited students to get informed (and get paid) by watching “Farm to Fridge.”

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Mercy For Animals' Nathan Runkle speaking at last year's conference

The excitement continues to build as we draw closer to the conference! Everyday more speakers are confirmed, inspiring sessions and workshops are added, and amazing exhibitors are included. We have incredible sponsors this year including Alley Cat Allies, In Defense of Animals, Mercy For Animals and International Primate Protection League. Join us this August to hear these silver sponsors as they lead riveting panel discussions and thought-provoking presentations.

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This Mother’s Day let’s not just focus our attention on our own mothers and other strong women in our lives, but let’s extend the celebration to ALL mothers…including those who are used in the food industry. Let us take a stand for the innocent mothers enslaved in the dairy and egg industries whose reproductive systems are exploited to provide unnecessary products and increased profit margins. Let us memorialize these mothers by educating those around us on the daily horrors these innocent beings endure and work together to end their suffering.

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Over fifty supporters gathered outside Portland’s vegan mini mall on Saturday to see FARM’s 10 Billion Lives outreach vehicle depart on its North American tour! Acclaimed author Melanie Joy joined FARM’s grassroots coordinator, Alex Felsinger, in cutting the ribbon before handing the keys to the tour coordinator, Jeni Haines.

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This year’s theme for the Animal Rights National Conference focuses on returning to our roots…remembering and celebrating why each of us made the decision to become involved in the animal rights movement…why we chose to go vegan, to rescue animals, to protest and hold outreach events to educate the public.

This year we want to rekindle the spirit, the enthusiasm and the commitment that we felt when we first became involved with the animal rights movement and use this inspiration to keep our momentum moving forward.

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