WAN’s Review of The Always Inspiring 2018 Animal Rights National Conference

Advocating for the welfare of animals has its highs and lows. It’s a roller coaster of emotions; all of which were felt this weekend during the 2018 Animal Rights National Conference in Los Angeles, California.

Many words, both positive and negative, come to mind when trying to describe the atmosphere of being surrounded by like-minded and compassionate people who are also fighting the never-ending battle to ensure that animals be given the rights that they so desperately need and deserve.

L-R 15-year-old Animal Hero and co-president, Hannah, Animal Hero Kids founder and author Susan Hargreaves, 12-year-old Josephine, Animal Hero and co-president. Look for more about these and other young animal advocates and changemakers of the future in WAN’s exclusive “WAN Youth Warriors” series launching later this month!

From far-reaching animal welfare organizations to small-yet-determined animal, rescues and sanctuaries, to the introduction of new businesses that are designed to better accommodate today’s growing compassionate plant-based consumer, there was something for everyone at this year’s event.

Farm Sanctuary, Compassion Works International, In Defense of Animals, and Social Compassion In Legislation (SCIL) were among some of the more high-profile exhibitors at the conference.

“It is great to be here to meet people and share updates on some of the projects that Social Compassion In Legislation is working on, as well as to personally thank so many of the people who have been calling their legislators, e-mailing, and encouraging them to vote to advance these important bills to becoming law,” SCIL’s Director of Legislative Affairs, Nick Sackett, told WAN. Sackett specifically referred to some of the main bills SCIL is sponsoring including (SB1249) The CA Cruelty-Free Cosmetics Act and (SB1487) The Iconic African Species Protection Act.

Sackett also made sure to send gratitude to Katie Cleary, founder of Peace 4 Animals and World Animal News, for the significant contributions she has made as a SCIL board member, as well as the tireless advocacy she does on behalf of the organization and its sponsored-legislation.

Animal rescues and sanctuaries from around the country also made the trip to Los Angeles to educate the public about who they are and what they do. It was a fantastic opportunity for people to learn about these smaller organizations which need support to enhance their often-modest means to save and protect all animals in need.

Meehoopany, PA-based Indraloka Animal Sanctuary, which includes rescuing animals, inspiring children, and promoting the many benefits of living green as its main priorities, also took the opportunity to shine a light on phenomenal artwork by its creative director, Johnny Braz. The works of art featured some of the sanctuary’s farm animal residents.

A team from Northern California-based Animal Place, which strives to create meaningful change for farmed animals through its sanctuary, advocacy, and adoption, was also on hand to share information on their remarkable organization.

The organization also operates the Vegan Republic, the area’s only vegan specialty store where 100% of the profits benefit 300 rescued farm animals at Animal Place Sanctuary.

One of the most rewarding encounters of the weekend took place when we bumped into our friends at The Pig Preserve which is located in Jamestown, TN.

WAN and its charitable organization, Peace 4 Animals, recently helped to facilitate the rescue and rehoming of six Meishan pigs to their very own barn at The Pig Preserve. The innocent little pigs were just days away from being killed at a factory farm in another state.

Most recent photos of the Meishan pigs from The Pig Preserve.

“They gain weight every day and get a little taller,” The Pig Preserve’s Afton Hughes told WAN while sharing photos of the sweet and adorable animals who she confirmed are ‘all doing great.’ “You can keep updated on their progress on our Facebook page, they all have flower names; Aster, Chicory, Clover, Dandelion, Periwinkle, and Violet.”

Kind Traveler, the first socially conscious ‘give + get’ hotel booking platform for people who want to encourage and support change, was among the relatively new businesses at the conference. The concept behind the unique platform is to transform travelers into a financial force that benefits communities, the environment and animals.

Travelers ‘give’ to a local or global charity and as a reward for their donation, they ‘get’ an exclusive rate to book directly with the world’s best hotels and unique properties.

100% of the donations raised on the Kind Traveler platform are given to charity.

Some of the other hot topics discussed in panels, as well as on the exhibition floor included: veganism, how to influence lawmakers, empowering youth, and the exploitation and abuse of animals in the wild, for entertainment, for fashion, for food, and for no justifiable reason.

We were inspired to be amongst so many like-minded individuals who’s mission is to protect and save the lives of all species worldwide.

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