THE AFS ANIMAL RIGHTS CONFERENCE
The Anti-Fur Society Conference is an animal rights advocacy gathering which focuses on anti-fur activism as well as a variety of other animal issues. There is a special focus on the fur industry and all fur bearing animal issues which do not generally receive a great deal of attention, namely, blood sports, trapping, penning, hunting and other abuses.
Most fur bearing animals are classified as wildlife, and as such, are not accorded even the minimum protection given to other animals under the law, and which may land abusers in jail; there is NO justice that can be sought against the perpetrators on behalf of these animals and especially those that are hunted and trapped in the wild.
The fur industry continues to keep fur bearing animals in the most hideous conditions until they are brutally stripped of their lives and skins, while they continue to enrich themselves, thanks to the indifference and naïveté of consumers. In addition to fur coats, jackets and hats, other products continue to come onto the market in the form of fur trim, purses, pet toys, pins and even bikinis. Publicity via the fashion world and celebrities, who are viewed by many as role models, is quite effective, while our voices have thus far failed to stem the tide and reach the general public at large.
However, they do not have a leg to stand on, as they cannot claim that humans need fur for nourishment, health or even warmth, with so many other cruelty-free alternatives available. Moreover, fur tanning requires the use of large amounts of deadly chemicals to prevent skins from rotting and fur farms worldwide, produce countless tons of waste and excrement, which are absorbed into the earth and the water supply. Skinned animal carcasses are discarded, and most end up dumped in the ground, causing even more ecological damage to the environment.
As though that were not enough, the fur industry is also developing ways to reach out to our youth through their “fur is green” charade, and has begun teaching children about the “glory and goodness” of fur. The suffering of the innocent is never addressed, thus leading young people to become indifferent and devoid of empathy for non-humans. Our main goal, therefore, must be to raise awareness about these issues, to change hearts and minds and lead to legislation that will protect fur bearing animals under the law.
In addition to fur issues, approximately half of the AFS Conference is dedicated to other animal issues of concern to activists and of vital importance to the animal rights movement, i.e.: vivisection, horse slaughter, animals used for food, in entertainment, pets killed in shelters, etc. All single issue groups are welcome, and indeed encouraged to participate as they are the fabric of animal liberation worldwide. It is, in fact, at the grassroots level that the power to make change, to transform and build a more compassionate world for all sentient beings rests. Each issue and battle victory, like links in a chain, helps to bring about the results so desperately needed for all animals.
The AFS Animal Rights Conference is a "boutique" conference at which we focus on quality rather than quantity and on a friendly and intimate atmosphere, where all attendees have the opportunity to network and enjoy the entire program without the stress of having to choose one presentation over another, as there is only ONE program scheduled at a time. The speakers therefore, are also able to enjoy the undivided attention of the entire audience, by using the same format that was successfully introduced at our first conference and which was so well received by all. The three-day program will feature over 30 speakers from the US and abroad. Please feel free to contact us if you are working independently or with a group, on an animal rights issue and would like to be a speaker/presenter at the Conference.
This conference is being organized by a "hands on" group of dedicated, caring volunteers, working worldwide for the betterment of non-human animals' lives. Just like you, we also have families and work for a living, while striving to find time to volunteer ourselves to a greater cause, which is to end the suffering and exploitation of the voiceless animals.
This conference represents one step towards our goal to broaden the circle of compassion and advocacy in order to raise consciousness and awareness through a powerful grass roots movement. It is an opportunity for us to join together to network, share knowledge and offer one another the support and tools needed to bring about the changes that all creatures on our planet so desperately need: respect, dignity and compassion.
Coordinators: Rosa Close; Zelda Penzel: FAX: 336-370-6766