Laura Allen, Esq
Laura is the founder and Executive Director of Animal Law Coalition.  She is a trial attorney with more than 20 years of experience trying cases and arguing appeals in the state and federal courts. Laura is also an executive advisory board member for Saving America's Horses. She is a former member of the Board of Directors and for Equine Welfare Alliance.  Animal Law Coalition is a 501c4 non-profit, which brings the latest animal legal news to attorneys, law students and the public and offers legal analysis of the issues affecting animals. Animal Law Coalition takes the fight to stop animal cruelty to Congress, state legislatures, local governments and the courts. Animal Law Coalition is actively involved in drafting and lobbying for legislation relating to horse welfare, horse slaughter, wild horses and burros, breed discrimination, puppy and cat mills, animal euthanasia, and animal cruelty. ANIMAL LAW COALITION

Anthony Bellotti
Anthony Bellotti is the founder and Executive Director of the White Coat Waste Project: a new campaign to expose and eliminate the waste, fraud, and abuse in the government’s taxpayer-funded animal experimentation budget. He is also a co-founder and Director of the Huma Research Council. With a background in political consulting, he specializes in fundraising and advertising for political candidates, public affairs campaigns, and non-profit organizations. He served as an opposition researcher for Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger’s 2006 reelection and as the Executive Director of the American Association of Political Consultants. WHITE COAT WASTE

Aryenish Birdie
Her first exposure to the world of social justice began in 1997 when she witnessed her mother publicly oppose the frog dissection, in Kansas. Curious about the objection, Aryenish got information on the use of animals in research and testing and has been working to expose the practice ever since. She is currently the Regulatory Testing Policy Coordinator with the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine. Additionally, she has been involved with many other movements and organizations across the U.S. including: San Francisco Women Against Rape, School of Unity and Liberation, Third Wave Foundation, Douglas County AIDS Project, and is a member of the United Nations NGO committee on behalf of the Federation of Zoroastrian Associations of North America. She has been interviewed by numerous media sources to discuss animal rights including: CNN’s Anderson Cooper 360, National Public Radio for New England, and Pakistan’s Dawn News-The First Blast. THE PHYSICIANS COMMITTEE (PCRM)

Parendi Birdie
Parendi is an Assistant Head of School while she continues in the Honors Program of the University of Kansas where she is a part of the Student Leadership Team, and the National Society of Collegiate Scholars. Parendi's leadership started at high school level, serving as president of the Social Awareness Club, Environment Club, and Spanish Club, and worked with community organizations and Animal Outreach of Kansas, Allied Resistance, and The Solidarity Radical Library. She was named The Lesley College Presidential Scholar, a Mills Provost Scholar, and a Kansas Honors Scholar. Parendi did extended travels abroad at which time she was selected to represent her Parsi culture at theWomen2Women Empower Peace Leadership Conference, a gathering of female activists from around the world, fighting for social justice. At the university level, Parendi has served as the president and founder of Compassion for Animals while continuing her social activism for which she was elected to be the president of Lawrence Fair Food, a student and community organization working to help eliminate modern-day slavery in the agriculture

Leigh is a published Author, Blogger, International Speaker and Singer/Songwriter who lives mostly in Australia. She runs the online, multimedia community Viva la Vegan!, focused on educating people to ethical lifestyle choices, proving that via compassion we can heal ourselves and each other. She is also founder of the  the not-for-profit environmental awareness Green Earth Group as well as coordinates Social Media Marketing. Over the past 16-plus years since Leigh-Chantelle has been an eco-feminist vegan, she has been involved as a sponsor, performer, emcee, speaker and stallholder for various animal rights, vegan and cruelty-free fundraisers, organizations, festivals and events throughout Australia and internationally. VIVA LA VEGAN! ; GREEN EARTH GROUP

Rosa Close
Rosa  is the AFS Conference Chair/Organizer, and Founder of the Anti-Fur Society of the Misha Foundation, a 501 ( c) 4 organization, whose mission is to end the abuse and exploitation of fur bearing animals worldwide. The Anti-Fur Society was started in 2004 to help revive anti-fur activism as fur was making a comeback. The AFS has since been striving to reach animal rights activists worldwide in order to form a chain of activists to help educate the public, with the goal of making fur consumption not profitable or worthwhile for the fur industry.  Rosa is the author of the children’s book, "How the Little Fox Saved His Coat", which in addition to being a charming children’s story, offers an anti-fur/anti-hunting message as well as an instructive lesson in leadership for children. Additionally, Rosa has been effectively working with animal rights groups in China to help promote the rejection of fur inside of China. She has also been involved in the US campaigns against horse slaughter and destruction of wild horses. LITTLE FOX BOOK  - ANTI-FUR SOCIETY  -  MISHA FOUNDATION - AFS CONFERENCE

Jamie Cohen
Jamie Cohen has been an animal activist in the Baltimore area and a vegan since 1994.  She is currently promoting Peaceable Kingdom screenings in Maryland, volunteering at Poplar Spring Animal Sanctuary, doing Vegan Ingredient presentations and serving at a vegan coach as part of Open The Cage's Vegan Living Program.

Karen Davis, PhD
Karen is the founder and president of United Poultry Concerns, a nonprofit organization that promotes the compassionate and respectful treatment of domestic fowl including a sanctuary for chickens on the Eastern Shore of Virginia. Her articles have appeared in Animals and Women: Feminist Theoretical Explorations, Terrorists or Freedom Fighters: Reflections on the Liberation of Animals, Critical Theory and Animal Liberation, Spring: A Journal of Archetype and Culture, Sister Species, and the Encyclopedia of Animals and Humans. Her books include Prisoned Chickens, Poisoned Eggs: An Inside Look at the Modern Poultry Industry, More Than a Meal: The Turkey in History, Myth, Ritual, and Reality, The Holocaust and the Henmaid’s Tale: A Case for Comparing Atrocities, and A Home For Henny. Karen and her work were profiled in “For the Birds” in The Washington Post and she was inducted into the U.S. Animal Rights Hall of Fame “for outstanding contributions to animal liberation. UNITED POULTRY CONCERNS
Morgan Dunbar
Morgan is the founder and director of Animal Allies of Western New York, a grassroots organization that works to educate the public and bridge the gap between human and non-human justice struggles. Her participation in "animal research," as a requirement of her undergraduate studies, led her to recognize systemic animal exploitation, and its dependence upon the desensitization and indoctrination of students within our education system. Dunbar now campaigns against the animal exploitation taking place inside universities and colleges. She has also done extensive work in animal rescue, wildlife rehabilitation and shelter reform. Additionally, Dunbar has a particular interest in prison abolition and grassroots community organizing, and she is certified as a conflict resolution facilitator and organizer for Save the Kids, a grass-roots organization to keep kids away from violence and incarceration.  Dunbar also organizes for the Institute for Critical Animal Studies, which works to eliminate the domination and oppression of animals, and to transform higher education into a more inclusive environment for all species. ANIMAL ALLIES OF WESTERN NEW YORK

Gail Frydkowski
Gail is a New York City Public School teacher and Co-Chair of the United Federation of Teachers Humane Education Committee. As a teacher and committee member she is dedicated to bringing the message of compassion and kindness to children. She is a strong believer that all animal related issues can be solved by humane and character education. She also volunteers her time at Animal Haven in NYC where she participates in the Caring Kids after school program. She also assists in puppy mill transports, fundraising efforts for local and national groups and children reading to animals programs. She is also a volunteer docent with Tribute World Trade Center.

Jami Hammer
Jami has been for the past eight years, the Executive Director of the Indiana Coyote Rescue Center, a 501(c)3 non-profit, dedicated for over 20 years to the long term care of their residential non releasable coyotes, and to educate  the public  about the treasure and the unique contribution the North American coyote makes to our ecosystem. ICRC's goal is to initiate the process of ending the slaughter of these animals, indigenous to only the North American Continent, through educational presentations, non lethal predator control programs/coexistence, and publicity.  They are active in writing articles in local newspapers, and bringing awareness to the masses on coyotes, behavior, and management through speaking events, assistance to researchers in the field, and on how people can contact their local legislature on administrative rule changes.  Hammer assisted the late founder of ICRC in a separate project to ban live bait dog training (penning) in which administrative rule changes were brought into effect in Central Indiana on dog running practices involving our native wildlife, including coyotes and red foxes. COYOTE RESCUE

John Holland
John Holland is a freelance writer, the author of three books and an industrial consultant in the field of intelligent automation and knowledge engineering. He frequently writes on the subject of horse slaughter from his small farm in the mountains of Virginia, where he lives with his wife, Sheilah, and their 11 equines. Holland is the president of the Equine Welfare Alliance and serves as senior analyst for Americans Against Horse Slaughter, an organization composed entirely of volunteers.EQUINE WELFARE ALLIANCE

Eddie Lama
Subject of classic animal rights documentary "The Witness", will be attending this year’s conference. After the film screening, Eddie will offer an inspirational talk about his remarkable journey from a person who avoided animals to one who devoted his life to their liberation. TRIBE OF HEART: THE WITNESS

Lana Lehr, MSW
Founder of RabbitWise, Inc, an all volunteer 501( c) (3 ) organization that advocates for and educates about domestic rabbits. It includes the “Bunderground Railroad,” a nationwide network of rabbit rescuers that make placement and transportation plans for endangered rabbits.  Founded in 2004, RabbitWise, working both locally and nationally, it is headquartered in Washington, DC with a branch in Memphis, TN.  A practicing psychotherapist, she includes patients’ relationship to their animal companions. She was taught about the importance of animals in human psychological lives by Muggins,her now deceased rescued “meat” rabbit, the founding rabbit of RabbitWise.A topic much overlooked by the psychotherapeutic community,Lana organized a psycho-education group for therapists and presented a workshop on this topic at an American Psychological Association Conference in Washington, DC.  RABBITWISE

Gary Loewenthal
Gary is the founder of the Worldwide Vegan Bake Sale (WVBS), co-founder of Compassion for Animals, director of the PB&J Campaign, and former host of the cats forum. The WVBS was named "Veg Event of the Year" by VegNews magazine in its first year and has raised $250,000 for a variety of causes through vegan bake sales on six continents. Compassion for Animals started the "Pay Per View" style of vegan outreach that is now used by many larger advocacy groups nationwide. Gary has done numerous presentations for every age level on rabbit advocacy.  Gary went vegan in 2004, and it all started with reluctantly fostering a cat for five days.VEGAN BAKE SALE; COMPASSION FOR ANIMALS

Smaragda Louw, PhD
Smaragda has been involved with animal rights issues for 25 years, and serves in the Executive Committee of Beauty Without Cruelty-South  Africa,and Fur Free South Africa where she heads the “Ban Animal Trading" initiative in South Africa whose goal  is to establish legislation to ban the trade of animals in pet shops, online and on the printed media. Smaragda gave up her practice as child psychologist last year to join the fight for animals in South Africa where their voices had been unheard until 2012 when Beauty Without Cruelty and Fur Free, SA’s fight for their rights became a force to be reckoned with. BEAUTY WITHOUT CRUELTY SOUTH AFRICA ~ FUR FREE SOUTH AFRICA

Katherine McGill
Florida Humane Wildlife Control.  Owner of 411 Raccoon Solutions; Wildlife Exclusion Specialists, utilizing 21st century NO-trap, NO-kill, NO-relocation! methods little known to even the most humane wildlife operators today. Katherine is a founding director of the National Urban Wildlife Coalition, an active political/animal protection advocate, and author of the children’s book, Heavenly Animals. In 2003 Katherine became entrenched in the challenges faced by urban wildlife and present management. When not working as a wildlife hostage negotiator for property owners, Katherine volunteers as a rehabilitator and speaker-educator for urban wildlife coexistence and the tragic risks of keeping wildlife as “pets”, a subject close to her heart. The unique raccoon in her photo is Rebecca Coon-idge, born on a fur farm and rescued from an auction.  HUMANE WILDLIFE EXCLUSION

Julie O'Connor
Julie is the founder and leader of the group  "Caring Activists Against Fur' in NYC and NJ where for the last seven years, she has been taking the message to the streets, informing massive crowds about the horrors  of the fur industry. CAAF is a group of self-supported activists genuinely dedicated to helping end the fur industry by educating the public in their areas. Their work is based on the belief that outreach and taking the message to the public are most essential for all in order to help animals. By using large video screens to show fur footage, distributing educational materials in high-trafficked areas, and targetting large shopping districts on weekends, their presence is deeply felt by both retailers and shoppers alike.  Julie is now dedicated to helping empower other activists by sharing her experience and determination as she feels that it is not complicated to be an anti-fur activist. All it takes is being sympathetic to the demise of fur bearing animals used by in the fur industry, and take on a leadership role.  The tools to accomplish this role is what Julie is prepared to show you . CAAF GROUP 

Zelda Penzel
Zelda is founder and president of PEOPLE FOR THE END OF ANIMAL CRUELTY AND EXPLOITATION ~ PEACE, a grassroots organization that successfully pursued a ban on the display of exotic/circus animals in the Town of Southampton, Long Island and has fought against hunting, rodeos, shark tournaments and leghold traps. She is also co-founder of SOS:SAVE OUR SHELTER ANIMALS, whose primary goal is to bring the No Kill Equation to New York shelters and change the pervasive paradigm that views the killing of shelter animals as an acceptable solution to the crisis of homeless animals. Zelda has been an animal activist, networker and tireless advocate for animal rights for more than 20 years, opposing the fur trade, horse slaughter, vivisection and the exploitation of all animals for food, sport and entertainment. An educator by profession and at heart, she believes that the only hope for significant change lies in the evolution of society through education: by raising consciousness and compassion; and through legislation: by enacting laws to protect the inherent rights of all living beings, including non-human animals, and outlawing the most egregious acts of cruelty and exploitation that are commonplace, accepted prctices..

Soyoun Park
Soyoun, a leading animal protection advocate, founded CARE (Coexistence of Animal Rights on Earth) in 2002. Based in Seoul, CARE has since become the largest animal protection group in South Korea, and is at the forefront of animal rescues, operating the only non-government run shelter and an adoption center for rescued animals. In addition, CARE’s advocacy work includes lobbying the government for strengthened animal protection laws, and raising public awareness of animal welfare issues, through education programs, reporting animal abuse, and undercover investigations. In 2011, during the Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD) outbreak, Soyoun gathered extensive evidence of the live burial of thousands of pigs and other livestock animals. This was followed by the most in-depth nationwide undercover investigation into the South Korean dog meat industry (2011-2012). CARE is also a leading force in the anti-fur campaign, holding various protests in partnership with other Korean groups and international organizations.  Care co-organized and hosted Asia’s first ever “faux-fur” fashion show on 25th December, 2012. CARE ANIMAL RIGHTS - KOREA

Pei Su, MSc
Pei is the Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder of ACTAsia for Animals, a registered charity in the UK with personnel based in Asia and Europe, has been working in China since 2006. Pei has been active in animal advocacy for 20 years, spearheading campaigns across Asia, including Chinese bear farming, fur farming, illegal turtle trade, zoos and stray animal management.  ACTASIA's has become effective in promoting humane education in Chinese schools, training vets to improve welfare standards and lobbying for animal protection legislation in that country. She is currently focused on training animal protection groups in China to become more effective in their activism. Regarding China's fur industry, as it is the largest consumer of fur on the planet, ACTAsia launched, in 2010, a successful No Fur China campaign, making extraordinary efforts to reach out to people across China, and it is now being well received by professional sectors, including the media, culture, and public relations, and continuing to gather momentum. ACTASIA CHINA

Ethan Wolf, Esq
Ethan Wolf is the founding Coordinator of Sea Shepherd Conservation Society’s New York City Chapter. SSCS NYC has been active for three years as one of the very first North American chapters to be approved. Mr. Wolf brings more than fifteen years of grassroots animal rights activism experience to Sea Shepherd’s efforts. In addition to his NYC-based fundraising and outreach work, he has monitored and documented the horrific dolphin drives in Taiji, Japan as a Cove Guardian for SSCS’s Operation Infinite Patience and on Columbia River between Oregon and Washington states as a Dam Guardian monitoring the harassment of sea lions. SEA SHEPHERD

Tara C. Zuardo, Esq, JD
Tara is a wildlife legal associate at Animal Welfare Institute.  She obtained a Bachelors degree with High Honors from the University of California, Berkeley, and a J.D. and certificate in Environmental and Natural Resources Law with an emphasis in Animal Law from Lewis & Clark Law School in May 2010. Tara has had a lifelong concern for animal welfare, focusing on international protection of wildlife and animal testing issues. She has published wildlife law articles in Animal Law journal and has worked on wildlife and animal welfare policy and legal reform projects for a handful of organizations, including the Audubon Society, In Defense of Animals, the International Fund for Animal Welfare, the Earth Island Institute and the Animal Welfare Institute. Tara currently coordinates policy and legal reforms on wildlife conservation issues. Specialties: Animal Law (Int'l. Wildlife Law & Policy; Animal Testing Issues; Domestic Wildlife Law);Environmental Law & Advocacy; Natural Resources Law & Policy:ANIMAL WELFARE INSTITUTE
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Speakers at the 2013 AFS Conference