My Sea Shepherd


 

Animal Rights 2005

Animal Rights 2005

Los Angeles, CA
July 7 - 11, 2005

By Sea Shepherd Board Member Kurt Lieber

Hard to believe that another year has gone by since AR2004, but time in the animal rights movement does not sit still. This was another year of great organizations, both large and small, getting together to talk with the public about the current condition of the animal kingdom. There were several impassioned speakers at the conferences whose words will inspire many people to take action on their own, as well as volunteer with existing organizations. One thing that struck me as astounding was the diversity of groups doing something for the environment. Please visit the AR website to find out what organizations were there and the topics covered in the conferences.

The Sea Shepherd booth was busy all 3 days of the conference. At the outreach table we had Sea Shepherd Director of Development Michael Moore (from the Friday Harbor office) and International Director Tim Midgley (of Los Angeles) informing people on all the different ways to help SSCS out. Veteran crewmembers Jonny Vasic and Colin Biroc were there to talk about their experiences from the recent Seal Campaign. We had THE best booth there, thanks to Michael and Tim's hard work the night before the conference opened. Also thanks to Scott Sheckman for helping coordinate the booth location and design. We raised a good sum of money through donations and book/t-shirt sales, got a lot of potential crewmembers to sign up, and even more people to sign up for our e-mail updates. All in all it was a very inspiring weekend, with lots of vegan food, cruelty free products, and a whole lot of networking.

There was a dinner held at the end of the AR2005 conference on Sunday, July 10th. Captain Paul Watson was the keynote speaker. He gave an impassioned speech at the dinner where he talked about the Sea Shepherd Seal Campaign of the past year and of the upcoming voyage to Malpelo Island of Colombia; Cocos Island of Costa Rica; Galapagos National Park of Ecuador; and the Whale Sanctuary of Antarctica where we will oppose the illegal killing of whales by the Japanese whaling industry.

He also spoke of the need to respect each others work and efforts. The animal kingdom needs all the help we can muster, and we don't need to bicker about whose tactics are better or worse than any other group. The efforts we make need to be bolstered by a united front. That is, a united front that will help the natural world, not one that diminishes the work of other earth warriors.

All in all it was a fantastic weekend. Thank you everyone that stopped by the booth and especially to FARM for all their efforts to make the AR2005 Conference the best one yet! See you next year in Washington, DC.

*Kurt Lieber is also the founder and president of Ocean Defenders Alliance www.oceandefenders.org.


Photos from the event:


Captain Paul Watson accepts the In Defense of Animals (IDA) Lifetime Achievement Award for Ben White. IDA founder and President Elliot M. Katz, DVM proudly presented the award at the Animal Rights 2005 conference in Los Angeles, but Ben was unable to receive the honor in person because he was in the hospital battling an aggressive and terminal form of abdominal cancer. Ben, a former Sea Shepherd crewmember and employee, was a longtime defender of animals and the environment and worked for IDA in the 1990's. Ben passed away on July 30, 2005 - please read:
Sea Shepherd's In Memoriam posting in honor of Ben.

 


The Sea Shepherd gang at the AR2005 banquet

Kurt Lieber, Michael Moore, and Jonny Vasic man the
Sea Shepherd information table

 


Volunteer Jonny Vasic doing his "thing" -
selling Sea Shepherd gear

Volunteers Jonny and Kristine Vasic

 


Volunteers Scott Sheckman, Jonny Vasic, and Colin Biroc
give a little Sea Shepherd attitude

Captain Watson talks with filmmaker Shaun Munson and
actress/activist & AR banquet hostess Persia White

 

The very vertical design of the Sea Shepherd information table

 


Veteran crewmember Allison Lance Watson


 

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