Gary Truitt of Hoosier Ag Today reported that the Farm Animal Rights Movement’s (FARM) 33rd annual Animal Rights National Conference and the Humane Society of the U.S.’s Taking Action for Animals conference combined hosted more than 2,500 people. Animal Agriculture Alliance president and CEO Kay Johnson Smith said it is important to go to these conferences to understand animal rights groups’ motives and plans, so the agriculture industry can “more effectively counter misleading campaigns against animal agriculture.”

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All groups who attended one or both of the conferences encouraged promoting veganism in a variety of ways, including using social media to fundraise for the movement. They also want to promote Meatless Mondays as a way to convert others to veganism. The groups plan to target messages about “factory farming” to restaurants and retailers.

Keynote speakers addressed activists’ successes, but not all was peachy at the conferences. FARM founder Alex Hershaft noted that group members were frustrated at the lack of coordination and communication both within and between groups. Hershaft also noted that Ingrid Newkirk of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) hadn’t attended the annual conference in more than 13 years, although she has been asked to speak on a number of occasions. He also said that the groups’ opponents would “be amazed” if they knew how little communication went on in the groups, Truitt reported.

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Source Hoosiers Ag Today.