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From 27 June 2004 Issue

Eleven Days Until AR2004
by Greg Lawson - ParkStranger@aol.com

Once again, I am honored to be one of the speakers at Animal Rights 2004, the annual conference presented by FARM, the Farm Animal Reform Movement. This year it happens just outside our nation's capital at Vienna, Virginia, July 8 though 12. I am also proud that this year, Animal Rights Online is one of the many sponsors of this event.

This gathering is a time to meet new people in the AR movement and a time to rekindle old friendships. It's a time to find new motivation, a time to examine and clarify our views and our roles as Animal Rights Advocates.

It's a time for learning... oh, what a time for learning. With over 80 speakers participating in over 50 workshops, 30 campaign reports, the evening keynote talks, and the rap sessions, the video presentations, receptions, exhibits, the strategy meetings....it's almost too much to pack into a such a few short days.

The memories I have of the last three FARM conferences I attended will be with me forever. I expect no less from this year's meeting. The connections with people I made, the greater understanding I gained of non-human animals, of our movement, and other things I learned at this annual event have helped me to become a better voice for the other beings with whom we share this world.

The first evening of the conference, I am giving a brief talk on the current status of wildlife protection in our movement. Right now I am trying to figure out how to say all I want to about this topic in the short time I have.

It's a challenge to consider how to give equal time to the situation of the bison of Yellowstone, the sea turtles on Padre Island, pet tigers in Texas, the hunting of black bears in New Jersey, the plight of the grizzlies and the wolves, the current administration's violations of the Migratory Bird Treaty Act... hmmm, I could speak way over my time just on the Bush administration's violations of federal and international laws protecting animals.

I guess I will have to save some of those thoughts for my other workshops and the rap sessions.

Don't let this opportunity pass. Be a part of it. Go to www.ar2004.org for more information and to find out how to make your reservation. This conference should be attended by everyone who works for the recognition of the rights of animals.
Hope to meet you there.

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