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Stop Animal Exploitation NOW!
S. A. E. N.
"Exposing the truth to wipe out animal experimentation"

The Defender
From Summer 2009 Issue

Vegetarian Summerfest – SAEN Takes Animal Rights on the Road

Stop Animal Exploitation NOW! staff were active participants in Vegetarian Summerfest 2009, which was held on the campus of the University of Pittsburgh, Johnstown. SAEN brought the animal rights message to a receptive audience of over 600, leading presentations on topics from animal experimentation to biblical perspectives on animal rights.

On the first full day of Summerfest, SAEN’s Executive Director, Michael Budkie, led a moving session titled The Grief of Dealing with Animal Issues. Despite being scheduled simultaneously with two of the conference’s most popular speakers, this session overflowed. Michael’s presentation opened by discussing the enormity of animal issues – 20 million die in labs annually, 10 billion die for food, etc. The focus then shifted to the isolating and depressing nature of the issues we focus on. Michael shared experiences from his training as an animal care technician – hearing rabbits scream, feeling a mouse die in his hand, etc. Then the session was opened up to allow all of the attendees to share their own feelings. The presentation ended with Michael urging activists to keep fighting for the animals, just as they keep fighting for their own freedom, despite their imprisonment in steel cages.

On Friday, Michael’s presentation brought the truth about animal experimentation to the Summerfest audience. What every Caring Person should know about Animal Experimentation, and what they can do equipped activists with factual information about the reality of animal experimentation, as well as teaching the best methods for investigating research facilities and launching campaigns to end animal experiments.

What the Bible has to say about a Plant-based Diet and Animal Rights was a panel discussion that took place on Saturday to a packed house. Milton Mills MD moderated the panel and presented a Christian perspective while Roberta Schiff presented a Jewish perspective on animal issues. Mr. Budkie’s talk focused on the overall compassionate nature of the Christian message, using Jesus as an example of how we should understand the true meaning of concepts like stewardship and dominion. With Jesus’ life used as a basis for interpreting these concepts it becomes clear that human dominion over other species should be a dominion of service and caring, not exploitation. When the concept of stewardship of creation is re-interpreted in light of Jesus’ New Testament teachings, it is clear that stewardship actually means that we are caring for a world which is NOT our property to use and abuse. The earth belongs to the Creator and as stewards we will be held responsible for our actions relating to both animals and the environment. Again, stewardship does not imply license, but service.

We believe that SAEN’s involvement in the Vegetarian Summerfest 2009 conference brought the animal rights message to a sympathetic audience that is becoming increasingly more attuned to ending the abuse of animals in their daily lives.

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Summer 2009 Issue

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