Southeastern Regional Animal Rights Conference

"The Only Way to Be is Free."

Speakers | Schedule | Registration


(click on the speaker's name for bio)
Fund for Animals-  Heidi Prescott
Animal Liberation League- Freeman Wicklund, Jeff Watkins
Animal Rights Foundation of Florida- Susan McCullom
Psychologists for the Ethical Treatment of Animals- Ken Shapiro
Coalition to Abolish Fur Trade- Joel Capolonga
United Poultry Concerns- Karen Davis
Save Harbour Animal Rescue and Clinic- Michelle Rivera
University of Central Florida- Ronnie Hawkins
Author- Don Lutz
Vegan Outreach- Jack Norris
Animal Protection Institute of America- Lawrence Carter Long
Greyhound Protection League- Janet Skinner
Friends of Whales/ Panther Action Coalition- Holly Jensen
Progressive Animal Welfare Society- Howard Garrett


Info Online:

Coalition to Abolish Fur Trade
Psychologists for the Ethical Treatment of Animals
Animal Protection Institute
Performing Animal Welfare Society
Greyhound Protection League
Fund for Animals
Vegan Outreach

Freeman Wickland - Animal Liberation League

Education: University of Minnesota 1992-1996.  Graduated on June 1996 with a Bachelor of Science in Nutrition.
Activist History:  Arrested 13 times for participating in civil disobedience on behalf of animals from 1992-1997.  Hunger-striked for an entire 14-day jail stay in March 1997.  He was jailed for a civil disobedience action against drug addiction research on primates at the University of Minnesota.  The caged and isolated monkeys are starved to 85% of their body weight so food rewards can be used to addict them to drugs such as cocaine and PCP.

For nearly a decade, Freeman Wicklund has tirelessly campaigned for animal rights.  Through presentations, personal integrity, and dramatic demonstrations, he has brought to the masses a message of compassion and justice.  Adopted a vegan lifestyle in 1988.  A vegan (pronounced VEE-gun) lifestyle is one where a person does not consume or wear animal products, buy products tested on animals, or patronize abusive animal acts such as circuses, rodeos, or zoos.  Has seen first-hand the violent, dirty, and exploiting conditions on hog, dairy, poultry, fish, and fur farms and vivisection labs.

Founder and Executive Director of the Animal Liberation League.   Founded the Student Organization for Animal Rights (SOAR) at the University of Minnesota during the Summer of 1993.

Credible A.L.F. Spokesperson:  Interviewed dozens of A.L.F. activists - including the A.L.F. Founder, Ronnie Lee, and A.L.F. Press Officers Robin Webb and Robin Lane.  These interviews were conducted during the summer of 1993, while doing a 3 month research project in England, Wales, and Scotland on the British animal liberation movement.

Founder and editor of No Compromise: The Militant, Direct Action Magazine of Animal Liberationists and their Supporters.

Served as spokesperson for the A.L.F. on numerous occasions.  Founder of A.L.F. Appreciation Day, a day to celebrate and show moral support for the courageous and compassionate commandos of the Animal Liberation Front.  Addressed a crowd of thousands of animal activists on the importance of the A.L.F. in the movement at the March for Animals in Washington D.C. during June of 1996.

Susan McCullom

Susan McCullom is an 18 yr.  Veteran of the animal rights movement.  She is a proponent of direct action, and as a result, has been arrested a number of times for her beliefs.  Susan has appeared on national and local media as spokesperson for the protests and other events that she has organized, originally in Canada and most recently with the Animal Rights Foundation of Florida(ARFF).  During the past three years, Susan has hosted a weekly animal rights radio show.  As Humane Education Director for ARFF, Susan has introduced humane-and environmental-resource kits, vegetarian cooking demonstrations and interactive plays that promote animal awareness to South Florida schools.

Ken Shapiro

Kenneth Joel Shapiro is executive director and co-founder of Psychologists for the Ethical Treatment of Animals.  His education background includes a BA in intellectual history from Harvard University and a Ph.d. in clinical and personality psychology from Duke University.  He has published scholarly work in the areas of phenomenological psychology and animal welfare.  He is founding editor of Society and Animals and co-founding editor of Journal of Applied Animal Welfare Science.  His most recent book is Animal Models of Human Psychology: Critique of Science, Ethics, and Policy, published by Hogrefe and Huber.

Joel Capolonga
I began my activism when I was 17 years old in Syracuse, NY.  The first group I worked with was the militant grassroots group, the Animal Defense League.  The ADL was one of the very first groups during the resurgence of grassroots animal rights activism, in the early to mid 90’s.  Our protests were always met with resistance from local law enforcement and very often, I ended up in jail for a few days at a time.  Syracuse was always a hotbed of animal rights activity.  Both above and underground action happened with regularity and effectiveness.  As my involvement within the movement grew, I networked with key organizers all over the country like Cris Vellucci of the National Activist Network, J.P. Goodwin of the Coalition to Abolish Fur Trade and Freeman Wicklund of the Animal Liberation League.  I’ve traveled the eastern part of the country, attending conferences and supporting and engaging in civil disobedience whenever possible, after 3 years of activism in Syracuse.  I just currently moved to Atlanta in September.  I am currently organizing our local CAFT chapter and the Animal Defense League chapter here in Atlanta.

Karen Davis
Karen Davis is the founder and president of United Poultry Concerns, Inc.  She has a Ph.d. in English from the University of Maryland, where she was a teacher for 12 years in the English Department at College Park.  She has published many articles on English literature, college teaching, healthy eating, and animals.  Her articles have appeared in The Faculty Voice, Journal of English and Germanic Philology, The Animals' Agenda, The Animals' Voice, Between the Species: A Journal of Ethics, PCRM Guide to Healthy Eating, and Humane Innovations and Alternatives.  Her op-eds and letters have been published in The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Christian Science Monitor, "Dear Abby, " The Hartford Courant, and many other forums.  She has a major article, "Thinking Like a Chicken: Farm Animals and the Feminine Connection," in Animals and Women: Feminist Theoretical Explorations (Duke University Press 1995).  At the University of Maryland she founded the Animal Rights Coalition in 1989, and she pioneered a course on the role of animals in the Western philosophic and literary tradition in the University Honors Program.  At the Decade of the Animals Conference in 1991, sponsored by Farm Animal Reform Movement, she was named "Outstanding New Leader of the Animal Rights Movement."  In March 1993, Karen Davis was elected to the Summit for the Animals Executive Committee for 1993-94.  In November 1995, she was honored by Delaware Action for Animals "for her perseverance and commitment to educating the public to animals' suffering."

In 1990, Karen Davis founded United Poultry Concerns, a non-profit public education organization that addresses the treatment of domestic fowl in food production, science, education, entertainment, and human companionship situations.  United Poultry Concerns promotes the compassionate and respectful treatment of domestic fowl, humane education, and a humane lifestyle through its quarterly Newsletter Poultry Press and many other publications, including Replacing School Hatching Projects: Alternative Resources & How to Order Them.  In 1991 and 1993, Karen Davis published a cookbook, Instead of Chicken, Instead of Turkey: A Poultryless 'Poultry' Potpourri (revised edition, 1999, The Book Publishing Co.)  Karen Davis is the author of a children's book, A Home for Henny (1996), and Prisoned Chickens, Poisoned Eggs: An Inside Look at the Modern Poultry Industry (The Book Publishing Company 1996).  Prisoned Chickens, which includes a chapter on chicken embryology and a section on school hatching projects, was recommended by Publishers Weekly as a "thoroughly researched analysis of the gruesome, dirty and brutal lives of factory-farmed chickens."

Michelle Rivera
Michelle A. Rivera, Humane Services Coordinator and Cruelty Investigator, Safe Harbor Animal Rescue & Clinic.  Safe Harbor offers low-cost spay/neuter surgeries and performs routine and critical veterinary services for all animals regardless of the owner’s ability to pay.   I graduated from the Legal Assistance program at Palm Beach Community College and worked as a paralegal in various law firms.  I also graduated from the Medical Assisting program at North Technical Institute and worked as an office nurse.  During that time I was a volunteer with the Animal Rights Foundation of Florida and eventually went to work for ARFF as a paralegal for their in-house counsel.  My paralegal experience, coupled with my medical background, helped me to get the job I now have as a Humane Services coordinator with Safe Harbor.    I started out as a kennel supervisor working with veterinarians in exploring and facilitating rescue options for all animals brought to us.  In that capacity, I do home visits for dog adoptions and take all the lost & found and cruelty, abuse and neglect cases.  I also teach Humane Education in the schools and pre-schools.

Please note:  although I listed my topic as “cruelty investigations”, my goal is to speak on bridging the gap between animal rights groups and humane societies and how, working together, we can strengthen the laws to protect animals and facilitate the prosecution of animal cruelty cases.

Ronnie Hawkins
Ronnie Hawkins has had training in biology and medicine as well as in philosophy.  She has been involved in animal and environmental issues for many years.  Her current research is focused in the areas of environmental philosophy and bioethics.  Most recently, she presented a paper at the international Environmental Justice conference in Melbourne, Australia, last October, and will be giving talks on both environmental and bioethical concerns at the World Congress of Philosophy to be held in Boston in August.

Jack Norris
I became aware of the animal liberation movement in 1987.  After graduating from Cornell College (Mt. Vernon, IA) with a Philosophy and Sociology degree in 1989, I became involved with the Animal  Rights community in Greater Cincinnati.  I was on their Board of Directors for a number of years.  In June of 1993, Matt Ball and I held a 3-day Fast For Farm Animals at Kahn’s Packing Plant in Cincinnati.  We then founded Animal Liberation Action (ALA).  Our main focus was to hold banners that said “Stop Eating Animals” along streets and on highway overpasses.  We also developed a booklet, Why Vegan, documenting the animal cruelty inherent in a non-vegan lifestyle.  We found that Why Vegan was more effective at converting people than the banner-holding.  We changed the group’s name to Vegan Outreach and then focused on distributing Why Vegan to as many people as possible, especially college students.  From Fall of 1995 through Spring of 1997, I traveled the country handing out Why Vegan at colleges and universities.  With the help of local activists at some of the schools, I handed out 66,000 copies of Why Vegan at over 280 colleges in 46 states.  Now I do local Why Vegan distribution at walkathons and colleges in the Atlanta area while helping Matt run Vegan Outreach.  Vegan Outreach’s focus is to supply local activists with Why Vegan and encourage them to leaflet at local colleges and walkathons.  200,000 copies of Why Vegan have now been distributed.  I am currently attending Chiropractic College at Life University.

Janet Skinner
I am the Florida Contact for the Greyhound Protection League (GPL), a national, non-profit organization dedicated to protecting greyhounds from the exploitation and abuses inherent in the greyhound racing industry.

My involvement with greyhounds began nearly three years ago when my husband and I began volunteering with a greyhound rescue and adoption group in the Tampa Bay area.  I spent the next two years fostering a total of 15 dogs and promoting greyhound adoptions to the public and the local media.  It was as a result of those experiences that I became aware of the enormity of the problem of placing the massive numbers of dogs that pour off of the nation’s dog tracks week after week.  Working so closely with these wonderful dogs, I also had the opportunity to see first-hand the damage that the dog racing industry does to them, both physically and psychologically.  I eventually came to realize that the only solution to the problem is the total elimination of the dog racing industry.  It was that realization that led me to the GPL.

During the last year, I have organized a number of GPL tabling events throughout the Tampa Bay area;  participated in the Great American Teach-In;  arranged for GPL ads to appear in local newspapers; been interviewed for a newspaper article that was a critical of the dog racing industry;  appeared on Florida Voices for Animals public access television show;  had several letters-to-the-editor published;  organized a number of demonstrations and awareness rallies at Tampa Greyhound Track and Derby Lane;  and recruited a number of wonderful volunteers to help participate in GPL activities.

Howard Garrett
Howard Garrett has 18 years experience studying and advocating for orcas and
other cetaceans. He began his field work in 1980 in association with the
Center for Whale Research (CWR) in Friday Harbor, Washington, shortly after
receiving his BA degree in Sociology from Colorado College. At CWR,
originally known as Orca Survey, Garrett learned about the sophisticated
social systems and complex communications exhibited by the various orca
communities worldwide. In 1982 Garrett participated in his first
anti-capture activities.

He then relocated to New England, where he led whale watch cruises to
experience the humpback whales and other cetaceans of the Atlantic Ocean. He
co-wrote New England Whales, a popular tourist-oriented description of the
Gulf of Maine ecosystem and its cetacean inhabitants. Garrett was back in
Washington in 1993 in time to join in efforts to rehab and release Keiko,
the orca star of Free Willy. These efforts led to the present campaign to
return Lolita to her native waters.

At 33 years of age, Lolita is the oldest orca in captivity today. Lolita was
captured in 1970 from Pacific Northwest waters at approximately 6 years of
age and transferred to the Miami Seaquarium where she has spent the past 27
years. In wild orca communities studied to date, it has been determined that
female orcas can live into their 70's and beyond. Thus, if returned to her
home waters, Lolita could have many more years ahead of her than would be
expected if she remains in captivity.

There are 27 members of Lolita's family alive today who were alive when she
was captured. Of those 27, 11 are females of the correct age range to be her

(C) Copyright Campus Action for Animals, 1998
Last updated 2/20/98