We attended the recent Animal Rights 2.0 workshop conducted at PETA’s office in Los Angeles. The day-long program included segments touching on a range of ways to live more animal friendly.

Of course one segment of particular interest was Christina Sewell’s discussion “Animals are Not Ours to Wear.” Ms. Sewell writes frequently on animal-free options for anyone’s wardrobe, many of which can be found at this Shopping Guide to Compassionate Clothing (where, we are proud to say, Jill Milan is listed).

We were looking forward to “Animals Are Not Ours to Eat” by Jenny Engeland Heather Goldberg of Spork Foods, and they did not disappoint. Ms. Engel and Ms. Goldberg prepared a number of items – the vegan barbecue sauce is one we will be making – and once again demonstrated that while eating vegan might be cruelty free, it is definitely not flavor free.

Fascinating is the only way we can describe Dr. Neal Barnard’s presentation on the health benefits of a vegan diet, “How to Understand, Discuss, and Promote the Vegan Diet.” Dr. Barnard, president of Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, speaks frequently on the topic and has authored more than 15 books on nutrition and the impact on health. His presentation touched on the benefits of vegan eating for diabetes patients, and discussed how PCRM’s “Power Plate” prompted the changes to the food pyramid of a bygone era – which now includes “protein,” not “meat & fish” as many might recall.

Dr. Neal Barnard

Dr. Neal Barnard


And any event in Hollywood would naturally discuss efforts to ensure the safety of animals in the entertainment industry. “Animals are Not Ours to Use For Entertainment” offered a look at how animals have historically faced horrible abuse in circuses and film production, and cautioned that the familiar “No Animals Were Harmed” disclaimer at the end of films is not the assurance it sounds like. The American Humane Association attests to the safety of animals only in the movie scenes for which it is present during filming. Animals still face abuse away from the cameras, and in some cases animals are filmed for scenes where the AHA is not even present.

All in all an educational and entertaining event. We highly recommend it.