Enjoy a delicious vegan three-course meal, listen to banquet speakers Wayne Pacelle and U.S. Rep. Sam Farr along with entertainment from singer/songwriter Nellie McKay.
Sponsored by the ASPCA
As President and CEO of The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), Wayne Pacelle leads the largest animal protection organization in the United States, with 11 million members and constituents. During his tenure, Pacelle has more than doubled the size of the organization and, through corporate combinations with groups, built unity and greater efficiency within the animal protection cause. He has led successful efforts to pass hundreds of new state and federal laws to protect animals (more than 600 state laws since 2005, and more than 25 federal statutes over the last decade), expanded The HSUS’s animal care operations, and worked with dozens of corporations to enact operational changes that benefit animals. Pacelle is the author of the New York Times bestseller The Bond: Our Kinship with Animals, Our Call to Defend Them. His work on animal issues has been featured in thousands of newspapers and magazines across the country. He received his B.A. in history and studies in the environment from Yale University in 1987.
U.S. Rep. Sam Farr
Congressman Sam Farr, D-Calif., was named 2011 Humane Representative of the Year for his leadership, as the Ranking Member of the House Agriculture Appropriations Subcommittee, securing significant increases in funding to strengthen USDA enforcement of key animal welfare laws, as well as on bills to improve treatment of egg-laying hens and promote stability for egg farmers (the Egg Products Inspection Act Amendments, H.R. 3798) and to require licensing and inspections of puppy mills selling directly to the public via the Internet or other means (the PUPS Act, H.R. 835). Rep. Farr played a pivotal role in approving a USDA request to reprogram $4 million of FY 2011 funding so that the agency could address serious shortfalls in its oversight of puppy mills, identified by USDA’s own Inspector General, as well as obtaining a $5 million increase in USDA’s FY 2012 funding to enforce the Animal Welfare Act, which covers puppy mills, laboratories, zoos, circuses and other regulated facilities. Rep. Farr’s long history on this effort – he led the initial push for increased AWA funding back in 1999 and offered key guidance in the ensuing years – has been very successful. In the 1990s, AWA funding was stagnant at about $9 million per year; for FY 2012, Congress provided $27 million. In addition, Rep. Farr provided critical help last year winning enactment of a 40 percent increase in funding for the Horse Protection Act, the law that prohibits soring of show horses (the first time in decades that HPA enforcement, also strongly criticized by USDA’s Inspector General, received more than $500,000). Rep. Farr also earned a perfect score on the 2011 Humane Scorecard, and has championed animal protection dating from his service in the California Legislature.
Acclaimed singer/songwriter Nellie McKay is a creative dynamo. She has released five critically acclaimed albums, won an award for her performance in the Broadway production of The Threepenny Opera, and appeared onscreen in the film PS I Love You. Her music has been heard in films and numerous TV shows. Not just a multi-talented artist, McKay is also a staunch advocate of animal protection and other social causes, and she brings her advocacy, along with a strong dose of satire, to her music and her performances. Two of her most recent, and unique performances include “I Want to Live,” a “musical death row revue” hailed by The New Yorker as “a brilliant piece of theater,” based on the life (and death) of San Quentin inmate Barbara Graham; and “Silent Spring—It’s Not Nice to Fool Mother Nature,” a tribute to Rachel Carson on the 50th anniversary of the book that gave birth to the environmental movement.