It's easier than this, at least.
I've just returned from AR 2006. It was my thirteenth conference, and everything below might just be burn-out. But, perhaps it isn't.
It’s possible that the annual rights conference hosted by FARM
could be more exhausting. After all, we don't have to dig for coltan
or run an ultramarathon
, but there’s something relentless and enervating about three and a half days of panel after panel on animal suffering, that seem to be the same as the year before, with no hope of anything ever changing.
Actually, some things have changed. There are fewer people than there used to be, and that’s a problem for an organization like Lantern that needs to sell books to keep going. This year it’s mooted that 800 people showed up, but that seems dubious to me. I’d guess about 500, tops. And even if you accept that number, it includes people like me, who are there out of professional obligation as well as personal interest. Where are the new eager activists? And why don’t they want to come back the next year?
When I think of the Toronto
food festivals, or the various Green Festivals
, and their thousands
of attendants, I wonder why we can’t do that at AR whatever year. It’s true, the world of animal rights is hard and the work urgent and necessary, but does it have to involve the pulverizing of our sensitivities?