Conscious Eating: Local, Organic, Plant-Based – What is Truly Sustainable?

Conscious Eating Conference Speaker Videos

9:00 - 9:50 am

Urban Chicken-Keeping: Problems and Recommendations

Presented by Karen Davis, PhD

In recent years, animal shelters and sanctuaries in urban and suburban areas have seen a dramatic increase in backyard chicken-keeping. As the popularity of raising backyard flocks in urban areas has grown, farm animal shelters have become inundated with calls to take in unwanted chickens. Karen Davis will discuss the pros and cons of keeping backyard chickens in urban areas, what chickens need for happiness and wellbeing, and suggestions if you are considering or already have a backyard flock.

10:00 - 10:50 am

The Alternative to the Alternatives:
Veganism as a Response to Industrial Agriculture

Presented by James McWilliams

We are all well aware of the problems with factory farmed animal products. But what about the alternatives? It's very common these days for concerned consumers to seek animal products from alternative--more sustainable and humane--systems of productions, or even to raise their own animals themselves. My presentation will explore the hidden ethical and environmental costs of these alternatives, arguing that as long as the act of eating animals is not actively stigmatized, factory farms will continue to be the dominant mode of production.

11:00 - 11:50 am

Food Justice: Eating with a Conscience

Presented by Lauren Ornelas

This presentation will explore the various ways in which individuals can have a positive impact on animals, workers and the environment. From farm workers in the fields of California to slavery in the chocolate industry, every food-related industry is laced with its own corporate greed. Ways in which every individual can help make a difference will be covered. Current inequities in our food system based on ethnicity and income will also be discussed.

2:00 - 2:50 pm

Your Role in Global Depletion: New Food Choice Perspectives from the book COMFORTABLY UNAWARE

Presented by Dr. Richard A. Oppenlander

Dr. Oppenlander discusses the ways in which our food choices are affecting human health, the planet's health and the welfare of the animals, while discussing why sustainability initiatives would benefit from including food choice as a relevant topic in curbing global depletion. In this presentation, Dr. Oppenlander challenges the audience to rethink the way in which they view sustainable. He provides new scientific data about the rate at which our food choices are single-handedly contributing to the demise of our planet's resources, while conveying viable new ways to change our current course by modifying our sustainability focus.

3:00 - 3:50 pm

Animal-Free Urban Farming: Compassion for All

Presented by Colleen Patrick-Goudreau and Ian Elwood

Colleen Patrick-Goudreau and Ian Elwood will talk about the work they are doing to advocate for a healthful, humane, and sustainable urban farming policy. They will address issues that face the city in creating a food policy that will encourage residents to grow foods that are healthful to eat, while simultaneously having the least negative impacts on people, animals, environment and the city of Oakland.

4:00 - 4:50 pm

Crocodile Tears: Compassionate Carnivores and Rise of Happy Meat

Presented by Vasile Stanescu

There is a new genre of texts which argue for "local" and "humane" farms in terms of helping both the environment and protecting the animals. I critically engage with these so-called "compassionate carnivores" and their new arguments for "humane" or "happy" meat and document that the rise of small scale farms can never serve as a truly effective strategy to improve the lives of animals. Instead, I suggest, those concerned with suffering of animals should join with animal rights activists to effect positive change.

Vasile Stanescu is PhD candidate at Stanford University in the Program of Modern Thought and Literature. He serves as Co-Senior Editor of the Critical Animal Studies Book Series published by Rodopi Press and as a co-editor for the Journal for Critical Animal Studies. Stanescu has presented at twenty-five academic conferences, has nine publications, and has received eighteen awards. In 2011, Stanescu received a grant from the Culture and Animals Foundation to help fund his current research on the topic of "locavorism" and environmentalism.


5:00 - 6:00 pm Closing Panel Q & A with All Speakers. Hope Bohanec, Facilitator