This past weekend, the Fight or Flight Tour landed at the Animal Rights 2014 National Conference in Los Angeles, CA. The Bunny Alliance, Resistance Ecology, and the Earth First! Journal all tabled throughout the conference in the exhibition hall, which was filled with the tables of animal rights groups from across the country and visited by over 1,000 conference attendees from all over the world. Both the attendees as well as other exhibitors and speakers were all very supportive of the work of all the groups, and people were especially excited to ask us about the Fight or Flight Tour and find out if it’s coming to their city.
During the conference, Bunny Alliance co-founder Amanda Schemkes spoke on a panel about advocating for primates, along with Michael Budkie of Stop Animal Exploitation Now, Bob Ingersoll of Project Nim, and Shirley McGreal of the International Primate Protection League. As her contribution to the panel, Amanda spoke about the Gateway to Hell network, the Bunny Alliance’s campaign against Delta Air Lines and the Fight or Flight Tour, and our dedication to working for an end to the exploitation of animals in labs. She also showed our Fight or Flight Tour video, which moved several audience members to tears. We were excited that the room filled with people—many even sitting on the floor or standing—who were interested in learning about how to end the use of primates in labs, as well as to see that the work of The Bunny Alliance was met with loud applause and cheers. Amanda also spoke briefly during the closing plenary about the work that we are doing this summer on the Fight or Flight Tour, as well as about our support for activists Tyler Lang and Kevin Olliff who were recently indicted under the Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act.
On the Monday of the conference, attendees were able to board a bus that took them first to SAEN’s demonstration at UCLA to highlight the university’s cruel treatment of animals in its labs, and then the bus drove everyone to LAX for a Bunny Alliance protest against Delta Air Lines. About 80 people attended the protest and filled Delta’s terminal with chants and the overwhelming message of asking Delta to help bring an end to partner Air France’s involvement in transporting animals to labs. Activists stood both inside and outside the terminal, and all of Delta’s customers who were arriving for their flights saw the protest and many told us that they wish they had known about Delta’s role in animal cruelty before booking their flights—next time they’ll be flying with another airline.
The international animal rights community, airline customers, and the general public are appalled by Air France’s and Delta’s continued facilitation of the torture of primates, dogs, and other animals, and it’s time for the airlines to realize that vivisection is outdated and unethical “science.”