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TAFA DAY 1: “One Really Does Make the Difference”

Skinny Bitch:

Skinny Bitch: “You are a total moron if you think the Atkins Diet will make you thin.”

I got to the Taking Action For Animals conference shortly after 3:00pm. Perhaps the most exciting thing about conferences is seeing old friends and colleagues, and surely, meeting new ones as well. It took me over an hour to do the first of many rounds of meet and greets, so sadly I missed the keynote presentation of Farm Sanctuary’s Gene Bauston.

Then, my stomach demanded my attention and I made a run with the awesome Pulin Modi to Ella’s Pizza, which was conveniently just a few blocks away from the conference site. (This in turn caused me to miss the ballot campaign presentations from the Committee to Restore the Dove Shooting Ban and Arizonans for Humane Farms.) The pizza was ok, but it was a bit pricey – $28 for a plain large pie featuring the vegan meltable Follow Your Heart soy cheese!! And you thought NYC was pricey!!! I miss my Two Boots!!

Thankfully, I made it to the sweet and inspiring talk by Rory Freedman, author of the Los Angeles Times best seller, Skinny Bitch – “a no non-sense, tough-love guide for savvy girls who want to stop eating crap and start looking fabulous” (or, in other words, go vegan).

Rory told of how she got started in animal activism as a student at the University of Maryland – College Park, and how four years ago, she actually was one of us, sitting and listening to people speak at an animal rights conference, until she decided to help spread the word on veganism by penning her witty book for the masses.

The most touching part of her talk was when she invited 9 student activists to read quotes that she included in her book from Gail Eisnitz’s Slaughterhouse with her on the stage. She left the audience with the simple message that “behind every ballot initiative or campaign is someone who made it happen” and that everyone should step up to be that “someone” because “one really does make the difference.”

After much inspiration, surely, my stomach demanded for more attention. An army and I including my fellow blogger, Olivia Lane, headed to Meskerem for some incredible Ethiopian food. (Sadly, I have yet had Ethiopian food in NYC that is as good as DC.) The friendly and accomodating staff made the experience even more enjoyable – considering that though we made a reservation for 12 for 8:45pm, when we all finally arrived at 9:30pm-ish, we had swelled to an army of 18.

What would have capped off my night would have been some vegan pastries, but sadly though DC has better Ethiopian food than NYC, they don’t have late night vegan desserts options. (Really, almost everything closes in DC around 9:30pm.) So, I headed back to my sister’s place in Arlington and grabbed some raspberry sorbet. And now, I’m just dreaming for my return to NYC.

Check back tomorrow for Day 2 of TAFA coverage!

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