by Karen Hery
Leaving just it’s fundraising and administration offices back in Bethesda, Maryland, the internal organization, FARM (Farm Animals Rights Movement) has moved it’s national campaign headquarters to Southeast Portland, the first national animal rights organization to be based in Portland, Oregon.
FARMs young and energetic Executive Director, Michael Webermann, admits they’ve moved to Portland for more grass…grassroots connections, that is.
“Portland has so much energy and a huge vegan community,” Webermann is quick to point out. “The DC area is overstuffed with non-profits and it has become a harder and harder place to attract volunteers.”
Judging by the standing room only crowd that spilled out onto the street for FARM’s open house in mid May with showings of their Billion Lives video, the staff and volunteer relations are off to a great start.
FARM is a 37 year-old organization, started in 1976 by Alex Hershaft, a holocaust survivor, as the Vegetarian Information Service distributing information on the benefits of a vegetarian diet. In 1981, it became the Farm Animal Reform Movement embracing veganism and the right of animals not to be used for food. In 2011, it became Farm Animal Rights Movement to emphasize its commitment to ending the use of animals for food, rather than merely reforming their treatment.
Three main national campaigns will be run out of the office space just off Hawthorne at 7th: the great American Meatout, a feel good event encouraging as many Americans as possible to go meatless on March 20; World Day for Farmed Animals, a protest event every October 2 drawing attention to slaughterhouse practices in the US and a dozen other countries and also the 10 Billion Lives campaign which pays people $1 to watch a four-minute video screened at rock concerts and college campuses in a specially designed truck and at mobile kiosks.
Inspiring people to become vegan is a primary goal for FARM with the idea that a world of vegans will put an end to the need for farmed animals for food.
To learn more about FARM or to volunteer with a FARM campaign, stop by the office at 700 SE Hawthorne, Ste B or contact FARM on www.farmusa.org.