The fifth Asia for Animals conference will be held in Bali, Indonesia August 27-29th. It is billed as an “animal welfare” conference, so I’m guessing there will be talk of “happy meat” & the like (the menu will be “vegetarian — mainly vegan with the exception of certified free-range eggs in some dishes”). I guess I shouldn’t be surprised, given that Humane Society International is one of the sponsors, although perhaps they are more radical than the Humane Society in the US (hey, one can dream…).
I’m really interested in hearing more about who the primary attendees of this conference will be: Local Asian AR activists? Foreigners who don’t live in Asia? Expatriates from Western countries like the US who now live in Asia? And who will be on the panels?
I noticed in the conference description that the location is described as “until recently an idyllic fishing village on the eastern coastline of Bali.” There are many things that could explain the “until recently”; excuse my cynicism in wondering how much tourism has to do with it. It seems like the phrasing is geared towards appealing to tourists, as is the longer description of the area. The FAQs seem similarly aimed, with questions like: are there doctors or pharmacies near the conference? (In case you get sick from the weird Asian food, right? Or in case you’re worrying about your health just going to one of those funny countries?)
I was excited to hear about an Asian animal issues conference. I’m disappointed that the publicity for the conference seems aimed at foreign tourists, & that it fails to problematize the issue of tourism, though. If any VoC readers attend, please do let us know how it goes.