International Vegetarian Union (IVU)
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Alex Hershaft PhD
IVU Councillor (1984 - 1999)
Fellow of IVU

In the summer of 1981, Dr Alex Hershaft organized ‘Action For Life,’ a national conference that launched the US animal rights movement. Shortly thereafter, he gave up a successful career in environmental management and an affluent suburban lifestyle to devote his full attention to exposing and ending animal abuse and other destructive impacts of animal agriculture. Later that year, Dr Hershaft founded FARM (Farm Animal Reform Movement) which has become a major force in the struggle for vegetarianism and improved treatment of farm animals. He launched World Farm Animals Day in 1983 and the Great American Meatout in 1985. In addition to these annual campaigns, FARM also sponsors National Veal Ban Action, Letters From FARM, CHOICE (of plant-based meals in schools), and several other programs. FARM’s nine national conferences turned hundreds of concerned Americans into animal rights activists.

Dr Hershaft first became involved in the vegetarian movement in 1975 at the World Vegetarian Congress in Orono (ME). The following year, he founded the Vegetarian Information Service (VIS). VIS distributed information and arranged several conferences on the benefits of meatless eating for consumer health, environmental quality, and animal well-being. It pioneered and promoted public vegetarian Thanksgiving dinners.

Dr Hershaft has written numerous articles and has lectured extensively on animal agriculture, farm animal abuse, diet and health, and environmental conservation. He has conducted intensive seminars on personal growth, persuasion, and campaigning. He has granted hundreds of media interviews.

Previously, Dr Hershaft had founded a regional environmental organization (1969), a national organization for religious freedom (1962), and several local organizations. He has been active in a number of organizations advocating social justice. He is listed in Marquis’ “Who’s Who In America” and several other biographical directories. Dr Hershaft holds a PhD in chemistry from Iowa State University and a BA from University of Connecticut. His 25-year professional career has included teaching, materials and operations research, and environmental management for academic, aerospace, and consulting institutions. Dr Hershaft was born in Warsaw and is a survivor of the Warsaw Ghetto. He immigrated to the US from Italy in 1951. His daughter, Monica, is a professional actress.

Bethesda, Maryland, USA - farm@farmusa.org