Compassion Over Killing founder Paul Shapiro was elected to the U.S. Animal Rights Hall of Fame by the speakers at the Animal Rights 2008 National Conference. He accepted the Award at a banquet on August 16th at the Hilton Alexandria Mark Center Hotel.

Paul founded COK in 1995, while still in high school. Through the use of undercover investigations, outreach programs, and advertising campaigns, the organization grew into a national force for farmed animals that generated a flood of news stories and helped lead countless people to choose a vegan diet. He has appeared as a guest on news outlets from CNN to Fox and has been profiled in the Washington Post.

In 2005, Paul joined the Humane Society of the United States as Director of Factory Farm Campaigns. He helped create HSUS's first-ever guide to vegetarian eating, and helped pass laws abolishing gestation crates in Oregon, and both gestation crates and veal crates in Arizona and Colorado. Currently, he is promoting California's Proposition 2, which requires that animals raised for food be able to spread their wings and turn around, virtually eliminating the traditional cages.

He received the Young Activist Award from the AR Conference in 1993 and the Grassroots Activist Award in 1997.

Current members of the Hall of Fame are listed at http://arconference.org/ARHOF.htm

Animal rights campaigner Heather Mills received the Celebrity Animal Rights Activist Award at the Animal Rights 2008 National Conference on Saturday, August 16th, for her dedication and accomplishments on behalf of animals. She was largely responsible for banning of dog and cat fur imports by the European Union and brought massive exposure to the cruelty of a British pig breeding operation. She is an ethical vegan.

Visit www.HeatherMills.org  for more details!

Joe Espinosa of Illinois and Matt Kelly of Massachusetts received the prestigious Henry Spira Grassroots Animal Activist Award at the Animal Rights 2008 National Conference on August 16th, and Meili Swanson of Georgia was honored as the Young Animal Activist.

Joe Espinosa was recognized for handing out over 140,000 Vegan Outreach booklets to students on 60 college campuses since 2000. Previously, he conducted tabling, leafleting, and demonstrations at the University of Illinois since 1995.

Matt Kelly has purchased billboards, taken a live turkey to schools, worked with local radio stations, started animal rights groups at local colleges, and rescued, transported, and placed animals in western Massachusetts.

14-year-old Meili Swanson has been promoting animal rights in her school and through Georgia Animal Rights and Protection for nearly three years.