4/11 – Rewilding Conference at Aquinas College

Rewilding: Protecting All Life
Saturday April 11, 2015
1PM-4:30PM in the Wege Ballroom
Aquinas College


  • Dr. Michelle Loyd-Paige, Executive Associate to the President for Diversity and Inclusion, Calvin College
  • Gregory Bassett, Adjunct Professor of Philosophy, Hope College
  • Jamie Lee Sansone, Aquinas Sustainable Business student, President and Founder of Keeping Bees
  • Brett Colley, Associate Professor, Art & Design, Grand Valley State University
  • Marc Bekoff, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of Colorado, author of numerous
    books including Rewilding Our Hearts and founder with Jane Goodall of Ethologists for the Ethical Treatment of Animals. (Attending via Skype.)


Pain, Sympathy, and Morality:  A Very Short History of Ethical Theory, Human Beings, and Animals:  The question of whether animals have rights, and if so why, is one that has been discussed for thousands of years.  In fact, many of the debates that people have today are merely updates of debates that have been going on for centuries.  In this talk I will attempt to explain some of the ethical theories that have shaped those historical discussions, and the significance they still have today.  Why do we think that human beings have rights, and why do some of those same considerations apply to animals?

One Christian’s Perspective on Veganism: Scripture and Discipline. Can a person be a Christian and a Vegan? Doesn’t the Bible tell us to have dominion over the animals? Doesn’t Romans say that vegetarians have weaker faith? Michelle Loyd-Paige, a Christian vegan, will share her perspective on interpreting selected Biblical passages and surviving African-American church dinners (she is African American and attend an African American church). The goal of this session is to – in the words of Marc Bekoff in A Faith Embracing All Creatures – “help Christians see Christianity anew and help all of us expand our compassion footprint.”

The Keeping Bees Project. Jamie a senior year Sustainable Business student at Aquinas College, Student Ambassador, Intern for Steelcase’s Global Environmental Sustainability team, RYT200 Yoga instructor, and local foodie has sure dived into the honey! In 2014 Jamie founded the Keeping Bees student organization at Aquinas where she continues to learn and teach her various communities what it takes to start and manage bee hives. This club is different than any other club on campus because it demands the students attention  to nature throughout all four seasons. In just two hives there are almost 100,000 bees. The bees live down the road at Marywood Dominican Center gardens. The club generates revenue for the college, is very active in the community and provides nutritious raw, local honey for students and guests. Jamie will present the top 10 reasons of why it is important for you to experiment with nature in your own backyard in becoming a beekeeper. She will delve into bee biology, the life cycle of a bee and its various roles, and the importance of bee bi-products and it’s connection to our food system. Jamie will share her passion and hope for the bees, native pollinators, plants and animal rights from beginning to the end.

Animal Liberation through an Intersectional Lens: Learning to Work Together. In Winter 2014 I worked with a small group of likeminded folks at another area college to integrate the issue of animal rights into the curriculum of an 8-week course on Food Justice. Through that process I came to better understand a host of unflattering preconceptions and concerns – held both by other activists and a more general population – regarding the AR movement. By sharing this experience, I hope to illuminate the challenges (of public perception and humankind’s innate speciesism) faced by advocates for others animals, as well as strategies for building a broader, stronger movement based upon intersectional analyses and organizing principles.

Free vegan food will be served.
Please RSVP to Nathan Poirier at poirinat@aquinas.edu


Here is a link to a campus map. http://www.aquinas.edu/pdf/Campus_Map.pdf
The location “F” on the map is the parking lot for the Wege Student Center, and the third floor of this building is the Wege ballroom which is where the event will take place. The Fulton parking lot, marked “B” on the map, can also be available for parking.
Directions to Aquinas College 1607 Robinson Road SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49506:
Follow US-131 N to Wealthy St. SW
Take exist 84 A on the left toward Wealthy St. SW
Turn right onto Wealthy St. SW
Continue on Wealthy St. SW until you come to Gladstone Dr. SE (about 2.5-3 mi on Wealthy St.)
Turn left on Gladstone Dr. SE
Continue down Gladstone and across Robinson into the Aquinas campus, or park on a surrounding side street (including on Gladstone).
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