Animal rights activists demonstrate for the closing of the Havat Maoz monkey-breeding farm
Animal rights activists demonstrate for the closing of Havat Mazor monkey breeding farm. Photo by Tomer Appelbaum
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The inaugural congress of the vegan movement in Israel will take place on Friday in Tel Aviv capping a year of elevated public attention for the cause.

Organizers of the First Vegan Congress said 2013 saw hundreds of restaurants adding vegan options to their menu, thousands of concerned citizens taking to the streets to protest against industrial slaughtering of animals for consumption, increased media attention and many converts to a vegan diet.

Vegan Friendly, who put on the Congress, is a grassroots organization that issues seals of approval to dining establishments all over the country. The group's founder, Omri Paz, said the "ongoing abuse and torture of animals" prompted the push for a gathering of advocates and activists, according to Maariv.

700 participants gathering on Friday at Tel Aviv's Duhl Center will listen to lectures and participate in workshops aimed at building the movement to reduce consumption of animal products in Israel.