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Heather Mills grabbed headlines during this weekend’s 2008 Animal Rights National Conference in Washington, DC.

The former model wowed conference attendees when she made a donation of $50,000 to FARM (Farm Animals Rights Movement) – which also honored her with their Celebrity Animal Advocate Award – and announced that she is planning to launch her own brand of vegan food, a project she plans to fund herself.

The conference is one of the largest and oldest annual animal rights events held in the world, and this year attracted over 90 speakers from 60 animal protection groups in 9 countries.

During the conference, Mills announced she will launch her vegan range in October, and will follow the launch by opening a chain of vegan restaurants. She also spoke about her experiences on the animal rights frontline, her successful legislative campaigns, and on the health benefits of plant-based food. She talked about how her diet saved her following the tragic accident that severed her leg, and also discussed how dietary changes can demonstrate compassion for animal welfare.

FARM selected Mills to be the recipient of their award due to her exceptional leadership, personal commitment and accomplishments with respect to important animal welfare and rights causes, campaigns, education, and her proven and outstanding commitment to the animal rights cause. She said she was delighted to accept this prestigious award, and the recognition from her peers in the animal rights community is very special to her.

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