Board Members

Dr. Lester Friedlander, DVM
President, Veterinary Expert


Dr. Lester Friedlander was once the chief USDA meat inspector at the largest hamburger processing plant in the country. He boasts immaculate credentials as an expert on the workings of the U.S. meat industry. Having spent countless thousands of hours on the slaughterhouse killing floor, amidst countless thousands of carcasses destined for dinner plates across America, Dr. Friedlander is now a strict vegetarian and an outspoken critic of the U.S. meat industry.

This drastic turnaround came to Dr. Friedlander after seeing too many animals cruelly mishandled and tormented at slaughter, too many missteps in the inspection process, and too many slip-ups, sacrificing both human and animal welfare. After revealing the secrets of the USDA’s meat inspection process on national television, the USDA handed him his walking papers. Now he spends his days speaking out about the drastic shortcomings in the Federal food inspection system, in hopes of enlightening the public and ultimately reforming the cruel agribusiness machine.

Patience O’Dowd
Secretary, Legal, Research, Legislative

Patience O’Dowd started her career as a Chemical Engineer working in the Environmental Engineering field. She later worked in Research and Development for 6 yrs. and then in the Semi-Conductor Industry for 14 yrs. before returning to the Environmental Field. There she has co-founded two successful Environmental Non-Profits. WHOA in NM and CAES in Or., passing conservation legislation and successfully defending it in court.

(WHOA) Wild Horse Observers Association based in NM.
(CAES) Citizens Against Equine Slaughter based in Or.

Val Cecama-Hogsett
Treasurer, Public Outreach

Val Cecama-Hogsett has devoted most of her life to work for non-profit organizations. Beginning as the Director of the Spencer Public Library where along with the normal duties of directorship she was a grant writer. She then went on to run a large animal rescue, leaving that work after a disabling incident. Val still couldn’t leave behind work with animal advocacy and went on to small animal advocacy, and work as a transporter from kill shelters to rescues.

Val became a Board Member of CAES in 2014 and has successfully co-chaired as an attorney pro-se on Administrative Appeals for the wild horses.  She is the founder of CAES wild horse branch, National Wild Horse & Burro Administration and Co-Founder of their environmental coalition United Voices of the Eagle & Public Lands Truth Campaign (UVOTE & PLTC). Val had duel majors in college in law and accounting, with a minor in psychology.

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