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Focus More On The “How” Than The “What” Of Communication

When advocating veganism, is your goal to win a debate? If so, then it’s also to make the other person lose. When you focus on the “how” rather than the “what” of your communication, you reduce the risk of creating a win-lose scenario and increase the chances that your message will be heard as you intend it to be.

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Four Key Obstacles To Effective Vegan Advocacy

What stands in the way of effective vegan advocacy? Vegan advocates today face four key obstacles, and this video will help you to overcome them to achieve a more effective communication style.

Watch the next video in the Effective Advocacy series here.

Produced by Beyond Carnism & Vexquisit Studio. Presented by Dr Melanie Joy & Tobias Leenaert.

Please take this short survey about this vegan series

Find out more about Beyond Carnism or CEVA

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You Are Not Your Audience

If you want to influence people, you need to be aware of how others perceive what you’re saying, keeping in mind the YANYA principle: You Are Not Your Audience.

Produced by Beyond Carnism & Vexquisit Studio. Presented by Dr Melanie Joy & Tobias Leenaert.

Please take this short survey about this vegan series

Find out more about Beyond Carnism or CEVA

Watch the next video in the Effective Advocacy here.

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Winning Hearts And Minds, Not Arguments And Debates: Part 1

The one who gets the last word. The winner of the argument. The person who gets blocked for calling the other person an 'animal murderer' one too many times.

For many vegans in their early days of plant-based living - a.k.a. the 'Angry Vegan' stage - these are achievements to be proud of. It's only after one carefully starts to weigh the pros and cons of their behavior do they realize that maybe they cut that stranger on the internet a little too deep. Or perhaps comparing a Facebook friend's eating habits to mass murder was a comparison best left unsaid.

For new vegans, it's going to take time before you realize that it’s best to bite your tongue at times, and to approach situations with an open heart, not an accusatory pointed finger. I know that it took me months of bickering with my friends (and alienating myself in the process) before I realized that the more effective way to communicate the vegan message is to do it subtly, and to do it peacefully.

Becoming an...

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New Video Series On Vegan Communication Skills

This exclusive video series discusses how to become an effective vegan advocate.

The videos - created by vegan influencers Dr. Melanie Joy and Tobias Leenaert, and illustrated by Roxy Vélez from Vexquisit Studio - present one key concept per episode about how to advocate veganism effectively in an engaging, clear, and easily understandable manner.

Video 1:Remember Your Own Carnism

Remembering what it was like when you used to be non-vegan, and speaking about that experience in a personal way, makes it easier to stay empathically connected with non-vegans.

Watch the next video in the Effective Vegan Advocacy series here.

Produced by Beyond Carnism & Vexquisit Studio. Presented by Dr Melanie Joy & Tobias Leenaert.

Please take this short survey about this vegan series

Find out more about Beyond Carnism or CEVA

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Social Media: The Greatest Tool In An Animal Advocate's Arsenal

vegan fast food chain is expanding globally. Beyond Meat is going public. Massive demand for vegan food is revolutionizing supermarkets. Who do you have to thank for this massive shift in public sentiment and behavior? Yourself.

Social media has shifted the landscape in this new technological era of constant connection. On Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube, in a blink-of-an-eye you're exposed to content from an array of sources posted anywhere around the globe. This incredible connection to the rapidly changing world has never been so streamlined. The results? Ideas about plant-based food, knowledge about factory farming, and encouraging messages from individuals and organizations about how to change the world are being exchanged at a rate like we've never seen before.

Each week, literally hundreds of millions of people around the globe are exposed to content that they never otherwise would see if not for social media. Because people like you are...

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This Series Will Take Your Social Media Game To The Next Level #ForTheAnimals

Imagine yourself as an egg-laying hen trapped on a modern factory farm. Confined to a cage so compact that you can't even spread your wings. Sharing a small cage with five, six, or even seven other birds, you have no more space than the size of an average sheet of paper to live your life in. Filth surrounds you while you're engulfed in burning ammonia fumes and a neverending stench. 

After months of producing eggs, once you're no longer at your peak of contributing economically, your only remaining value to the industry is the bruised meat on your bones. You've never seen daylight until this day that you're plucked from your cage, tossed onto a truck, and transported to the slaughterhouse.

This was your life. A life of absolute neglect, apathy, and anonymity. You don't even have a number, let alone a name. For decades, centuries, millennia, you had no one to speak up for you. 

That is, until now. Now, they have you.

You may be wondering: "Well, what can I do?" The...

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Essay Series: Further Reading

Overview Books

The most reliable and comprehensive books for learning about privilege and oppression are classified as textbooks, meaning that they are marketed primarily to educators and they are more pricey than other books. I have listed the most reader-friendly and comprehensive ones that I know of here. If you want to choose only one book to read, I recommend either the first or second ones, which provide the most comprehensive and reader-friendly overview of the subject.

  1. The Psychology of Oppression covers pretty much all the basic, necessary-to-know information about privilege and oppression and is comprehensive yet not terribly long.
  2. Readings for Diversity and Social Justice provides a comprehensive yet easy-to-read overview of privilege and oppression and includes essays on specific forms of oppression. You can find the newest and most up-to-date version here or get the earlier yet more affordable edition here.
  3. Unraveling the Gender Knot gives...
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The Invisible Force That Divides Vegans And Weakens The Vegan Movement

More farmed animals are slaughtered in a single week than the total number of people killed in all wars throughout human history.(1)(2) And the main hope for the animals, at this point in time, is the vegan movement. So the animals depend on us, vegan advocates and, by extension, our organizations, to ensure that the movement is as powerful – as empowered – as possible, to lessen and prevent the bloodshed.

Social justice movements such as the vegan movement are only as empowered as they are unified. Unification is not the same as uniformity, which is similarity or sameness, of opinions, behaviors, etc. Unification is the sense of connectedness and solidarity that comes, in large part, from trusting that members of the group are committed to acting in the best interest of one and another and of their shared mission – that they are committed to integrity, which is the integration of values (e.g., compassion and justice) and practices. We simply can't feel unified...

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17 Ways Our Privilege Causes Us To Act Against Our Own Interests And The Interests Of Others

This is the second installment in a series of essays designed to raise awareness of unexamined privilege in the vegan movement and to encourage productive dialogue so that the movement becomes more unified and empowered. This essay builds on the previous one, so if you haven't yet read that one, please do so here.

In this essay, I describe some of the ways our unexamined privilege affects our perceptions and drives our behaviors, as well as how it can affect those around us. When we become aware of our privilege and its impacts, we're less influenced by it and are better able to make choices that reflect what we authentically think and feel, rather than what our privilege has caused us to think and feel.  

Many of the issues listed here are well-documented phenomena in the social sciences. Others are based on my own conclusions drawn from my own research, my analyses of other research, and my experience doing social justice work over the past 20 years, including my...

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