Sustainable Vegan Activism: How to Be More Effective and Fulfilled While Advocating Animal Rights

In this workshop, psychologist Dr. Melanie Joy will explain the common causes of burnout, frustration, and ineffective activism that impact many animal rights activists. She will discuss how “unsustainable” activism is one of the most serious obstacles to the success of the animal rights movement, and a leading cause of depression and burnout among activists. She will explain specific strategies that activists can take to improve their activism and their lives.

Who is Melanie Joy?

Melanie Joy, Ph.D., Ed.M. is a psychologist, professor, international speaker, organizational consultant, and personal/relationship coach. She is also the author of “Why We Love Dogs, Eat Pigs, and Wear Cows” and “Strategic Action for Animals.” Dr. Joy has developed and implemented activist strategy trainings for over a decade, and one of her areas of specialization is sustainable activism. Dr. Joy is also the founder and president of the US-based Beyond Carnism and she is co-CEO of Karnismus erkennen in Germany, with VEBU CEO Sebastian Zösch.


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  1. I am depressed daily, some days worse than others, depending on footage I have viewed that day. I am struggling on however because every one of us helps!

  2. Melanie Joy is simply brilliant. Her talks are fractal in nature, illuminating the profound philosophical implications of veganism and the way common themes keep coming up in every facet of the movement, while simultaneously managing to be able to effectively communicate to meat-eaters. I watched her when I was a meat-eater and I never looked back.

  3. “…Know that this is a person who has chosen to live their values in a world that pressures them every single day to give up.This is a person who has chosen to do what they believe in, even though it’s difficult, even thought they might be ostracized, even though their relationships might suffer, even though they carry with them, every single day, the awareness of
    the enormity of animal suffering in the world.And, yet, every day, this person wakes up and choses to continue to practice these values, to live their truth, despite overwhelming pressure to conform.”


  4. Melanie Joy is simply amazing. It’s been said over and over again but she is such an invaluable person to have in the vegan community. I always enjoy listening to all her talks. I just wish more meat eaters would be willing to hear her out (or any animal rights activist for that matter).

  5. This is a great workshop, I learned a lot and shared with my group: . Thank you Melanie

  6. Ok so you have been in the movement for 20 years. Not sure if the movement is doing such a great job. I just heard of the movement this year. Not sure why the movement is so silent among the common people. Where is this movement. The closest movement around me is in the city of Milwaukee and it has about 1500 people. Not a lot going on here.

  7. Great talk. Thank you Dr Joy. I will never eat the cookie with traces of secretions though lol 🙂

  8. Hi Melanie please could you talk about how to care for fellow activists and vegans?

  9. Can anyone tell me the book she recommend for effective communication? TIA

  10. i have just done a video about effective activism and it also looks at a few common arguments from meat eaters.

  11. excellent. at times, hard to accept, but I do appreciate the necessity of sharing these insights.

  12. I defo need time out. Activism is causing so much depression, stress, and worry. I am taking a year out. Outdoor instructor, Dartmoor for a year. After that I can kick ass.

  13. my burnout syndrome resulted in giving up my beliefs and going with the crowd (standing in the line) because i was bumping into walls too many times as i tried -not just/only spreading but-standing up for myself also made me question everything because people were coming at me..the truth is teh stronger you are the people feel more “encouraged” to break you down..