Read Essays and Books

Read Essays and Books

You want to be the most effective animal advocate you can be. You want to help more animals, reduce more suffering, save more lives. That’s great! Doctors, lawyers, and other professionals spend years learning how to carry out their craft; we need to be similarly dedicated to our success as animal advocates.

Our current beliefs about what works and “what’s right for me” need to be regularly reconsidered if we want to be the most effective animal advocate we can be.

Here are the essential essays and books that will raise your activism IQ to genius level.

Essential Essays

Bruce Friedrich of Farm SanctuaryEffective Advocacy: Stealing from the Corporate Playbook
by Bruce Friedrich
A point-by-point “how to” guide for being more persuasive when interacting with others.

A Meaningful Life: Making a Real Difference in Today’s WorldMatt Ball of Vegan Outreach
by Matt Ball, Senior Manager for Engagement and Outreach, Farm Sanctuary
A highly influential essay on what it means to be an effective, and happy, lifelong advocate for animals – an inspiring and thought-provoking read.

Want to be a More Effective Advocate? Put the (Vegan) Shoe on the Other Foot
by Caryn Ginsberg
A social marketing approach to animal advocacy
that can help us better understand and
better reach our audience.
Matt Ball of Vegan Outreach

How Vegan? Ingredients vs. Results
by Matt Ball, Senior Manager for Engagement and Outreach, Farm Sanctuary
A look at the contrast between striving for personal purity and striving to help the most animals possible, and what that means for animal advocates.
Erik Marcus of

Who Wants to be an Animal Millionaire?
by Erik Marcus, author, Vegan: The New Ethics of Eating
A short, inspiring column on the incredible potential each of us has to help animals.

Brilliant Books

The Animal Activists Handbook: A must-read for those who want to get active against factory farm crueltyThe Animal Activist’s Handbook
by Matt Ball and Bruce Friedrich
Required reading for anyone who wants to help farm animals; arms you with the insight, strategy, and techniques to become a much more polished advocate. The Animal Activist’s Handbook “punches way above its weight. Rarely have so few pages contained so much intelligence and good advice. Get it, read it, and act on it. Now.”
–Peter Singer, Princeton University professor of bioethics and author of Animal Liberation

The Accidental Activist
by Matt Ball 
“Over the past two decades, Matt Ball has had a singularly profound influence on the animal protection movement in the United States. Matt’s reasoned, eloquent focus on having the biggest possible impact with the greatest possible efficiency has resonated with tens of thousands of individuals, and created fundamental, pragmatic change on every level of the movement.”
–Dr. Michael Greger

Animal Impact: Secrets Proven to Achieve Results and Move the World
by Caryn Ginsberg
Required reading for animal advocates; helps you understand how your audience thinks and how to motivate them to take action to help animals.  “We need to blend passion with professionalism, and this book is going to help get us there.” – – –Wayne Pacelle, President and CEO, The Humane Society of the United States

How to Win Friends & Influence People
by Dale Carnegie
The classic guide to winning over others to your point of view by becoming interested in them.

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People
by Stephen Covey
Another classic; if you feel like you’re always struggling to make effective use of your time, read this book!

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