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A Meaningful Life: Making a Real Difference in Today’s World

Those who are successful in making the world a better place are students of human nature. They understand that each of us is born with a certain intrinsic nature, raised to follow specific beliefs, and taught to hold…
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Nonprofit: Measure Thyself

Doing good is not good enough for nonprofits; today they must also prove how well they’re performing. It’s why they should read Building a Performance Measurement System: Using Data to Accelerate Social Impact, a new book aimed at helping non…
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Our Voices, Our Movement: How Vegans Can Move Beyond the…

For years I have remained silent on the “welfare-abolition debate,” believing that my limited time and energy as an activist were best directed elsewhere. But recent events have compelled me to witness the profound ang…
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Peer Pressure Can Influence Food Choices at Restaurants, Says Study

Do you want fries with that? You are more likely to say “yes” if that’s what your friends are ordering too, says a new University of Illinois study. The study, I’ll Have What He’s Having: Group Ordering Behavior in Food Choi…
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Preventing Ex-Vegans: The Power of Ethics

Helping people go vegan is great. But it’s meaningless if we can’t help them stay vegan. Last week, I wrote about how overhyping the benefits of a vegan diet can result in ex-vegans. One of the reasons people abandon veg…
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Preventing Ex-Vegans: Why Feeling “Normal” Matters

This is my fourth and final (for now) post on tactics for preventing ex-vegans. My thoughts on this topic come from several different types of evidence including research in vegans and vegetarians as well as research on…
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Reducing Resistance to Social Change: The Ironic Impact of Activists

Sexual and domestic violence prevention work is social change work. To successfully create social change we must also overcome resistance to it. Attempting to understand the resistance, studies typically look at…
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The Rise of Non-Perfectionist Veganism, Part I

After my book The Lifelong Activist was published by Lantern Books in 2006, I gave a lot of talks to vegan groups, and also spoke with many individual vegans and vegan activists. Whenever I'd mention what I'd…
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The Rise of Non-Perfectionist Veganism, Part II

Procrastination, or the inability to do one’s work or other important tasks (e.g., eat vegan), is largely a response to perfectionism. (There are other causes, including resource deficiencies and ambivalence, but p…
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Shaming Vegans Harms Animals

At a recent conference for animal rights activists, an incident took place which left me disturbed, and concerned for our movement. A speaker and longtime vegan activist was giving a presentation on effective activism to an audience of approximately…
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Speaking Truth to Power: Understanding the Dominant, Animal-Eating…

As vegans, our goal is not simply to get people to stop eating animals; we aim to bring about a revolutionary shift in social consciousness to transform a culture of violence and oppression to one of nonviolence and…
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Understanding Neocarnism

These days, few commentaries cause vegans more despair than those proclaiming the virtues of eating “humane” meat, those promoting the ethics of eating “sustainable” meat, or those insisting on the nutritional necessity of eating any meat. Exasper…
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