Our two-day, on-site trainings are led by Dr. Melanie Joy and Tobias Leenaert, who have over 30 years of combined experience. Our trainings aim to increase the impact of individual advocates and to provide participants with tools to increase the effectiveness of the organizations they may be affiliated with.
Making a Difference for Animals
In this workshop, Tobias Leenaert presents some of the key choices we can make if we want to make a difference for animals. Whether we are working as an individual advocate or as part of an organization, we have many options to choose from, some which have more impact than others. What we do for animals is ideally a combination of what we love, what we are good at, and what is effective. Leenaert also explains how individuals and organizations can measure their impact.
In this workshop, Melanie Joy explains the principles and practices of effective communication, as they apply to our personal interactions with family and friends and to those to whom we are advocating. Improving our communication improves not only our ability to convey our message, but also our sustainability, as effective communication is essential for healthful relationships and sustainable activism. Participants will learn and practice the tools of communicating clearly, directly, and compassionately.
Effective Vegan Advocacy
Building on the principles introduced in Effective Communication, Melanie Joy explains specific methods for advocating veganism. Joy discusses how to recognize and respond to defensiveness – in meat eaters and ourselves – as well as ways to avoid getting caught up in unproductive or counterproductive communications about eating animals. Joy presents the basic principles of effective advocacy and applies them specifically to veganism, taking into account the carnistic mentality that often gets in the way of vegan advocacy.
Making Compassion Easier: Normalizing Veganism
In this workshop, Tobias Leenaert explains effective and pragmatic strategies for advocating veganism. To help animals, we need to look at what works, and not just follow our own theories and ideologies. Being pragmatic is not (just) about not offending people, and it certainly is not about compromising or selling out. It’s about doing what works. This workshop will help participants think anew about strategy and to pick the best ideas and strategies for the current phase of the vegan movement.
Strategic Vegan Outreach
In this workshop, Tobias Leenaert builds on the points introduced in Making Compassion Easier, examining the implications of a pragmatic approach to vegan outreach. The focus of this workshop is the question, “Is what I’m doing having the impact I want?” Leenaert discusses effective and ineffective communication styles and arguments for veganism, and helps participants learn new ways to approach advocacy.
In this workshop, Melanie Joy discusses how to both prevent and reverse burnout and “secondary traumatic stress," the stress that comes from witnessing violence, as well as ways to increase our fulfillment and effectiveness as activists. Too often, activists neglect their own basic needs and ignore the many warning signs that indicate they are experiencing activism-related trauma or other stressors. Joy explains how we can identify the symptoms of secondary traumatic stress, as well as ways to relate to ourselves and others that decrease the likelihood that we will suffer from burnout and that increase our resilience and impact.