The Center for Effective Vegan Advocacy (CEVA) aims to increase the impact of vegan advocacy worldwide. CEVA is a program of Beyond Carnism, a charitable organization dedicated to exposing and transforming carnism, the invisible belief system that conditions people to eat certain animals.

The production and consumption of animals is a leading cause of widespread animal and human suffering and environmental damage, and it is enabled by carnism – a global system of oppression. Veganism is the counterpoint to carnism, so increasing the power of the vegan movement is a key to ending carnism.

At CEVA, we aim to empower the vegan movement by empowering advocates and organizations. Through offering on-site trainings, organizational consulting, grants to qualifying organizations, and a strategy resource center, we seek to increase the effectiveness of vegans and vegan organizations and therefore to increase the impact of the vegan movement as a whole.

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Our Beliefs and Principles

  • Because animal agriculture causes more animal exploitation than all other forms of animal exploitation combined, empowering the vegan movement – whose objective is to end animal agriculture – is the most direct way to reduce animal exploitation.
  • The vegan movement is only as effective as its proponents – vegan advocates. Therefore, increasing the effectiveness of vegan advocates increases the effectiveness of the movement as a whole.
  • The resources (financial, social, etc.) of animal-use industries far outweigh those of vegan advocates. Strategy, the method by which one seeks to achieve an objective, is the most powerful way to bridge the gap between the resources of animal-use industries and animal advocates –and effective strategy is the foundation of effective advocacy.
  • Effective strategy can and must be learned.
  • Science matters. To the degree possible, our trainings and approach are based on empirical data.
  • We place a high value on professionalism and quality services that are widely accessible.
  • We are committed to nonviolence in action and attitude, and we do not endorse physical violence or degrading language.

Our Team

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Melanie Joy, Ph.D, Ed.M.
Co-founder and Co-director

Dr. Melanie Joy is a Harvard-educated psychologist, international speaker, organizational consultant, personal and relationship coach, and the author of Why We Love Dogs, Eat Pigs, and Wear Cows and Strategic Action for Animals. Dr. Joy has developed and implemented...

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Tobias Leenaert, M.A.
Co-founder and Co-director

Tobias Leenaert is a longtime speaker, trainer, and strategist. He is also the co-founder of the Belgian organization EVA (Ethical Vegetarian Alternative), the first vegetarian/vegan organization in the world to receive structural funding from its government.

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Sebastian Joy
Co-founder

Sebastian Joy, M.A., is the CEO of the German Vegan/Vegetarian Union (VEBU), a leading European pro-vegan organization, and he is also a university lecturer in nonprofit management. Sebastian is a columnist and contributing author to the German edition of Jonathan Safran Foer’s award-winning book, Eating Animals, as well as an accomplished speaker and respected strategist.

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The CEVA Advisory Board includes Matt Ball (Farm Sanctuary), Nick Cooney (Mercy for Animals), Bruce Friedrich (The Good Food Institute), Che Green (Faunalytics), Sebastian Joy (VEBU), Mahi Klosterhalfen (Albert Schweitzer Stiftung), Erica Meier (Compassion Over Killing), Dawn Moncrief (A Well-Fed World), Ria Rehberg (Animal Equality Germany), Paul Shapiro (Humane Society of the United States), and Peter Singer.