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Lessons from a bookstore

November 9, 2010

Continuing our story from yesterday’s video about media coverage and the general public’s typical reaction to it, here’s a recap of a lesson I learned a long time ago that helps me put things in perspective:

What about you? Do you remember a time when you thought you’d been exposed to “Secret Knowledge” that later turned out to be in plain sight the whole time? What happened to make it “suddenly” visible? Let us know in the comments!


Hey, it’s the weekend, so let’s wrap up outreach week with the longest Staying Vegan video EVER! OK, 6 minutes isn’t that long, really, and you’ve got the whole weekend to soak it in, but technically, longest ever. Yay.

I wanted to wrap the week up with some resources for those of you who want to extend your outreach skills but didn’t want to wait until we returned to the topic, so here are three books I found really helpful:

Easy links here:

Striking at the Roots: A Practical Guide to Animal Activism – hands down my favourite book on getting involved in animal activism, and no, I’m not just saying that because I’m in it 🙂

Yes!: 50 Scientifically Proven Ways to Be Persuasive – a great set of ideas in snack-sized portions. If you just want to dip your toe in the waters of sales psychology (which is a key area of study if you want to get to be effective as an activist, if you ask me) this is my top recommendation. It’ll work for social situations like we discussed this week or organized campaigns that you might read about in Mark’s book.

Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion – like I said, a bit more intense than Yes!, but if you want to dive in deep it’s a bit cheaper and more informative to boot.

(Full disclosure: we earn a small commission for any purchases made through those links.)

Question for the comments this weekend: what’s the difference between persuading, influencing, and manipulating, and when it comes to helping animals, do you think it matters?


A review of (a review of) The Vegetarian Myth

October 11, 2010

I’ve gone on a few times about the importance of getting credible nutrition information, but here’s a story from a tabling event I was at that illustrates why I care so much about this: And of course, it gives me a chance to throw some props to Ginny Messina for her review of The Vegetarian […]

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If not AR books, what DO I read?

September 29, 2010

I’ve said it a few times in the newsletter and elsewhere – when I read or watch just about anything, I tend to come up with thoughts about veganism.  Maybe that’s just how I’m wired after 13 years of outreach work (including, yowza, 9 online!) but here’s an example of how it works in case […]

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Word of the year: carnist

May 31, 2010

For years, I’ve been referring to “us” as vegans and everyone else as omnivores, because carnivore wasn’t accurate (most people eat at least some non-meat items,) but it’s always bugged me. After all, technically we’re all omnivores biologically, but some of us have chosen to focus on different parts of the spectrum, is all. Finally, […]

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Animal Factory: comprehensive, but maybe too much

March 20, 2010

David Kirby’s Animal Factory is the most comprehensive accounting of the issues surrounding the American factory farming system that I’ve come across. Spanning about 15 years of “development” of modern agriculture (primarily hog and dairy,) Animal Factory focuses on three families as they evolve into activists to first protect their own communities and later other […]

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Eating Animals: not a game changer, but really important

November 13, 2009

By now you’ve probably read a bit about Jonathan Safran Foer’s new book Eating Animals, but if not, here’s a quick recap: the author, who previously stuck to fiction, was inspired by the birth of his son to take a deep look at where food comes from, specifically animal-based foods. What follows is several hundred […]

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Is every book an activism book?

June 11, 2009

Mark Hawthorne (activism expert and author of Striking at the Roots: A Practical Guide to Animal Activism, which we reviewed over here) has a new post up about the recent explosion of animal activism books that’s occurred over the past year, and it fascinates me for (at least) two reasons. First of all, wow, there […]

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Maybe the next great vegan book should be called Staying Vegan

January 5, 2009

Erik Marcus has a new book out! It’s called The Ultimate Vegan Guide: Compassionate Living Without Sacrifice, and as far as I know It’s only available on I haven’t read it yet, but it looks to be a great book on how to go vegan. I don’t if we’ll ever see a book that’s […]

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