About this blog
This blog is mainly written with an audience of vegans/animal rights activists in mind. The strategies and ways of communication that I support and write about, are usually pragmatic and friendly in nature.
What I hope to do is to provide arguments why pragmatic and friendly activism and communication work. Being friendly and pragmatic is not (just) about a concern not to offend people, and it certainly is not about compromising or selling out. It is also not about being slow, or thinking that we have time to spare. It is not about not being vegan or betraying the animals. Rather, being friendly and pragmatic is a matter of strategy. It is about being effective. It is about diminishing animal suffering in the fastest possible way.
The friendly and pragmatic part of our movement needs arguments for why this approach works, lest they not be accused of not being interested in veganizing the world and just sitting around sharing recipes and eating cupcakes. I try to provide these arguments.
For the quickest way to know more about my views, check the videos on the video page on this site. Also, here are some audio interviews with me:
- on the Our Hen House podcast
- on the Plant-Based Entrepreneur podcast
- on the Morality is Hard podcast
About the author
My name is Tobias Leenaert. I am the author of How to Create a Vegan World: a Pragmatic Approach (Lantern Press, 2017). I think about strategy and give presentations world wide about vegan advocacy. Most of those are part of trainings that I give together with Melanie Joy, for the Center for Effective Vegan Advocacy (CEVA). I’m also co-founder of ProVeg International, a new pro-vegan food awareness organization that wants to reduce the consumption of animal products worldwide with 50% by 2040. And I identify as an Effective Altruist. I think about the best ways to achieve a compassionate society. I’m also a slow opinionst.
I told myself I had to be a vegan more than ten years before I actually became one. I just loved meat. At university, someone finally helped me to stop eating it. I started to read, and wrote my thesis about the human-animal relationship. By the time I graduated, there was nothing else I could imagine doing besides a job in animal rights. There were no opportunities in Belgium, so I went to the US for six months to do internships at animal rights organisations. When I got back, I cofounded EVA (Ethical Vegetarian Alternative). I worked a normal job in education for several years, and after that was able to devote all my time to the organisation. In 2005 EVA became the first veg organisation in the world to receive structural funding from its government. In 2009 we convinced our city of Ghent to become the first city in the world to officially support a weekly vegetarian day. EVA now has 12 paid staff. I left my position as director two years ago, in order to be more free to do the things I love most and best.
Copyright: you can translate or publish whatever you want of this site, wherever you want. Just put something like: original article by Tobias Leenaert, www.veganstrategist.org.