We’ve been planning some great content for the upcoming Animal Activism 101 session April 21, and thought now would be a great time to share some recommended reading. If you are interested in the whys and hows of getting active for animals, or are looking to augment your activism or animal rights knowledge, we recommend three books:
Striking at the Roots: A Practical Guide to Animal Activism by by Mark Hawthorne (Dec 20, 2007). This book is perfect for getting a handle on exactly WHAT one can do to spread veganism or fight animal exploitation in ways that truly can work. It covers the basics from leafleting, letter writing, tabling, protests, and outreach all the way through corporate campaigning, multimedia, and direct action. Mark also offers a great chapter on legal issues and another on caring for yourself as an activist. Each area he provides a success story of the practice in action and solid “how to” information. Make this your first stop from your couch to world changer.
Change of Heart: What Psychology Can Teach Us About Spreading Social Change by Nick Cooney (Dec 1, 2010). This book answers the questions that so many activists and non-profit folks ask: what is the MOST effective action to take or way to behave to make the most impact. Nick synthesizes research from Behavioral Economics and Psychological disciplines to explain how humans act (both rationally and irrationally) to information and other people. If you really want help animals today and into the future and want to make your demonstrations, letters, outreach, leafleting, fundraising, or blogging more effective and meaningful, pick up this book.
The Lifelong Activist: How to Change the World Without Losing Your Way by Hillary Rettig (Nov 15, 2006). This book is for those of you who are getting worn down or discouraged AND for those of you just getting started. Be proactive about your own psychological and emotional health and learn about managing your mission, your fears, and your relationships with others. Don’t let burn out end your efforts to change the world. The world needs you. The animals need you. We need you!
And some even better news: if you life in the Seattle area, can you check out the first two books, for free, from the Vegan Haven lending library (call ahead to see if they are available, they are popular titles). All three are available through the Seattle Public Library system, but are often checked out, so reserve a copy soon! If you want to have your very own copy, so you can write notes and keep them handy, have Left Bank Books, Elliot Bay Book Co, or Vegan Haven order you a copy.
Already read these three? Here are some other titles to consider for your bedside table. Tell us what you think of them or recommend some others for us on Facebook!
- The Animal Activist’s Handbook: Maximizing Our Positive Impact in Today’s World (2009)
- For the Prevention of Cruelty: The History and Legacy of Animal Rights Activism in the United States (2006)
- Muzzling a Movement: The Effects of Anti-Terrorism Law, Money, and Politics on Animal Activism (2010)
- Defiant Daughters: 21 Women on Art, Activism, Animals, and the Sexual Politics of Meat (2013)
- Strategic Action for Animals: A Handbook on Strategic Movement Building, Organizing, and Activism for Animal Liberation (2008)
- How to Change the World in 30 Seconds: A Web Warrior’s Guide to Animal Advocacy Online (2013)
“Being ignorant is not so much a shame, as being unwilling to learn.” ~ Benjamin Franklin