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Strategic Action for Animals: A Handbook on Strategic Movement Building, Organizing, and Activism for Animal Liberation (Flashpoint): A Handbook on Strategic ... and Activism for Animal Liberation [Kindle Edition]

Melanie Joy PhD
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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Product Description

Product Description

The animal liberation movement is growing in size and strength -- but so are the industries that exploit animals. These industries have vastly more resources at their disposal than activists do. Given this tremendous power differential, how can activists hope to compete? The good news is that there is a way to shift the balance of power in favor of the movement. And strategy is the way.

In Strategic Action for Animals, Melanie Joy explains how to use strategy to exponentially increase the effectiveness of activism for animals. Drawing on diverse movements and sources, she offers tried and true tactics based on well-established principles and practices. She also explains how to address the most common problems that weaken the movement, such as dissidence among organizations and activists, inefficient campaigns, wasted resources, and high rates of burnout. Whether you're working alone or with a group, whether you're a seasoned activist or new to the movement, Strategic Action for Animals can help you make the most of your efforts to make the world a better place for animals.

About the Author

Melanie Joy is a social psychologist, professor and personal coach. She has been involved in the animal liberation movement since 1989 and has worked as an activist, educator, and organiser.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1171 KB
  • Print Length: 176 pages
  • Publisher: Lantern Books; illustrated edition edition (1 May 2008)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0031ES9NC
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #784,462 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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0 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Strategic Action for Animals Book Review 17 Jun. 2012
By Jessica
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
My friend really wanted the book Strategic Action for Animals: A Handbook on Strategic Movement Building, Organizing, and Activism for Animal Liberation: A Handbook on Strategic ... Activism for Animal Liberation and this was the cheapest one online I could find!
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Become the Change! 15 Jun. 2008
By Kelly Garbato - Published on
THANKING THE MONKEY: RETHINKING THE WAY WE TREAT ANIMALS. STRIKING AT THE ROOTS: A PRACTICAL GUIDE TO ANIMAL ACTIVISM. FARM SANCTUARY: CHANGING HEARTS AND MINDS ABOUT ANIMALS AND FOOD. SKINNY BITCH...IN A BOX. With all the recent popular releases on the topic of animal advocacy, 2008 feels as though it's shaping up to be the year of the veg*n. (Even Oprah's getting into the act, y'all!)

Social psychologist Melanie Joy joins the conversation with her first book, STRATEGIC ACTION FOR ANIMALS: A HANDBOOK ON STRATEGIC MOVEMENT BUILDING, ORGANIZING, AND ACTIVISM FOR ANIMAL LIBERATION. Joy's goal is simple: to encourage fellow activists to maximize their effectiveness, by carefully weighing, analyzing, and strategizing their activism. Because the animal liberation movement will never have more money or (entrenched) power than the corporate and political forces we're fighting, the only way we can triumph is through strategy.

A "strategic movement," Joy explains, is one which thinks globally, but acts locally. Before engaging in a piece of activism, animal advocates must think about how the action will impact the animal liberation movement as a whole. Additionally, every isolated piece of activism must be considered in relation to those that precede and succeed it. Every lofty goal is comprised of a series of minute steps or tasks; instead of shooting for the stars and burning out before takeoff, animal activists must set reasonable goals and embark on a carefully mapped journey. Such meticulously crafted plans take time, dedication - and strategy, strategy, strategy!

Part of "strategic activism" involves diversity: in individual activists, in the goals and approaches of various animal liberation campaigns and organizations, in the messages employed and the demographics targeted.

Citing Bill Moyer's DOING DEMOCRACY, Joy describes the "different types of activists and organizations that work simultaneously and in different roles": the Citizen - "the upstanding member of society, the one to whom the mainstream can easily relate"; the Reformer - who "may or may not be more radical than the Citizen"..."he or she typically works in a professional opposition organization"; and the Rebel - who "is more confrontational, participating in rallies and perhaps civil disobedience". As examples of each, Joy offers up the SPCA, the PCRM and ALDF, and PETA, respectively.

Joy touches upon several controversial topics in her discussion, namely "mainstreaming" the movement, the use of violent vs. non-violent tactics, the abolition/reform divide, and coalition building, particularly in relation to intersecting or parallel oppressions. While I don't wholeheartedly agree with her perspective on the first three issues, I'm both happy and grateful for her emphasis on intersecting "isms". Too often, animal advocates must deal with speciesism in other social justice movements; yet, I've also encountered a disturbing amount of misogyny, racism, homophobia, transphobia, classism, ageism and sizeism among animal activists. Activists of all stripes must accept that these forms of oppression are all related - and in order to defeat one, you must defeat them all.

Many of the suggestions within STRATEGIC ACTION FOR ANIMALS are geared towards grassroots animal advocacy organizations rather than individual activists. For example, you'll find chapters on organizing and managing a grassroots organization, developing and waging successful campaigns, and maintaining the health of your employees, volunteers and organization. Since it's a rather slim volume, I thought the book could have covered the topics of time management, conflict resolution and leadership a bit more, rather than referring the reader to additional resources. However, for organizations, it's a useful starting point for building a successful, long-lasting animal advocacy group. If you're in a position of leadership in an animal advocacy organization (or are thinking about starting your own group), I recommend reading STRATEGIC ACTION FOR ANIMALS in conjunction with pattrice jones's AFTERSHOCK, also from Lantern Books.

Individual activists will also enjoy STRATEGIC ACTION FOR ANIMALS. If you're looking to volunteer for (or work with) an animal advocacy group, you can use the lessons in STRATEGIC ACTION FOR ANIMALS to "shop around" for the right group for you - a sustainable, strategic group with a cooperative (vs. competitive) power structure that will value both your hard work as well as your personal wellness.

For fellow activists, I recommend STRATEGIC ACTION FOR ANIMALS along with AFTERSHOCK and perhaps Mark Hawthorne's STRIKING AT THE ROOTS. Whereas STRATEGIC ACTION FOR ANIMALS concentrates on movement-building, STRIKING AT THE ROOTS offers a number of specific types of activism that the individual can engage in, either alone or as part of a group.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Fantastic Book for People Who Want to Help Animals 2 Oct. 2008
By Adam Durand - Published on
Melanie Joy's book Strategic Action for Animals is basically all the wisdom of the animal movement distilled into 160 pages. Joy's practical take on activism, her focus on the reality of our fight and not on the theoretical, will help both new and experienced activists find their way towards effective advocacy. She covers many of the hangups we face when organizing groups of people or campaigns and offers solutions to them. This book is not only a refreshing read, but a great resource for those who want to do all they can to help animals.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Clear, no-nonsense guide for effective activism for animals. 26 April 2010
By Alistair Cornell - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
If you are new to making change for animals, Dr Melanie Joy has complied an excellent guide for understanding what we are up against, the weaknesses that exist in the systems that support animal abuse and where the opportunities for effective advocacy for animals lie.

As someone that has been working to help animals for the past five years, I wish this book had been available earlier to help guide me in an area fraught with distractions, trauma, burn out and wastes of resources.

Essential reading for anyone interested in becoming effective in animal advocacy,
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Most important book for the animal rights community 18 July 2010
By DRG - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
If we are actually going to make progress and continue to move forward as a movement, I recommend every animal advocate read this book and pass it around to others.
4.0 out of 5 stars Strong Support for Those Working for Animals 15 Mar. 2013
By Gwen - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I saw this author speak at the Boston Vegetarian Society's recent food festival. She is a brilliant thinker and writer on the subject of "carnism," the practice of, and ideology behind, eating meat. This book is densely packed with useful information on how activists can avoid common pitfalls and optimize their work on behalf of animals. I was most interested in it because, as a vegan, I wanted to learn better ways of advocating a plant-based diet, and indeed there is a great deal of sound advice on how best to do this.
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