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The Accidental Activist: Stories, Speeches, Articles, and Interviews by Vegan Outreach's Cofounder Paperback – June 30, 2014
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Matt is in the very small group of people who have had the most significant influence on animal advocacy. The animals, and those of us who have dedicated our lives to making theirs better, are extremely fortunate to have him on our side. --Bruce Friedrich
I wish Matt's essays had been around when I first became part of the animal protection movement. You have the benefit of reading Matt s essays right here, and then thinking critically about how they may help you become a more pragmatic protector of animals. I'm certain they ll give you a lot to think about, and more importantly, to act on. --Paul Shapiro
Over the past two decades, Matt Ball has had a singularly profound influence on the animal protection movement in the United States. Matt s reasoned, eloquent focus on having the biggest possible impact with the greatest possible efficiency has resonated with tens of thousands of individuals, and created fundamental, pragmatic change on every level of the movement. --Michael Greger, M.D., Director Public Health and Animal Agriculture Humane Society of the United States
From the Inside Flap
Not every activist starts out with the goal of changing the world. Some have their life shaped by chance, quirks of timing, and strange coincidences. And an unwillingness or simple inability to fully ignore the horrors perpetrated on animals today.
Since Matt Ball learned of factory farms well over a quarter century ago, his journey has been anything but linear. Instead, his evolution has been fraught with denial, regression, conflicts, and failures. Matt's evolution shows that not every activist is a confident extrovert with all the answers. His struggles often publicly played out in written form, in newsletters, mailings, blogs have influenced, directly and indirectly, countless individuals.
Even though accidental and reluctant, the hard-learned but ultimately pragmatic lessons Matt shares in this book are changing the world. Having learned from years of mistakes, his insights can help others be effective and, hopefully, happier as well. As Peter Singer notes, "A new future is in sight, one that Matt, Vegan Outreach, and other advocates are hard at work creating." This book can help each of us be a part of bringing about this new future.
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Top customer reviews
Well, my fellow activists, don’t fret. “The Accidental Activist” is here to help alleviate your stress. In Matt Ball’s inspiring book, he and his wife Anne Green (who edited the book) compile stories, speeches, articles and interviews that motivate as well as teach. After reading the book, not only will you be reinvigorated to keep championing your cause but you’ll be a more effective activist. Which is a major key to the whole problem. Us activists have so much heart, but passion alone won’t change the world. You need to be strategic and savvy, and “The Accidental Activist” will give you these tools to be the best activist you can be.
It’s a fast, revitalizing read that leaves you ready to take on the world. Thank you, Matt, for the inspiration. I needed that!
Matt's focus is singularly on what will reduce the most amount of animal suffering. His argument is that, in his own words: “Pointing out that factory farming causes unnecessary suffering is honest, straightforward, and the only argument people can't refute or nitpick…It all simplifies to this: Buying meat, eggs, and dairy causes unnecessary suffering. Each one of us can choose not to cause this suffering.”
In other words, Matt doesn't view vegan eating as some statement of personal purity or self-identity, but rather as a pragmatic way to help alleviate suffering. This infuses the rest of his thinking and is reflected in his arguments about effective advocacy in the book.
Very worthwhile reading for animal advocates who want to be more effective.
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