Sustainable Vegan Advocacy

Online Course

Learn to build resilience and avoid burnout as a vegan advocate.

Scroll down to learn more about our sliding scale for fees.

How sustainable is your vegan advocacy?

Have you ever felt like you were heading toward burnout as a result of being a vegan advocate—or just from being a vegan in a nonvegan world?

Maybe you’ve felt irritable, frustrated, misanthropic—and perhaps even thought about giving up being a vegan advocate or being vegan.

Unsustainable vegan advocacy—relating to vegan advocacy in a way that’s not healthy or productive—is widespread among vegans, and it’s a key cause of burnout. Even if you don’t think of yourself as an advocate, if you relate to your veganism in a way that’s unsustainable, you’re at risk of burning out.

How this course can help you

This course explains the causes of unsustainable advocacy among vegans and offers evidence-based strategies to make your advocacy more sustainable. You’ll learn practical tools for spotting the warning signs of burnout, reversing its effects, identifying and honoring your needs, and building resilience—so that you can feel fulfilled and in balance while advocating and/or practicing veganism effectively for years to come.

Developed by leaders and educators with decades of experience in animal advocacy, the course features short, engaging videos accompanied by activities and resources to help you deepen your learning.

Here’s what we’ll cover:

  • What sustainable vegan advocacy is and why it’s important
  • The five steps to developing sustainable vegan advocacy
  • The causes of unsustainable vegan advocacy
  • How to prevent and reverse the negative effects of unsustainable vegan advocacy
  • Practical tools for building resilience

Who will benefit from taking this course?

  • Vegan advocates and other vegans who are committed to prioritizing sustainability but aren’t sure where to start
  • Vegan advocates who feel they are heading toward burnout and who may be considering stopping their advocacy
  • Leaders or members of vegan groups or organizations who want to share sustainability practices with fellow advocates
  • Vegans who feel irritable and frustrated as a result of living in a dominant, animal-eating world, whether they identify as advocates or not

Course Curriculum

Getting Started

Welcome: Starter Pack

Sustainable Vegan Advocacy: Exercises and Resources

Pre-course Survey

Part One: Introduction to Sustainable Vegan Advocacy

Video 1: Vegan Advocacy and Burnout [1:25]

Video 2: What Is Sustainable Vegan Advocacy? [3:24]

Video 3: Why Is Sustainable Vegan Advocacy Important? [5:02]

Part Two: Five Steps to Developing Sustainable Vegan Advocacy

Video 4: Prioritize Sustainability [0:58]

Video 5: Get Informed [1:15]

Video 6: Honor Your Needs [5:26]

Video 7: Commit to Practicing Sustainability [2:04]

Video 8: Help Your Organization Become Resilient [0:54]

Part Three: Causes of Unsustainable Vegan Advocacy

Video 9: Problems with Your Tasks and Environment [3:04]

Video 10: Secondary Traumatic Stress [1:16]

Video 11: What Do Your Results Mean? [2:16]

Video 12: Secondary Traumatic Stress Is Contagious, but We Can Protect Ourselves and Others [2:57]

Video 13: The Trauma Narrative [1:49]

Video 14: STS, Self-Neglect, and Needs [2:30]

Video 15: Sustainability Is Subjective [1:01]

Part Four: Building Resilience

Video 16: Witness Carefully [3:34]

Video 17: Develop Your Inner Observer [2:10]

Video 18: Manage Your Level of Stimulation: Commit to Cultivating a Life in Balance [4:59]

Video 19: Communicate with Yourself Compassionately [1:28]

Video 20: Embrace Imperfection [3:00]

Video 21: Build Relational Literacy [4:15]

Video 22: Learn Effective Communication [0:42]

Video 23: Practice Gratitude [0:44]

Video 24: Give Yourself Permission Not to Advocate [0:51]

Video 25: Learn About How Carnism Impacts Vegans [2:06]

Video 26: Practice Mindfulness [1:16]

Video 27: Help Cultivate a Resilient Organization [1:41]

Video 28: Take Care of Your Body [1:26]

Video 29: Take Care of Your Mental Health [1:10]

Video 30: Learn About Your Sensitivity [1:40]

Video 31: Final Reflections and Next Steps [1:37]

Your instructor

Dr. Melanie Joy

Dr. Melanie Joy is a psychologist, educator, and international speaker. She is the author of seven books, including the award-winning Why We Love Dogs, Eat Pigs, and Wear Cows; Beyond Beliefs: A Guide to Improving Relationships and Communication for Vegans, Vegetarians, and Meat Eaters; Getting Relationships Right; Strategic Action for Animals; The Vegan Matrix, and How to End Injustice Everywhere. Melanie has developed and implemented advocacy trainings for over a decade, and she specializes in strategic vegan advocacy; effective communication; resilient teams and leadership; inclusivity and diversity; relational literacy; the psychology of social transformation; and sustainable advocacy. She is the eighth recipient of the Ahimsa Award—previously given to the Dalai Lama and Nelson Mandela—for her work on global nonviolence, and she is the founding president of Beyond Carnism.

What people are saying

“Being vegan is incredibly fulfilling—but living and advocating in a nonvegan world can also be emotionally draining, and it’s a great loss to the vegan movement when people lose hope or burn out. The Sustainable Vegan Advocacy online course from CEVA is a fantastic tool to help vegans around the world take care of themselves and build resilience. I recommend it to any vegan who wants to stay healthy and fulfilled while helping animals for years to come.”

Ria Rehberg

CEO, Veganuary

“CEVA’s Sustainable Vegan Advocacy course is a game changer. The course is intuitive, to the point and concise. Dr. Melanie Joy shares thoughtful insights, advice, as well as offline tools to help your advocacy become more sustainable therefore more effective. I recommend this course to everyone.”

Arturo Jose Garcia

Head of Operations, 50by40

“I’ve really enjoyed taking the Sustainable Vegan Advocacy online course. By watching the videos and doing the reflection activities, I’ve learned so much about honoring my needs and prioritizing sustainability in my advocacy. I want to be able to keep speaking up for animals for as long as they need me, and using the tips and tools in this course will help me do that.”

Genesis Butler

Youth Climate Save

Pricing Options


Fee for course

This is the full price fee for the course

At CEVA, we are committed to providing high-quality training resources for advocates around the world, no matter their circumstances. This is why we have developed an inclusive pricing structure for this course.

Discounted fee options:

  • 50% off (coupon code: HALFOFF)
  • Free (coupon code: FREE)

We encourage you to choose the fee that is affordable for you. By making a contribution, you will enable us to provide more courses like this one for more advocates.

Frequently Asked Questions

How much time will I need to dedicate to the course?

The course consists of 31 short videos, which take just over 1 hour in total to watch. The time you’ll need to complete each learning activity will vary. Some activities can be completed in several minutes, while others may take an hour or longer, depending on how much you’d like to engage with the material. Throughout the course, we also recommend that you check out additional resources, so you might want to factor in some extra time for doing so.

In order for you to get the most out of the course, we recommend that you pace yourself as you progress through the video content and allow time to fully engage with the reflection activities. The reflection activities are designed to deepen your understanding and also to help you consider what steps you might take to make your advocacy more sustainable.

Can I complete the course in my own time?

Yes. You can access the course anytime, anywhere, and work through it at your own pace.

Some people find that setting themselves a goal of completing the course within a certain time frame helps them stay on track, but we encourage you to pace yourself and give yourself time to fully process an exercise before moving on to the next video. This could take hours or even days.

Can I retake the course?

Yes. You will have lifetime access to the course.

Will I receive proof of having completed the course?

Yes. All participants who complete the course will receive a certificate issued by CEVA.

I’ve previously attended an in-person CEVA training. Will I still benefit from this course?

There is some overlap between the content of this course and CEVA’s in-person training. However, this course contains updated content, as well as additional learning activities and resources, so previous attendees will learn more techniques to help them advocate sustainably.

What does CEVA mean by “effective”?

CEVA uses the term “effective” for two reasons. Effectiveness reflects our focus, and it informs which methods we recommend.

We focus primarily on results. This means, for instance, that we may advocate using messages other than “go vegan” if there is reason to believe that those messages will lead to swifter and more sustainable change (as long as these messages don’t reinforce other problems or forms of oppression). Furthermore, much of our focus is on process, not content. We are not simply promoting one strategy or another but rather encouraging advocates to ask questions and approach issues in a way that increases the chances that they will make effective decisions when promoting veganism—decisions that will do the most good. We seek to enhance strategic thinking, not simply to discuss which specific strategies may be most effective.

The methods we recommend are, whenever possible, based on empirical evidence, as well as on our experience as vegan advocates. Melanie Joy has extensively researched strategic methods for social change and authored books covering vegan strategy, effective communication, and social change. Furthermore, she holds a PhD in psychology and specializes in the psychology of social transformation and in relational literacy. She has consulted for vegan organizations around the world and has a strong track record of success.

How does CEVA try to ensure that its courses are appropriate for all cultures?

We recognize that our approach to advocating veganism inevitably reflects our worldviews, and we take measures to ensure that we’re not promoting methods that simply reflect our own norms or biases.

We have delivered in-person trainings around the world, working closely with members of vegan organizations in local communities who have provided us with feedback and guidance. We try to ensure that the research on which we base the methods we advocate is as culturally diverse as possible. And we have found that the vast majority of the issues we discuss and the challenges vegan advocates face are similar across cultures.

How does CEVA address inclusivity?

We are aware that systemic oppression and unexamined privilege—white, male, etc.—is a serious problem in the vegan movement and beyond, and that this problem both enables unethical practices and damages the effectiveness of the vegan movement. Melanie Joy has written a book on this issue, The Vegan Matrix: Understanding and Discussing Privilege Among Vegans to Build a More Inclusive and Empowered Movement. Furthermore, we are committed to ongoing development of our own self-awareness and education in this area, as we are aware that our own privileges influence how we perceive and relate to others.

I have another question. How can I contact you?

Get in touch at and we’ll be happy to try to answer it!