CEVA works to increase the impact of vegan advocacy worldwide by increasing the effectiveness of vegan advocates and organizations, and by helping to create a more unified and resilient vegan movement. We provide on-site and online trainings, organizational consulting, and leadership support at low to no cost, by highly experienced trainers.
The vegan movement poses a direct challenge to carnism. How quickly the vegan movement succeeds depends largely on how effective its proponents, vegan advocates, are. A vegan advocate is anyone advocating for a shift away from carnism to veganism, such as lifestyle vegans, activists, entrepreneurs, investors, and other influencers.
CEVA was founded by longtime strategists and trainers Dr. Melanie Joy and Tobias Leenaert, who have over 30 years of combined experience in training, consulting, and strategic analyses. Melanie and Tobias sought to fill a critical gap in vegan outreach: to provide influencers in the vegan movement with formal training in identifying and implementing the most effective advocacy methods—and to help these influencers become multipliers. Melanie and Tobias also wanted to help influencers improve their communication and relational literacy skills in order to reduce infighting and create a healthier and more unified movement.
In 2020, Ed Startup became a CEVA trainer, taking over Tobias’ duties when Tobias transitioned from CEVA to focus on different projects. Ed has served as our Program Manager since 2019, and he’s played a critical role helping us to expand our reach, increase our impact, and enhance our offerings. A longtime educator, Ed is skilled working with groups and developing informative and engaging learning experiences.
Not all advocacy methods are equally effective, and some methods are even counterproductive. By learning what works and how to determine what works, vegan advocates can exponentially increase their impact, and they can therefore exponentially increase the impact of the vegan movement as a whole. And, because recidivism, burnout, and infighting among vegans are obstacles to the success of the movement (as well as causes of suffering among vegans), CEVA programs also help vegans improve their sustainability and interpersonal skills.
CEVA is a program of Beyond Carnism, an NGO dedicated to exposing and transforming carnism, the invisible belief system that conditions people to eat certain animals.
Dr. Melanie Joy is a Harvard-educated psychologist, international speaker, organizational consultant, and relationship coach. She is the author of six 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; and The Vegan Matrix. Melanie has developed and implemented advocacy trainings for nearly two decades, and she specializes in strategic vegan advocacy; effective communication; resilient teams and leadership; inclusivity and diversity; relational literacy; the psychology of social transformation; and sustainability. 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.
After nearly a decade working as an educator, Ed Startup joined the Beyond Carnism team so he could apply his skills to developing hi-impact curricula, trainings, and campaigns to further the mission of exposing and transforming carnism globally. Ed is primarily responsible for overseeing the Center for Effective Vegan Advocacy, and he has been revamping the program to expand its reach, increase its impact, and enhance its offerings. He is passionate about developing informative and engaging learning experiences that not only help increase the impact of vegan advocates, but also help to shift consciousness to help cultivate a more relational and mindful world.