Calling All Those Who Care About Animals...

If the images of animals suffering in puppy mills, factory farms, zoos, laboratories, and fur farms leave you feeling sad and helpless, it’s important for you to know the power YOU can have, as an individual, to help them.


Animal Justice Academy (AJA) will teach you how to become an informed, vibrant, and effective champion for animals through political engagement, effective communication, media, diet, public outreach, resilience-building, and your own unique communities and social circles.

Starting exactly where you are, you’ll learn tonnes of different ways to advocate for animals—from meeting with your political representative, to getting vegan food offerings at local restaurants and grocery stores, to creating captivating social media content, to learning how to have effective conversations about animal issues with your family and friends.

Whether you’re completely new to animal advocacy or a veteran activist, vegan or omnivore, young or not so young ;)…the next six weeks will give you new tools, ideas, community, and momentum for making vital change for animals.

Animal Justice Academy Will Help You To...

  • take action for animals in ways that use your unique skills and suit your personality and situation
  • no longer be at a loss for words around animal issues
  • find ways to grow compassion for animals into your own geographical and cultural communities
  • create habits to avoid burnout and that keep you resilient, energized, and loving
  • feel like you have a solid grasp on a variety of animal issues and potential solutions
  • determine advocacy initiatives you’d like to work on and the strategies and action steps to execute them
  • connect with others who care the way you do and learn from each other’s advocacy journeys
  • make the work you do for animals have more impact and take less energy

The Faculty

Over 80 teachers/speakers. Animal protection luminaries from the worlds of media, politics, grassroots organizing, business, racial justice, nutrition, law, art, food policy, and health and wellness. Including…

Dr. Melanie Joy • Camille Labchuk • John Lewis (AKA Badass Vegan) • Jo-Anne McArthur • Elizabeth May • Gwenna Hunter • Anita Krajnc • Nathaniel Erskine-Smith • Dr. Charu Chandrasekera • Jack Norris • Amy Soranno • Nahanni Fontaine • Isaias Hernandez (AKA Queer Brown Vegan) • Dave Meslin • Amy Symington • Sailesh Rao • Lesli Bisgould • Jenny McQueen • Peter Sankoff • Dr. Tushar Mehta • Kimberly Carroll • Lesley Fox • Tashi Nying • Rob Laidlaw • Michelle Rojas-Soto • Jessica Scott-Reid • Geoff Regier • Pamela Fergusson • Stephanie Redcross • Liz White • Gabriel Wildgen • Angela Lee • and so many MORE brilliant beings

Nahanni Fontaine Tushar Mehta Jenny McQueen Charu Chandrasekera John Lewis Elizabeth May Geoff Regier Gwenna Hunter Melanie Joy Jo-Anne McArthur Nathaniel Erskine-Smith Lesli Bisgould Tashi Nying Amy Soranno Sailesh Rao Jessia Scott-Reid Jack Norris Anita Krajnc Michelle Rojas-Soto Kimberly Carroll Dave Meslin Mandi Howard Pamela Fergusson Shawna Gray Peter Sankoff Stephanie Redcross Calvin Neufeld Camille Labchuk Ali Valentine Isaias Hernandez Kaitlyn Mitchell Nital Kareena Jethalal Anthony Johnson Andrew Goodridge Tayler Zavitz Mary-Chris Staples Lesley Fox Varun virlan Amy Symington Gabriel Wildgen Paulina Varga-Toth Rob Laidlaw Faisal Moola Shannon Nickerson Roger Yang Stephanie Kittell Liz White Nick Schafer PJ Nyman Angela Lee Sayara Thurston Lucas Solowey Victoria Barger Eric Vautour Brittany Semeniuk Anna Pippus Jason Hannan Karen Messier Scott Tinney Nandita Bajaj Mike Farley

The Curriculum

NOTE: We’re adding new panelists to the curriculum every day, so keep coming back for updates!

WEEK 1:Animal Advocacy: The Foundations

In this first week, you’ll get a solid foundation in animal issues. We’ll discuss the concept of animal rights and animal protections, the major areas of animal suffering, the damage of animal exploitation, our biggest challenges in animal protection, and different types of animal advocacy organizations in Canada and beyond.

  • Primer in Animal Sentience, Animal Exploitation, and Animal Rights Camille Labchuk, Executive Director, Animal Justice
  • The State of Animals Exploited in Experiments Charu Chandrasekera, Founder and Executive Director, Canadian Centre for Alternatives to Animal Methods, University of Windsor
  • The State of Exotic Animals Exploited for Entertainment Rob Laidlaw, Executive Director, Zoocheck Inc.
  • Animal Agriculture and the Global Environmental Impact Dr. Tushar Mehta, ER Doctor & Co-founder of Plantbaseddata.org
  • The Importance of Language in the Animal Movement Lesli Bisgould, Law Professor, University of Toronto
  • Live Panel: The Range of Advocacy Organizations in the Animal Protection Movement Tuesday, Jan. 26 - 7–8:30pm ET Varun Virlan, Animal Save Movement
    Ali Valentine, GLO Farm Sanctuary
    Camille Labchuk, Animal Justice
    Brittany Semeniuk, Animal Welfare Consultant, Winnipeg Humane Society
    Jason Hannan, Professor, Chair of Winnipeg VegFest
  • The State of Animals Exploited for Food Geoff Regier Former Undercover Investigator
  • The State of Animals Exploited for Fur and Other “Textiles” Lesley Fox, Executive Director, The Fur-Bearers
  • The State of Dogs, Cats, and other Animal Companions Liz White, Director, Executive Director, Animal Alliance of Canada
  • The Health Impact of Eating Animals Dr. Pamela Fergusson, Vegan Registered Dietitian
  • Who Our Opponents Are and the Systems to Challenge Them Camille Labchuk, Executive Director, Animal Justice
  • LIVE Q&A: Faculty Members Thursday, Jan. 28 - 7–8:30pm ET

WEEK 2:Advocacy in Our Communities

We'll be exploring how to be effective and inclusive animal advocates at work, at school, in our neighbourhoods, institutions, and social communities. You’ll learn about effectively engaging those in your close circles, intersectionality, getting more vegan products on menus and shelves, building diversity in the animal movement, and influencing businesses and institutions to be more animal-friendly.

  • How to Navigate Animal Rights with Family, Friends, and Colleagues Melanie Joy, Psychologist, Author, Founding President of Beyond Carnism
  • Influencing Businesses on Animal Issues Sayara Thurston, Campaigner, Oceana
  • Effective Communications in Advocacy Situations Lucas Solowey, PR and Communications Specialist
  • Fundraising for Animal Initiatives Through Your Communities Anthony Johnson, Director of Development at Toronto People With AIDS Foundation
  • LIVE PANEL: Animal Advocacy at Work, School, and in Communities Tuesday, Feb. 2 - 7–8:30pm ET TBA
  • Animal Justice = Food Justice = Social Justice Angela Lee, Assistant Professor, Ryerson University Faculty of Law
  • Getting Vegan Products on Menus and Shelves Paulina Vargatoth, HSI Canada
  • Cornerstones for Supporting Racial Equity in the AR Movement Michelle Rojas-Soto, Managing Director at Encompass
  • Engaging Kids in Animal Issues Mary-Chris Staples & Victoria Barger, Veg Student Alliance
  • LIVE PANEL: Intersectionality: Allying with other Social Justice Movements Thursday, Feb. 4 - 7–8:30pm ET Gwenna Hunter, Founder of Vegans for Black Lives Matter
    Calvin Neufeld, Evolve Our Prison Farms, Transgender Advocate
    Eric Vautour, Anishinaabe Vegan & Animal Rights Advocate
    Isaias Hernandez, AKA Queer Brown Vegan, Environmentalist
    PJ Nyman, Corporate Relations Specialist, Mercy for Animals & Gender Equity Advocate

WEEK 3: Engaging in the Political System

Let’s get political! We'll explore simple ways to get involved politically on the federal, provincial, and municipal levels to help promote animal-friendly and plant-based political initiatives and legislation.

  • Overview: Getting Involved Politically to Help Animals Camille Labchuk, Executive Director, Animal Justice
  • Lobbying for Animals: How to Influence Policymakers Gabriel Wildgen, Policy Fellow, Harvard Law School & Past Campaigner
  • Approaching Legislative Change Strategically Camille Labchuk, Executive Director, Animal Justice
  • Supporting Animal-Friendly and Veg Legislators Andrew Goodridge, Parliamentary Assistant, Parliament of Canada
  • Why Animal Advocates Should Lobby for Electoral & Democratic Reform Dave Meslin, Community Organizer & Author of TEARDOWN: Rebuilding Democracy from the Ground Up
  • LIVE PANEL: Collaborating with the Indigenous Rights Movement on Animal Protection Tues., Feb. 9 - 7-8:30PM ET Mandi Howard, 2 Spirit, Sovereignty Seeker, Animal and Indigenous Rights Activist
    Nahanni Fontaine, MLA, Manitoba Legislature & House Leader of the Official Opposition, Sagkeeng Anishinaabe First Nation
    Faisal Moolah, Associate Professor of Geography, University of Guelph
    TBA
  • The Difference Between Federal, Provincial, and Municipal Animal Protection Laws Peter Sankoff, University of Alberta, Faculty of Law & Animal Justice Board
  • Getting Political at the Local Level Lesley Fox, Executive Director, The Fur-Bearers
  • Government Food Policy We Can Push For Nathaniel Erskine-Smith, Member of Parliament, Liberal Party of Canada
  • Ways to Insert Animal Issues into the Political Conversation Camille Labchuk, Executive Director, Animal Justice
  • LIVE PANEL: From the Mouths of Elected Politicians: Advice for Lobbying for Animals Thursday, Feb. 11 - 7–8:30pm ET Elizabeth May, Member of Parliament, Green Party of Canada
    Nathaniel Erskine-Smith, Member of Parliament, Liberal Party of Canada
    Karen Messier, City Councillor - Beaconsfield, Québec, vegan advocate for animals & the environment

WEEK 4:Exposing Animal Exploitation

The animal exploitation and abuse that happens in North America is mostly behind closed doors or not fully understood by the majority of society. We explore a variety of ways to keep government and corporations accountable and how to reach the public. For those wanting to do demonstrations, public outreach, and other protest actions, you’ll get tips for planning, knowing your rights as an activist, and handling interactions. We’ll also prepare for a special mass action around ag-gag laws.

  • Reporting Animal Abuse Kaitlyn Mitchell, Staff Lawyer, Animal Justice
  • Know Your Rights for Animal Activists Camille Labchuk, Executive Director, Animal Justice
  • Using Complaint Systems Scott Tinney, Staff Lawyer, Animal Justice
  • An Overview of Nonviolent Action TBA
  • The Invasion of Ag Gag Laws Camille Labchuk, Executive Director, Animal Justice
  • LIVE: Ag-Gag Strategy Session and AJA Action Training Tuesday, Feb. 16 - 7–8:30pm ET
  • Demonstration Planning Jenny McQueen, Co-founder of Animal Rights Toronto
  • Every Day Activism TBA
  • A Brief Animal Rights History & Lessons From Other Social Justice Movements Tayler Zavitz, PhD Candidate and Sessional Instructor, University of Victoria, Sociology Department
  • Bridge-Building Strategies Kimberly Carroll, Coach for Changemakers, Animal Justice Academy Director
  • LIVE PANEL: Grassroots Actions to Expose Animal Abuse Thursday, Feb. 18 - 7–8:30pm ET Anita Krajnc, Founder of Animal Save Movement
    Amy Soranno, Meat the Victims
    Jenny McQueen, Co-founder of Animal Rights Toronto
    TBA

WEEK 5: Expanding Your Influence & Engaging Media

You’ll be learning how to use social media and traditional media to uber-amplify animal issues and messages. We'll explore building a social media following, writing letters to editors and opinion pieces, starting a vegan business, how to do a tv interview, producing engaging social media content, and the power of visual mediums in animal advocacy.

  • The Importance of Getting Media Coverage Camille Labchuk, Executive Director, Animal Justice
  • John Lewis (AKA The Badass Vegan) and How He's Harnessed Media for the Power of Good John Lewis, Director of “They’re Trying to Kill Us”
  • Using Your Creativity to Advocate for Animals Panel TBA
  • Producing Captivating Video and Graphics Panel
  • LIVE PANEL: Starting a Vegan Business Tuesday, Feb. 23 - 7–8:30pm ET TBA
  • Getting Letters to the Editor & Opinion Articles Published Jessica Scott-Reid, Journalist
  • Using Social Media Effectively Shannon Nickerson, Communications and Development Manager, Animal Justice
  • How to Be Interviewed (TV, radio, print) Kimberly Carroll, Coach for Changemakers, Animal Justice Academy Director
  • LIVE PANEL: Being a Compassionate Influencer Thursday, Feb. 25 - 7–8:30pm ET TBA

WEEK 6: Empowering Yourself as an Advocate

We’ll explore how you can be the most effective and enduring advocate for animals possible. We’ll look at how to have an optimal activist mindset and cultivate emotional and physical wellness -- from practicing healthy boundaries to processing the pain of doing this work to tips to optimal vegan eating to bringing mindfulness to activism.

  • Healthy Boundaries and Expansive Habits Kimberly Carroll, Coach for Changemakers, Animal Justice Academy Director
  • Dealing with Trauma as an Animal Advocate Shawna Gray, Clinical Social Worker, Ceg-A-Kin Nakoda Nation
  • Vegan Cooking and Eating Made Easy Amy Symington, Nutrition Professor and Plant-based Chef
  • Tools for Better Focus, Motivation, and Productivity Kimberly Carroll, Coach for Changemakers, Animal Justice Academy Director
  • LIVE PANEL: Being a Thriving Vegan as a Form of Activism Tuesday, March 2 - 7-8:30pm ET TBA
  • Tips for an Optimum & Satisfying Vegan Diet from a 30-Year Vegan & Dietitian Jack Norris, Vegan Dietitian & Vegan Outreach Founder
  • Tools to Heal Compassion Fatigue Kimberly Carroll, Coach for Changemakers, Animal Justice Academy Director
  • Mindfulness in Animal Activism Lama Tashi Nyima, Buddhist Teacher and Animal Activist
  • A Yoga Routine for Animal Advocates: Heart Centering Practice Stephanie Kittell, Yoga/ Movement/ Mindfulness Facilitator, Co-Founder of www.spaceof.love
  • LIVE PANEL: Animal Justice Academy Action-Takers & Closing Ceremonies Thursday, March 2 - 7–8:30pm ET
OTHER CONFIRMED PANELISTS FOR THE PROGRAM:
  • Sailesh Rao, Founder and Executive Director of Climate Healers
  • Jo-Anne McArthur, Photojournalist, Founder of We Animals Media
  • Stephanie Redcross, Vegan Mainstream Founder
  • Nick Schafer, Videographer/Editor/Director
  • Nital Jethalal, Toronto Vegetarian Association President &
    Kareena Jethala, Student Animal Advocate
  • Roger Yang, Vegan Restaurateur - Avelo & Pizzeria Du
* This curriculum is subject to change

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the level of commitment?

We ask that you set aside at least a couple of hours of time each week in your schedule during the program for learning. If you want to do the program full-out, you’d be looking at 7 hours of modules and panels per week.

You can do the video/audio modules whenever you’d like, but we’d love as many people as possible to show up for the live online events and participate in the private Facebook group to build that sense of community and energy and honour our speakers’ contributions.

How much you decide to participate is up to you…just keep in mind that this is a one-of-a-kind opportunity to grow yourself into a truly powerful force for animals.

Do I need to be Canadian to do Animal Justice Academy?

We are based in Canada, but we welcome international folks to the program! There will be quite a few references to situations in Canada, but the lessons and tools are pretty universal.

ENROLL IN ANIMAL JUSTICE ACADEMY

Click ENROLL NOW below to fill out the registration form. Upon submission, you'll get confirmation of your registration. You'll also get an email explaining next steps.

We'll see you inside the academy!

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SUPPORT US

We made Animal Justice Academy free so it can be available for everyone, but if you’d like to support our efforts to help advocates make a larger impact in the lives of animals, please consider donating to Animal Justice Academy.

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