Animal Justice Academy

Animal Justice Academy is a FREE online advocacy course to empower you to make a better world for animals.

Join over 80 animal advocacy leaders for unprecedented learning, community, and collective action.

Current members can log in here.

Upcoming Online Events

Thursday, September 8, 2022 12:00 PM EDT
Academic Activism – Q&A with Angela Fernandez, Jodi Lazare, Jason Hannan, & Michael Swistara

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 ;)… AJA 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


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 • Jane Velez-Mitchell • Gwenna Hunter • Anita Krajnc • Nathaniel Erskine-Smith • Jake Conroy (AKA The Cranky Vegan) • 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 Nyima • Rob Laidlaw • Michelle Rojas-Soto • Jessica Scott-Reid • Geoff Regier • Pamela Fergusson • Stephanie Redcross • Liz White • Gabriel Wildgen • Angela Lee • Calvin Neufeld • Andy Meddick • Priya Sawhney • Sophie Gaillard • Dr. Aysha Akhtar • Gaia’s Eye • Anne-Marie Campbell • Mikko Järvenpää • Sonia Faruqi • Anna Pippus • James Yurichuk • Claire Smith • Tayler Zavitz • Shawna Gray • Dr. Matthew Nagra • and so many MORE brilliant beings


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.

  • Animal Sentience, Rights and Exploitation
    Camille Labchuk, Executive Director, Animal Justice
  • The State of Animals Exploited for Food: In-Depth
    Geoff Regier Former Undercover Investigator
  • 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
  • The Importance of Language in the Animal Movement
    Lesli Bisgould, Law Professor, University of Toronto
  • PANEL: The Range of Advocacy Organizations in the Animal Protection MovementVarun 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 Used in the Food Industry: Introduction
    Kimberly Carroll, Animal Justice Academy Director & Coach for Changemakers
  • 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, Animal Alliance of Canada & Leader, Animal Protection Party 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
  • Q&A;: with Week 1 Faculty Members & Participants’ Speed-Connecting SessionsGeoff Regier, Former Undercover Investigator
    Dr. Tushar Mehta, ER Doctor & Co-founder of
    Lesley Fox, Executive Director, The Fur-Bearers
    Camille Labchuk, Executive Director, Animal Justice

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
  • 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
  • PANEL: Animal Advocacy at Work, School, and in Communities
    Darina Bockman, President, Vegan Leaders in Corporate Management
    Nital Jethalal, Toronto Vegetarian Association President & Kareena Jethala, Student Animal Advocate
    Sailesh Rao, Founder and Executive Director of Climate Healers
    Matthew A. King, President & Co-Founder, Christian Animal Rights Association
    Nandita Bajaj, Administrator, University of Toronto Schools & Mike Farley, Geography and Environmental Studies Teacher, University of Toronto Schools
  • 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
  • Every Day Activism
    Rebecca Owen “Vegan Pixie Warrior”
  • Cornerstones for Supporting Racial Equity in the AR Movement
    Michelle Rojas-Soto, Managing Director at Encompass
  • Engaging Kids in Animal Issues
    Mary-Chris Staples, Veg Student Alliance
  • PANEL: Intersectionality: Allying with other Social Justice Movements
    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

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
  • 10 Tips for Changing Laws
    Sophie Gaillard, Lawyer & Director of Animal Advocacy, Montreal SPCA
  • Why Animal Advocates Should Lobby for Electoral & Democratic Reform
    Dave Meslin, Community Organizer & Author of TEARDOWN: Rebuilding Democracy from the Ground Up
  • Government Food Policy We Can Push For
    Nathaniel Erskine-Smith, Member of Parliament, Liberal Party of Canada
  • Supporting (& Creating) Animal-Friendly and Veg Legislators
    Andrew Goodridge, Parliamentary Assistant, Parliament of Canada
  • Practising meetings with legislators – give three scenarios you’d like to work with
  • PANEL: Zoonosis: Exposing the Link Between Animal Use and Pandemics
    Dr. Aysha Akhtar, MD, MPH, President & CEO, Center for Contemporary Sciences
    Melissa Matlow, Canadian Campaign Director, World Animal Protection
    Dr. Tushar Mehta, Co-founder of
    Dr. Jan Hajek – Clinical Assistant Professor, Infectious Diseases, University of British Columbia
  • The Difference Between Federal, Provincial, and Municipal Animal Protection Laws
    Peter Sankoff, Professor, University of Alberta, Faculty of Law & Animal Justice Board
  • Lobbying for Animals: How to Influence Policymakers
    Gabriel Wildgen, Policy Fellow, Harvard Law School & Past Campaigner
  • Being Strategic About Legislative Change for Animals
    Camille Labchuk, Executive Director, Animal Justice
  • Getting Political at the Local Level
    Lesley Fox, Executive Director, The Fur-Bearers
  • PANEL: From the Mouths of Elected Politicians: Advice for Lobbying for Animals
    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

Exposing Animal Exploitation

The animal exploitation and abuse that happens in North America is mostly behind closed doors and hidden from by the majority of society. We explore a variety of ways to expose animal suffering to the public and keep government and corporations accountable. We’ll cover abuse reporting, planning demonstrations and actions, nonviolent strategy, utilizing complaint systems, knowing your rights, pressure campaigns, dealing with conflict, and the invasion of ag gag laws.

  • The Invasion of Ag Gag Laws in Canada
    Camille Labchuk, Executive Director, Animal Justice
  • Demonstration Planning
    Jenny McQueen, Co-founder of Animal Rights Toronto
  • Reporting Animal Abuse
    Kaitlyn Mitchell, Staff Lawyer, Animal Justice
  • Know Your Legal Rights While Advocating for Animals
    Camille Labchuk, Executive Director, Animal Justice
  • Intro to Nonviolent Strategy
    Freeman Wicklund, Nonviolent Strategy Trainer, Boundless Love Project
  • PANEL: Grassroots Actions to Expose Animal Abuse
    Anita Krajnc, Founder of Animal Save Movement
    Priya Sawhney, Co-founder, Direct Acton Everywhere
    Amy Soranno, Meat the Victims
    Jenny McQueen, Co-founder of Animal Rights Toronto
  • A Brief Animal Rights History & Lessons From Other Social Justice Movements
    Tayler Zavitz, PhD Candidate and Sessional Instructor, University of Victoria, Sociology Department
  • “The Cranky Vegan” on Pressure Campaigns & Getting Rid of the Moral Baseline
    Jake Conroy
  • Conflict and Bridge-Building Tools
    Kimberly Carroll, Coach for Changemakers, Animal Justice Academy Director
  • Using Complaint Systems
    Scott Tinney, Staff Lawyer, Animal Justice
  • PANEL: Collaborating with the Indigenous Rights Movement on Animal ProtectionMandi 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
    Shawna Gray, Clinical Social Worker, Ceg-A-Kin Nakoda Nation
  • Faisal Moola, Honorary Member, Indigenous Peoples’ and Community Conserved Areas and Territories (ICCA) Consortium

Expanding Your Influence & Engaging Media

This week is about how to expand your sphere of influence in order to amplify animal issues and messages. We’ll explore how to produce engaging social media content, getting letters to the editor and other print pieces published in mainstream media, starting a vegan business, tips on how to be interviewed, using your creativity to advocate for animals, how to increase your Google search rankings, the power of visual mediums in animal advocacy, and even vegan investing.

  • The Importance of Getting Media Coverage
    Camille Labchuk, Executive Director, Animal Justice
  • Bad Ass Vegan and How He’s Harnessed Media for the Power of Good
    John Lewis, “Bad Ass Vegan” & Director of “They’re Trying to Kill Us”
  • Tips for Being Interviewed for Traditional and Online Media
    Kimberly Carroll, Coach for Changemakers, Animal Justice Academy Director
  • Taking Media Into Your Own Hands
    Jane Velez-Mitchell
  • Roundtable: Producing Captivating Video
    Nick Schafer, Videographer/Editor/Director
    Jenny McQueen, Activist, Co-founder of Animal Rights Toronto
    Gabriel Nadler (Gaia’s Eye) Animal Rights Activist, Musician, & Vegan Entrepreneur
  • PANEL: Starting a Vegan Business
    Stephanie Redcross, Vegan Mainstream Founder
    Roger Yang, Vegan Restaurateur – Avelo & Pizzeria Du
    Tina Stokes, Founder, Vegan Stokes Cheese
    James Yurichuk, CEO & Founder, Wuxly Movement
  • Using Social Media Effectively
    Shannon Nickerson, Communications and Development Manager, Animal Justice
  • Getting Letters to the Editor & Opinion Articles Published
    Jessica Scott-Reid, Journalist
  • Investing Options for Animal Advocates
    Claire Smith
  • Get Your Animal Advocacy Content Ranking on Google
    Mikko Järvenpää, Founder of Sentient Media
  • Getting Animal Issues into Mainstream Media
    Matt Zampa, Reporter and Editor with Sentient Media
  • PANEL: Using Your Creativity to Advocate for Animals
    Jo-Anne McArthur, Photojournalist, Founder of We Animals Media
    Donald Vincent, Poet, Writer, Creative Director
    Sonia Faruqi, Author of Project Animal Farm
    Chantal Poulin Durocher – Art-ivist

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 HabitsKimberly Carroll, Coach for Changemakers, Animal Justice Academy Director
  • Dealing with Trauma as an Animal AdvocateShawna Gray, Clinical Social Worker, Ceg-A-Kin Nakoda Nation
  • Vegan Cooking and Eating Made EasyAmy Symington, Nutrition Professor and Plant-based Chef
  • Techniques for Processing Pain and Healing Compassion FatigueKimberly Carroll, Coach for Changemakers, Animal Justice Academy Director
  • What if you Were Stranded On a Desert Island?: Answers to Questions Animal Advocates ALWAYS Get AskedDavid Prince
  • PANEL: Being a Thriving Vegan as a Form of ActivismAnna Pippus, Author, The Vegan Family Cookbook
  • Dr. Matthew Nagra, Naturopathic Doctor
  • Shashi Dissanayake, Urban Gardener & Vegan Chef, Recipe Developer
  • Anne-Marie Campbell, Animal Rights Activist, Vegan Athlete, Published Author, and Founder of
  • Tips for an Optimum & Satisfying Vegan Diet from a 30-Year Vegan & DietitianJack Norris, Vegan Dietitian & Vegan Outreach Founder
  • Tools for Better Focus, Motivation, and ProductivityKimberly Carroll, Coach for Changemakers, Animal Justice Academy Director
  • Meditation and Mindfulness for Strengthening Animal AdvocatesLama Tashi Nyima, Buddhist Teacher and Animal Activist
  • A Yoga Routine for Animal Advocates: Heart Centering PracticeStephanie Kittell, Yoga/ Movement/ Mindfulness Facilitator, Co-Founder of
  • PANEL: Animal Justice Academy Action-Takers


Right now, this program is self-paced, so you decide how much time you want to put into this each week. Currently in the AJA Facebook group, we’re taking a month to go through each week of curriculum.

If you’d like to join the community live, the monthly panels are 90 minutes, and the biweekly Lunchtime Live sessions are 1 hour. We also recommend putting a little time aside to take part in the weekly AJA Actions.

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.

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.


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!


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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Animal Justice

September 2, 2022 7:38 pm

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