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

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 • 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

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 Jake Conroy Andrew Goodridge Tayler Zavitz Mary-Chris Staples Lesley Fox Varun virlan Amy Symington Gabriel Wildgen Jane Velez-Mitchell Rob Laidlaw Faisal Moola Shannon Nickerson Roger Yang Stephanie Kittell Liz White Nick Schafer PJ Nyman Angela Lee Sayara Thurston Lucas Solowey Eric Vautour Brittany Semeniuk Anna Pippus Jason Hannan Karen Messier Scott Tinney Nandita Bajaj Mike Farley Darina Bockman Tina Stokes Matthew King Rebecca Owen Sophie Gaillard Aysha Akhtar Jan Hajek Melissa Matlow Andy Meddick Priya Sawhney Freeman Wicklund Anthony Johnson Paulina Varga-Toth Chantal Poulin-Durocher Claire Smith Gabriel Nadler James Yurichuk Matt Zampa Mikko Järvenpää Anne-Marie Campbell Shashi Dissanayake Dr. Matthew Nagra David Prince

The Curriculum

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.

  • 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 Movement 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 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 Sessions Geoff 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

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
  • 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

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
  • 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

WEEK 4: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 Protection 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
    Shawna Gray, Clinical Social Worker, Ceg-A-Kin Nakoda Nation
    Faisal Moola, Honorary Member, Indigenous Peoples’ and Community Conserved Areas and Territories (ICCA) Consortium

WEEK 5: 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

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
  • Techniques for Processing Pain and Healing Compassion Fatigue Kimberly Carroll, Coach for Changemakers, Animal Justice Academy Director
  • What if you Were Stranded On a Desert Island?: Answers to Questions Animal Advocates ALWAYS Get Asked David Prince
  • PANEL: Being a Thriving Vegan as a Form of Activism Anna 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 & Dietitian Jack Norris, Vegan Dietitian & Vegan Outreach Founder
  • Tools for Better Focus, Motivation, and Productivity Kimberly Carroll, Coach for Changemakers, Animal Justice Academy Director
  • Meditation and Mindfulness for Strengthening Animal Advocates 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
  • PANEL: Animal Justice Academy Action-Takers

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the level of commitment?

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.

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.


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!

Rabbit with heart


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.