Advice for Advocates
The animal advocacy movement is seeing an increase in the number of organizations working to tackle farmed and wild animal issues. The variety and scope of ways to get involved are also expanding. To help meet the movement’s rising demand for skilled professionals, some advocacy organizations are offering free courses for anyone interested in improving their knowledge. This post outlines several of these options, which could be especially helpful for people who cannot carry out their usual activism during the current pandemic. Each of these courses provides opportunities to get to know the host organization better, with the potential to network with fellow advocates.
Plant-Based and Cultivated Meat Online Course Hosted by The Good Food Institute
The Good Food Institute (GFI) is offering learners a free and flexible course, available to anyone in the world. Split into five modules, the course begins by explaining the need for alternatives to traditional meat. Later, it takes a deeper dive into how plant-based and cultivated meat is produced. The course also covers trends in meat and plant-based meat consumption as well as key bottlenecks that are preventing a more rapid advancement of the industry. In the final module, advocates will learn about how alternative proteins are being funded and why there’s an urgent need for more research. The course is delivered in English and includes a series of video lectures and curated reading materials. There have been over 7,000 enrollments across more than 40 countries to date. The course is due to be updated to include new materials later this year.
For those readers who are unfamiliar with our charity reviews, GFI has been rated by ACE as a Top Charity for the past five years in a row. We have been consistently impressed by their highly effective interventions, which include developing alternatives to animal products and encouraging large food companies to expand their plant-based offering. You can enroll now for GFI’s plant-based and cultivated meat course. To learn more about GFI, read ACE’s 2020 Review of The Good Food Institute.
Introductory Careers Course Hosted by Animal Advocacy Careers
This fully remote course from Animal Advocacy Careers (AAC) guides learners through some of the questions we might ask ourselves when we first learn about the advocacy movement: How can I help animals? Which interventions should we focus on? What does the movement look like today? The course is delivered over nine weeks as a series of online modules, each taking around an hour to complete. It includes video interviews with current advocates working in the movement. Upon completion of the final module, learners will be invited to participate in an all-day live workshop. This is an opportunity to go over some of the material in more depth, network with fellow advocates, and devise a clear career strategy. This course is brand new—the first cohort completed the live workshop in February 2021. You can apply for the next course or stay up to date by signing up for AAC’s newsletter. Also in AAC’s pipeline is a training program for those already working in the movement; this unique opportunity will help participants upskill their leadership and management capabilities.
AAC is a fairly new organization that is quickly gaining traction as a recruitment-based charity. They offer information and advice to advocates who wish to use their careers to help animals in the most effective ways possible. AAC also carries out research to identify talent gaps that are restricting the movement’s progress. They received funding from us via our Movement Grants program in summer 2020. For a description of grants, you can read the full announcement.
The Writer’s Collective Hosted by Sentient Media
Sentient Media focuses on improving transparency around our use of animals in daily life. It does this by using journalism to expose the ongoing cruelty of animal agriculture and by targeting a mainstream audience. As well as carrying out their own fact-based reporting, Sentient Media offers training programs for emerging writers. They are currently accepting applications to join their Writer’s Collective, which includes an online course in addition to mentorship with more established writers. Successful applicants also gain access to a supportive online community of advocates who are using their skills to spread the word about animal cruelty. Previous members have had their stories featured in high-profile publications such as The Guardian and USA Today.
Sentient Media is building a track record of journalism with a focus on stories from the perspective of animals. They adhere to a code of ethics that involves being accurate and honest in how they interpret and report on animals, people, and the natural world. Alongside the Writer’s Collective, Sentient Media offers a Social Media Fellowship, involving a six-week course on how advocates can improve their online campaigns.
Other Resources for Improving Advocacy Knowledge and Skills
In addition to courses, there is a range of other media available to advocates. For example, the research organization 80,000 Hours hosts a podcast that focuses on our most pressing moral problems. A recent episode involved an in-depth discussion of successes against factory farming. Finally, you can check out the articles and interviews listed on our media page.
If you come across other educational resources that you think would be useful to others, please share them with us in the comments below.