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How to Create a Vegan World

A Pragmatic Approach

Tobias Leenaert

In this thought-provoking book, Tobias Leenaert leaves well-trodden animal advocacy paths and takes a fresh look at the strategies, objectives, and communication of the vegan and animal rights movement. He argues that, given our present situation, with entire societies dependent on the use of animals, we need a very pragmatic approach. How to Create a Vegan World contains many valuable ideas and insights for both budding advocates for animals and seasoned activists, organizational leaders, and even entrepreneurs.

This book is also available as an audiobook here.

“Tobias Leenaert’s writings are consistently some of the sharpest and most perceptive material in the animal protection movement’s literature. His advice gives activists the tools to play a decisive role in ending the era of industrialized animal exploitation.”—Erik Marcus, publisher of

“As religious, political, and dietary dogma enjoys a heyday, How to Create a Vegan World offers pragmatists a welcome haven. With research supporting his position, the author contends that in valuing both small changes and sweeping ones, we can build, rather than bulldoze, our way to a compassionate and sustainable world.”—Victoria Moran, author, Main Street Vegan, and director, Main Street Vegan Academy

“The animal rights movement has been waiting for a book like this. Tobias Leenaert goes beyond the obvious reasons of why the world should go vegan and provides valuable insights on how to effectively make progress towards goal. I would highly recommend this book to new and veteran activists dedicated to helping as many animals as they can.”—Nick Cooney, Vice President of Mercy for Animals, author, Veganomics and Change of Heart

“Tobias Leenaert has a unique and practical point of view on all things vegan that cuts through the issues like a knife through a firm cake of tofu. He is not afraid to challenge common misconceptions and norms with his penetrating, fact-based reasoning. Always independent and illuminating, we count on activists like Tobias to lead the way towards a vegan world.”—Seth Tibbott, founder and president, the Tofurky Company

How to Create a Vegan World is a must-read for anyone who wants to maximize their impact to make the world a better place for animals. Tobias Leenaert synthesizes a wealth of research with his own extensive experience as a vegan advocate to present clear arguments and practical tips for effective vegan advocacy. I highly recommend this book!”—Melanie Joy, PhD, author, Why We Love Dogs, Eat Pigs, and Wear Cows, cofounder and codirector, Center for Effective Vegan Advocacy

“Tobias Leenaert is one of today’s most important writers regarding animal issues. Probably his greatest strength is his ability to stay focused on what will actually help animals in the real world. Especially in this time of social media and filtered feeds, it is incredibly easy to focus on what is popular with people who are already vegan. Tobias, however, looks beyond his likes and retweets, and instead stays focused on the bottom line—reaching new people with the message of compassion.”—Matt Ball, author, The Accidental Activist, and coauthor, The Animal Activist’s Handbook

“If the meat industry had to pick one book they don’t want you to read, this would be it.”—Sebastian Joy, founder and director, ProVeg International

“Big-hearted and level-headed Tobias Leenaert shows us how we need both idealism and pragmatism in the animal rights movement, and that we can make greater, more strategic strides in through collaboration, inclusiveness and meeting people where they’re at. Listen to Tobias.”—Jo-Anne McArthur, photojournalist, author, We Animals and Captive

“Tobias Leenaert makes a very convincing argument for why a ‘food first’ approach should be an essential part of the strategic toolbox of the animal advocacy movement. A refreshing, compelling, and ultimately very positive book that should be read by everyone who wants to help animals.”—Bruce Friedrich, executive director, The Good Food Institute

“Drawing from the research on successful behavior change as well as his own extensive experience, Tobias Leenaert has created an essential tool for anyone who wants to change the world for animals. How to Create a Vegan World is thoughtful, pragmatic and provocative. It’s also packed with useful tips that are likely to make your advocacy more effective than ever.”—Virginia Messina, MPH, RD, author, Vegan for Life, and coauthor, Even Vegans Die

“Tobias’ pragmatism in this book is refreshing. Any method that leads to reduction of used resources, greenhouse gas emission and animal suffering, should be pursued. Personally, and to illustrate Tobias’ points in this book, as a habitual meat-eater, my inclination to become vegetarian or vegan is boosted more by eating in a spectacular vegan restaurant, having a vegetarian daughter and meeting rational people like Tobias, than my professional endeavors or my encounters with proselytizing vegans.”—Mark Post, creator of the stemcell based hamburger

“Through a rational, strategic approach, this book shows the reader how we can all play a part in ending factory farming and sparing billions of animals from suffering.”—David Coman-Hidy, executive director, The Humane League

“Tobias Leenaert is the meat industry’s worst nightmare: a triple-threat visionary who is also utterly pragmatic and who writes well. His book is stuffed from beginning to end with great advice that’s backed up by research and common sense, and is well delivered. If you care about saving the animals, read it.”—Hillary Rettig, vegan activist and author, The Lifelong Activist

“In a movement charged with emotion, pragmatism can often be overlooked. Tobias takes a critical look at how to create change in our modern society, and his thoughtful viewpoints teach valuable, evidence-based approaches to achieving victories for animals.”—Jon Bockman, CEO, Animal Charity Evaluators

How to Create a Vegan World is a thoughtful plea for pragmatism in the vegan movement. Drawing on effective altruist principles and social psychology research, Leenaert explores how our biases can blind our advocacy for animals. He makes a powerful case for dropping conventional wisdom and leaving our comfort zone, and instead starting from first principles in our quest to best help animals.”—Lewis Bollard, farm animal welfare program officer, the Open Philanthropy Project

“People don’t do anything when they think they have to do everything. This helpful book provides a practical outline for guiding people to take positive steps and for being the type of activist who asks the question, ‘Do I want to be right or do I want to be effective?’”—Colleen Patrick-Goudreau, author, The 30-Day Vegan Challenge

“Written with precision and clarity, How to Create a Vegan World provides sophisticated and unflinching insights that encourage animal advocates to utilize context-driven, unconventional, and often counterintuitive strategies. Tightly-woven layers of thought-provoking ideas champion a broad range of tactics and potential allies intended to sharpen our critical thinking and maximize our impact.”—Dawn Moncrief, founding director, A Well-Fed World

"This book is important in offering a common-sense roadmap to reflect upon as we navigate the complicated path ahead. It is significant in weaving together both theory and research. Tobias' writings have helped shape how I

214 pp.  
6" x 9"

Lantern Books


Published:  July 2017


Tobias Leenaert is a longtime speaker, trainer, strategist, and the co-founder of the Belgian organization EVA (Ethical Vegetarian Alternative), the first vegetarian/vegan organization to receive structural funding from a national government. Under Tobias’ management, EVA launched a successful campaign that resulted with the city of Ghent becoming the first city ever to officially support a weekly vegetarian day. Tobias gives animal advocacy trainings worldwide together with Melanie Joy, for the Center of Effective Vegan Advocacy (CEVA). He is also co-founder of ProVeg, an international pro-vegan organization with the mission to reduce the global consumption of animals by fifty percent by the year 2040. Tobias lives in Ghent, Belgium, with his partner, two dogs, and six cats. Tobias blogs at
See all books by Tobias Leenaert

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