Profiting From Inexperience and Naivety

Its been nearly two years since I wrote the article, Shh. Don’t talk about the elephant in the room, where I discussed the obvious lack of training that people are getting within the animal advocacy movement.

Unfortunately for the animals, nothing seems to have changed with regards to the animal groups doing any sort of training for their volunteers or members.

That is, except for an organisational psychologist who is a relatively new vegan and is running a series of workshops titled “Skills For Conversations That Matter”.

Whilst I do think it is great that someone has taken the initiative where all the other organisations haven’t, I am concerned that this person is charging for the event, and rather exorbitantly too.

The price for the Brisbane event is currently $156.00 if you pay in full or $195.00 in installments, blatantly exploiting those who may be on a budget or limited income.

Now don’t get me wrong, I don’t believe that the training should be given away freely, if it is of value. Training of any kind that will help people promote veganism and ending the use of other animals is surely of value.

I just have concerns that this event may be more set up to benefit the presenter than the animals or those who attend.

For example, a few years ago Animal Liberation Queensland put on a weekend and the cost was $30 to cover the food that was provided. Likewise, it will cost $125.00 for a two day ticket to attend the confusingly named animal activists forum. Yet somehow, this one day of training is worth $195.00

That being said, it raises the conundrum of whether it would be better to donate the money to your chosen animal group for them to use, or spend the money to attend a training course where you might not actually use the skills that are presented there?

If someone is going to market a $200.00 training course to novice/inexperienced activists, then you had better be sure that the presenter has a fair amount of credibility and more than an entry level understanding of the matters relating to veganism and animal issues.

How you can take any professional seriously that takes part in a ‘comedy debate’ that mocks those who are not vegan or publishes an article where they make light of mental health by admitting that they have a mental health disorder because they are vegan, is seriously beyond me.

[GARD]And this is without even beginning to examine her understanding of speciesism and issues that other animals face whilst she has a dog as a pet.

When it is all said and done, I would no more recommend someone attend this ‘event’ than I would send someone to Harley Johnstone or Leanne Ratcliffe for nutritional advice.

When it comes time to have a conversation that matters, it needs to be one that matters to the person you are having the conversation with, not yourself, even if that means not talking about veganism.

Image courtesy of pakorn at

What are your thoughts?