Melanie Joy

Melanie Joy

Founder and President, Beyond Carnism


Dr. Melanie Joy is a Harvard-educated psychologist, international speaker, theorist, and educator. She is also the author of five books: the award-winning Why We Love Dogs, Eat Pigs, and Wear Cows; Beyond Beliefs: A Guide to Improving Relationships and Communication for Vegans, Vegetarians, and Meat Eaters; Powerarchy: Understanding the Psychology of Oppression for Social Transformation; Getting Relationships Right; and Strategic Action for Animals.

Joy is best known for her groundbreaking theories on the psychology of violence and nonviolence and building healthy relationships. Her analyses have helped explain why people engage in “nonrelational” behaviors – behaviors that harm other people, animals, the planet, and themselves – as well as how to change this pattern. Her work has been featured by media outlets around the world, including the New York Times, BBC, NPR, and ABC Australia. She is the eighth recipient of the Ahimsa Award – previously given to the Dalai Lama and Nelson Mandela – for her work on global nonviolence; and she also received both the Peter Singer Prize and the Empty Cages Prize for her work developing strategies to reduce the suffering of animals.

Joy’s mission is to raise awareness of the obstacles preventing people from interacting in ways that create a sense of mutual connection. These obstacles are both internal (psychological) and external (social), and they are a key reason why we act against our own interests and the interests of others – often without realizing that we’re doing so. With awareness, we are better able to think freely and act compassionately, to create healthier and more fulfilling relationships and a more equitable and sustainable world.

Joy has given talks and trainings in 50 countries across six continents. She is the founding president of Beyond Carnism and a co-founder of ProVeg International.
Melanie Joy, Ph.D., Ed.M.