Who We Are

Beyond Carnism is a US-based, international organization dedicated to exposing and transforming carnism, the invisible belief system that conditions people to eat certain animals.

Carnism causes extensive suffering. Animal agriculture is responsible for the unnecessary slaughter of 72 billion land animals and between one and three trillion fish and other aquatic animals worldwide per year, and it is a major contributor to environmental degradation, human disease, and human rights violations. However, the majority of people who eat animals are unaware that they are contributing to such destruction.

Credit: Edgar’s Mission

At Beyond Carnism, we believe that people need and deserve to know the truth about carnism, so they can make their food choices freely—because without awareness, there is no free choice.

Beyond Carnism seeks to empower nonvegan consumers and vegan advocates through awareness raising and training, to help create a more just and compassionate world for all beings, human and nonhuman alike.

Our Beliefs and Principles

  • Awareness Raising

    We believe that it is impossible to have an objective conversation about eating animals as long as carnism remains unexamined. We therefore believe that it’s essential to raise awareness of carnism so that the system becomes visible.

  • Effective Altruism

    We are committed to the principles of effective altruism, in that we employ evidence and reason to make choices that are as impactful as possible.

  • Acknowledging the Limitations of Free Choice

    We recognize that certain people, such as those who are economically disadvantaged or geographically dependent on eating animals, are unable to make their food choices freely.

  • Nonviolence

    We are committed to nonviolence in attitude and action. Beyond Carnism does not endorse physical violence or violent communication.

  • Transforming Powerarchy

    Carnism causes extensive harm to animals, the environment, and humans, and it is informed by the same belief system that drives all forms of oppression and abuse, which Melanie Joy refers to as powerarchy. Transforming carnism is essential to both ending the problems caused by animal agriculture and to transforming powerarchy more broadly.

  • Relational Literacy

    Carnism and other powerarchies condition us to relate to others—human and nonhuman—in a way that is dysfunctional, or harmful. Therefore, building relational literacy, the understanding of and ability to practice healthy ways of relating, is central to helping create a more just and compassionate world.

Our Team

Melanie Joy

Dr. Melanie Joy

Founding President

Melanie Joy, PhD, EdM, is a Harvard-educated psychologist specializing in the psychology of eating animals, social transformation, and relationships. She is widely recognized as a thought leader and is best known for her pioneering work developing her theory of carnism. 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.

Joy is the award-winning author of six books, including the bestselling Why We Love Dogs, Eat Pigs, and Wear Cows. She is also an internationally recognized speaker and trainer who’s presented her work in fifty countries across six continents. 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.

All of Joy’s work is designed to raise awareness of the obstacles preventing people from interacting in ways that create a sense of mutual connection, with human and nonhuman beings. 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.

Flavia D'Erasmo

Flavia D’Erasmo

Director of Operations

Flavia D’Erasmo has been with Beyond Carnism since 2017 and has worked in many capacities to serve the mission of the organization, including strategic planning, fundraising, design, grant giving, and publishing. Flavia became the Director of Operations in 2019, after having helped construct and implement new operational guidelines and shape a novel and streamlined strategic plan which helped bring the organization to a new level. Passionate about mission-driven impact and creating healthy, effective teams, Flavia has a strong commitment to the principles of effective altruism and to organizational resilience. She is responsible for all staffing and operations, and she works alongside Melanie Joy shaping the strategic goals of the organization.

Ed Startup

Ed Startup

Program Manager

After nearly a decade working as an educator, Ed Startup joined the Beyond Carnism team so he could apply his skills to developing hi-impact curricula, trainings, and campaigns to further the mission of exposing and transforming carnism globally. Ed is primarily responsible for overseeing the Center for Effective Vegan Advocacy, and he has been revamping the program to expand its reach, increase its impact, and enhance its offerings. He is passionate about developing informative and engaging learning experiences that not only help increase the impact of vegan advocates, but also help to shift consciousness to help cultivate a more relational and mindful world.

Craig Brierly

Craig Brierly

Program Coordinator

Craig Brierly has worked with Beyond Carnism since 2018. He began as an intern and soon became a critical part of the team. Before joining the organization, Craig earned a B.Sc. (Hons.) in animal biology, and he worked as an accounts administrator in the charity sector and as a law firm associate in the UK. Craig has been active in social justice and animal advocacy causes for most of his adult life, through volunteering for community cafés, animal sanctuaries, and animal rights organizations.

Angel Lau

Angel Lau

Social Media Associate

Angel Lau joined Beyond Carnism as an intern in 2019 and is now our Social Media Associate. Angel is responsible for adapting Beyond Carnism and CEVA’s work to create educational and engaging social media content. Angel is passionate about helping to create a more just and compassionate world for all beings and she is committed to helping increase the effectiveness of vegan advocates, particularly in Asia. Alongside her work for Beyond Carnism, Angel creates social media content in Chinese and English to help raise awareness of animal issues in Asia.

Dawn Moncrief

Dawn Moncrief

Board Chair

Dawn Moncrief is the founder and president of A Well-Fed World, an international hunger relief and climate advocacy organization advancing plant-based foods and farming. She has been a social justice advocate since the early 1990s and has two master’s degrees from The George Washington University: one in International Relations, the other in Women’s Studies, both focusing on economic development. Her work highlights the ways in which high levels of meat consumption in the U.S. and globally exacerbate global hunger, especially for women and children. She also draws attention to the negative consequences of animal agriculture on climate change and the deceptiveness of “humane” marketing.