Matt Ball is in the very small group of people who have had the most significant influence on animal advocacy.
In 1995, when Matt was preparing some of his first essays, the magazine The Economist did a cover story on animal rights, which noted that in the United States, the movement focused on fur and vivisection. Matt has been an essential, logical, relentless force for changing our movement’s focus, stating over and over in every possible forum that since something close to 99% of animals killed in the U.S. each year die to be eaten, our priorities as a movement should shift to reflect that.
As much as anyone I know, Matt has bent the arc of history toward justice.
Executive Director, Good Food Institute
Wisdom is the ability to learn from one’s own mistakes and from the mistakes of others. We are fortunate to have people like Matt Ball helping us to be wiser tomorrow.
-Peter Singer, from the Foreword
I wish Matt’s essays had been around when I first became part of the animal protection movement. You have the benefit of reading Matt’s essays right here, and then thinking critically about how they may help you become a more pragmatic protector of animals. I’m certain they’ll give you a lot to think about, and more importantly, to act on.
-Paul Shapiro, from the Introduction
Vice President, The Humane Society of the United States
Over the past two decades, Matt Ball has had a singularly profound influence on the animal protection movement in the United States. Matt's reasoned, eloquent focus on having the biggest possible impact with the greatest possible efficiency has resonated with tens of thousands of individuals, and created fundamental, pragmatic change on every level of the movement.
-Michael Greger, M.D.
Director, Public Health and Animal Agriculture Humane Society of the United States
Matt Ball is a terrific human being and a seasoned campaigner who really knows his onions. In this book, he ably condenses his decades of experience, public outreach, and good deeds into an irresistible practical guide for the ethical Everyman. Buy this book and give it to anyone who aspires to do right and do good.
President, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals
A true pillar of inspiration, Matt serves up his life's lessons on a silver platter. His advice has accelerated my own activism career by years.
Tired of feeling frustrated? Starting to feel like it's hopeless? Don't waste another minute; read this book, get inspired, and maximize your effectiveness!
Executive Director, Animal Charity Evaluators
The Accidental Activist is a fun read of fascinating stories and interviews from Matt Ball and many other impressive animal advocates. I highly recommend it to all of us who strive to become more effective voices for animals.
Director of Food Policy, The Humane Society of the United States
Even if you don’t agree with every point, they are all thoughtfully presented and some, I will admit, made me challenge some of my own less than well-articulated beliefs as well as work toward improving my habits. I also appreciate that it is written with humility, with humor and understanding. In short, this is the collection to give someone new to the movement, someone who is burned out and feeling ineffective, someone who has been at this a long time or basically anyone who cares about other living beings: with wisdom, grace, straightforwardness, and an almost disconcerting lack of pretension, Matt Ball cuts to the heart of the matter. I highly recommend this collection. It will make you a better person.
Vegan Feminist Agitator (full review)
Eloquent and inspiring, The Accidental Activist is essential reading for any animal advocate. Read this book and I can guarantee that you will come away uplifted, determined, and armed with exactly the information you need to change the world for animals.
-Virginia Messina, MPH, RD
Coauthor of Vegan for Her, Vegan for Life, and The Vegan Sourcebook
Matt Ball is a thought leader in the animal movement who has helped pave an important path towards more pragmatic advocacy. For years he's inspired many not to focus on activism that may “feel good,” but rather on what's actually effective.
Executive Director, Compassion Over Killing
Matt Ball presents activists with the most important question: How can I do the most good? This is why his essays are required reading for all our of staff and interns.
Executive Director, The Humane League
Matt Ball is the activist's activist. His mantra is effectiveness, his style is cool, calm, and collected, and his driving force is a palpable passion to end suffering. If you want to find out how to make your life matter, this collection of his wisdom is necessary reading.
-Jasmin Singer and Mariann Sullivan
There are few people whose work I have more respect and admiration for than Matt Ball. A true pioneer, Matt has put veganism on the map, sparing millions of animals from suffering on factory farms. In his essays he unabashedly recalls the lessons he's learned through decades of activism. I am excited that this book exists and hope it will serve as a textbook for new and veteran advocates alike.
Food Policy Manager, The Humane Society of the United States
For over two decades Matt Ball has shaped, led, and expanded vegan advocacy. He’s shared a wealth of information over these years – in articles, speeches, pamphlets, interviews, and other outreach sources – never hesitating to examine and modify his own assumptions and strategies as he went. The Accidental Activist highlights the best of his work, with the added bonus of pieces by other leaders in the movement whom he’s inspired. Read it and be inspired, too.
Board President, Alliance For Animals and the Environment
Read this book if you want to prevent cruelty and inspire compassion.
Executive Director, Mercy for Animals
Animal advocates are fortunate to have the benefit of Matt Ball's many years of experience as an activist, and to be able to access that experience through his writing. In his essays, Matt provides many important insights and guidance for anyone who wishes to wield their time and resources to efficiently defend animals from harm.
Matt Ball is one of my heroes. There is nothing I want more than to help make the world a kinder place, and nobody whose work has guided me better toward that goal. This book is a terrific collection of his ideas, which I wish were compulsory reading for animal advocates. Unable to force it upon others, a tactic he would surely advise against anyway, I will just recommend, wholeheartedly, that it go to the very top of every activist's reading list.
DawnWatch.com and author of Thanking the Monkey
There's a lot of good advice out there for animal advocates, but it takes someone special to be so humble about his mistakes and so adamant that we learn from them. I am a better activist because of Matt Ball.
-Michael A. Webermann
Executive Director, Farm Animal Rights Movement