Beyond Beliefs

Beyond Beliefs

A Guide to Improving Relationships and Communication for Vegans, Vegetarians, and Meat Eaters

Melanie Joy, PhD, Kathy Freston


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Vegans, vegetarians, and meat eaters can feel like they’re living in different worlds. Many vegans and vegetarians struggle to feel understood and respected in a meat-eating culture, where some of their most pressing concerns and cherished beliefs are invisible, and where they are often met with defensiveness when they try to talk about the issue. They can become frustrated and struggle to feel connected with meat eaters. And meat eaters can feel disconnected from vegans and vegetarians whose beliefs they don’t fully understand and whose frustration may spill over into their interactions. The good news is that relationship and communication breakdown among vegans, vegetarians, and meat eaters is not inevitable, and it is reversible. With the right tools, healthy connections can be cultivated, repaired, and even strengthened.

In Beyond Beliefs, internationally recognized food psychology expert and longtime relationship coach Dr. Melanie Joy provides easy-to-understand, actionable advice so you can:
• Learn the principles and tools for creating healthy relationships
• Understand how to communicate about even the most challenging topics effectively
• Recognize how the psychology of being vegan/vegetarian or of being a meat eater affects your relationships with others, and with yourself


Melanie Joy, PhD:
Harvard-educated psychologist Dr. Melanie Joy is an expert on the psychology of veganism/vegetarianism and of meat eating, and her work has been featured by media outlets around the world, including the New York Times, the BBC, and ABC Australia. Dr. Joy is also a longtime relationship coach and communication specialist. She has traveled to 39 countries on six continents, where she’s spoken with thousands of vegans, vegetarians, and meat eaters about their experiences in “veg/non-veg” relationships. Dr. Joy is also the author of the award-winning book Why We Love Dogs, Eat Pigs, and Wear Cows, and she is the founder and president of Beyond Carnism. You can learn more about her work at