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Animal Rebellion and Animal Think Tank looks at building mass movements against climate change and animal use at VegfestUK London

Animal Rebellion and Animal Think Tank looks at building mass movements against climate change and animal use at VegfestUK London

| by Editor | Posted in VegfestUK London 2019

XR co-founder Roger Hallam and AxR co-founder Dan Kidby join the panels

Animal Rebellion, the organisers of a series of demonstrations against climate change across the globe in 2019 thus far, have planned a mass wave of protests starting in London’s Smithfield Market between October 7th – 20th to raise further awareness of the need for urgent action in the fight against climate change and to end livestock farming and fishing. From these climate protests, what can we learn about the best ways of building mass movements of justice for the planet and all animals?

Listen in on the talks and panels in the brand-new Animal Rebellion stream on both days of VegfestUK London. Organised by Animal Think Tank, and featuring some of the activists behind the Animal Rebellion protests, amongst many others, and aims to shed light on some of the tactics employed and their efficacy in building a sustainable movement fighting for justice for all animals.

Topics across the two days include:

  • What is Animal Rebellion and what are its chief goals
  • Results from the Animal Rebellion protests in London and other parts of the world thus far
  • Other types of direct action in relation to Animal Rebellion and alleviating the effects of climate change
  • What can be learned from the history of animal liberation
  • How could we work with UK agriculture to bring about a sustainable shift to plant-based diets en masse?
  • What is the best way of demonstrating solidarity amongst animal campaigners?
  • How to build a mass movement for animals in the shortest amount of time possible?
  • What are the root causes of disagreements and arguments between seemingly like-minded activists fighting for the same thing?
  • Is veganism compatible with certain religious practices?

and many more.


Panel – Why Rebel

Saturday 11:00am – 11:45am, Auditorium on Level 3 of Olympia Central

In October Animal Rebellion takes to the streets in partnership with Extinction Rebellion as part of a growing Movement of Movements. Some of the members of the Animal Rebellion team will explore with cofounders of both organisations why they are taking to the streets to protest; why stay there for days; and why they believe that mass movements and rebelling against the government are crucial to social change. We will also discuss their strategies; the successes and challenges of October’s rebellion; and what we can expect next from both groups.

Chair: Kim Stallwood


  • Roger Hallam, Extinction Rebellion;
  • Esther Solomon, Animal Rebellion;
  • Dan Kidby, Animal Think Tank


Panel – First Time Rebels

Saturday 12:00pm – 12:45pm, Auditorium on Level 3 of Olympia Central

Animal Rebellion believes in the power of mass movements to protest against government and end all farming and fishing. In October they will have rebelled in London to demand that the government tells the truth about the impact of animal agriculture on climate and ecosystem destruction; that the UK ends farming and fishing, and transitions to a Plant-Based Food System by 2025; and a citizens assembly is put in place to oversee this. This Q&A will talk with 3 volunteers who joined Animal Rebellion at the start, middle and end to ask of their experiences of ‘rebelling’ for the first time. Join us to find out whether you would like to be next.

Chair and panellists TBC shortly


Animal Rebellion stream – speakers and sessions

stream running on both days Oct 26-27 on Level 3 of Olympia Central (Olympia Conference Centre)


Mark Westcombe (Animal Think Tank) – Killjoy at the Table: the Liberation Pledge

The Liberation Pledge is simple. Publicly refuse to eat animals; Publicly refuse to sit where animals are being eaten; Encourage others to take the pledge. The Liberation Pledge is an everyday anti-speciesist action. It is a refusal to bystand those committing hate crimes and violence against animals. Is it extremist? Divisive? Or a necessary act at the centre of bringing about Animal Justice? This talk will explore the basis of the Liberation Pledge: the practicalities, the skills, the impact and the discovery of the speaker's own speciesism as a vegan. See

Billie Savage (Animal Rebellion) – Climate Urgency, Animal Emergency and What To Do About It

Who is Animal Rebellion, and how are we planning to tackle the issues of climate breakdown and mass extinction? This talk lays out the emergency action that needs to be taken on the animal agriculture and fishing industries, and the contribution of these industries to the climate crisis. We introduce the concept of mass participation in Civil Disobedience as the only way to address the urgency of the problem. There will be space for questions after the talk.

Tim Thorpe (The Vegan Society) – The Landscape of the Future

Join Tim in imagining the UK landscape of the future and how it could change in response to changing UK diets. What would a switch to plant-based mean for UK agriculture? How could we use land to address the combined challenges of both food security and the climate emergency? And how can we overcome the social, economic & political barriers to this transition?

Laura Tapp (Animal Think Tank) – How to Build an Animal Rebellion

This talk is for people who want to think big and get inspired. Drawn from cutting-edge research on mass movements and civil disobedience, this talk will introduce some key concepts, principles and strategies for building a powerful mass movement that can achieve transformative change for other animals. This session provides an overview of the strategies of Animal rebellion.

JJ Maguire and John Curtin – Our History From India to Animal Rebellion

The movement is seeing a surge in veganism and activism again. We have had many successful moments and successful campaigns in the past. Knowing about our history can help us learn from these achievements; how we organised and how we strategised; as well as help us learn to avoid the challenges and disappointments. We have had tens of thousands on the streets before and we want to see that again. This talk will cover the animal liberation movement from the early days to present times, by two animal liberation activists who have been involved in the movement for quite a number of years and have seen many changes and battles won.

Mark Westcombe (Animal Think Tank) and Tree Kelly (University of Manchester) – Why The Infighting

Why are we fighting each other? We all want Animal Justice, so why aren’t we united? We will look at some potential root causes to the disagreements which once understood can help us understand one another, become allies, and build a more powerful movement. Some of these issues are unique to the Animal Justice movement, while some have been experienced by other movements of the past from which we can learn. Understanding the ‘Ecology of Social Movements’, and our role in them, can help us build a more powerful movement together. This session will include an extended Q&A on the topic of infighting.



Mark Westcombe (Animal Think Tank) – Persuading the Public: Story-based Strategy

Being right is not enough, we need to persuade the public and legislators to support Animal Justice. This is an introduction to how we can use Story-based Strategy as an analysis tool to frame Animal Justice in a way that convinces people to change sides. It will be of interest to campaign managers, activists and anyone who has wondered why vegans are the villains, and meat eaters the victims.

Emma Franklin (Animal Think Tank) – Beyond Veganism

We all harm animals; we all invade their spaces and land; we all bystand the harm others do to them; we all prefer some species over others; and we all deny much of what happens to other animals. To be effective advocates to end crimes against other animals we need to tackle our own everyday speciesism. This session will look at what we can do in our everyday lives as animal advocates to bring about animal justice.

Owen Oliver (Animal Rebellion) – Animal Resistance 

Animals resist their oppression every day. Sharing their stories is moving, inspiring and enriches our animal advocacy and campaigning. This talk will share some particularly poignant stories and then explore why centring animals and sharing their stories resistance is a moral obligation, an expression of true solidarity and strategically essential to achieving animal liberation. 

Tree Kelly (University of Manchester) – Animals, Christianity and Compassion

Is veganism compatible with Christianity? As veganism rises amongst a secular public, Christians who have also turned to veganism, amongst other religious believers, have been re-evaluating their faith in light of this awakening compassion to non-human animals. In this talk I will look at the Christian vegan movement to show how a renewed exploration of Christian biblical narratives shows clearly that Christianity is wholly compatible with a vegan ethic. I will explore the work of the growing number of Christian Vegan organisations and writers in Christian ethics who champion the rights of animals.

Faith Panel: Exploring the Relationship between Religion & Veganism

In this panel discussion we shall be exploring how people of varying faiths and beliefs find resonance in Veganism and how the practice of Veganism is in congruence with their faith. We shall explore some of the obstacles people of faith may face amongst their family, friends and community, and how some of these obstacles have been overcome. We will also discuss the particular challenges of Animal Justice advocacy in faith-based communities.

Chair: Tree Kelly (University of Manchester)

Panel Members:

  1. Mara Whyte – Muslim Animal Rights Activist 
  2. Krishna Gandhi – Hindu Animal Rights Activist 
  3. Lara Balsam – Jewish Vegetarian Society
  4. The Green Vicar – The Rvd Janey Hillier 
  5. David Clough – Professor of Theological Ethics in the Department of Theology and Religious Studies at the University of Chester and a Methodist preacher.


Other features at VegfestUK London

VegfestUK London also includes 320 stalls packed with the latest vegan products, the Vegan Food Village with 25 caterers, the Foodies Stage, the New Vegan Support area for beginners to veganism, Yoga classes, Cookery Demos, The Art of Compassion Project Exhibition, 2 Fitness areas, talks on Plant Based Health and Veganic Growing, the Natural Therapy Zone, Lifestyle presentations, the Chillout Music area, the Mature Zone, the Geekstraveganza Board Games area, the VeggieVision Speed Dating area, plus talks on Animal Rights and Activism, Vegan Activists Support, the VGN News room and the Wildlife Summit.

Advance tickets for this event are available at all the way until the event weekend.

Each entry ticket includes access to all talks, cookery demos, panels and live music at the show.

Join the Facebook event here and follow the event on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.


Plant Powered Expo – February 1st 2nd 2020 @ Olympia London

The organisers of VegfestUK are running a new show Plant Powered Expo next February in the National Hall of Olympia London. This new event celebrates the best of a plant-based way of life with 235 stalls, 12 features and 100 speakers. For more information, visit 

Join the Facebook event here and follow the event on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Get Involved! If you have a great Vegan news feed, blog, podcast or video channel that you’d like us to include your focus on in the site, then please just contact us at with details!

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