There are lots of ways to help animals. Volunteering or donating to an effective charity like Open Cages can be one of the best. But in many ways, educating yourself – and others – is also crucially important. 

We thought that you might be interested to know a bit more about some of the amazing new things the Open Cages team has read, watched and listened to this year – and we hope that this list might give you the inspiration to check out something new.

  • The Game Changers – There’s a good chance you’ll have seen this one already, but if you haven’t, now’s your chance. After creating a huge wave of conversation in the last couple of years, The Game Changers film continues to offer a fresh take on reasons to switch to a plant-based diet. This film provides a great look into the health effects of a vegan diet, especially in relation to athletes, and features some familiar and famous faces. If you’re looking for more evidence to make your arguments for a plant-based lifestyle as effective and hard-hitting as possible, this film is a great resource.
  • Carnage – Simon Amstell’s masterpiece manages to be insightful, heart-breaking and hilarious, all at once. Set in a future in which eating animal products has been outlawed, Amstell’s film imagines how humanity might reach such a point. This makes for a fascinating and thought-provoking watch. We’d recommend Carnage to anyone who’s ever eaten animal products – or knows someone who has. It’s a great resource to get you thinking creatively about how we can work as effectively as possible towards creating a plant-based, cruelty-free world.
  • How to Create a Vegan World: A Pragmatic Approach – In this ground-breaking book, Tobias Leenaert presents a well-researched argument for pragmatism over puritanism in the vegan movement. His core arguments include that we should focus on trying to get a large number of people to reduce their consumption of animal products, rather than focusing on converting a smaller number of people to 100% veganism. This book is a must if you are considering how to help animals as effectively as possible – whether in your free time, or at work.
  • Eating Animals – Written by American novelist Jonathan Safran Foer, Eating Animals allows readers to join the author on a journey to discover the origins and fictions behind many of our eating habits and traditions. Part memoir and part investigative report, the Los Angeles Times suggests that Eating Animals places Jonathan Safran Foer “at the table with our greatest philosophers.”
  • The Effective Altruism Forum – Open Cages identifies as an Effective Altruist (EA) organisation. What does that mean? Basically, that we care about listening to evidence, and doing whatever gets the best results for animals. If you’d like to learn more about the EA movement, this forum is a great place to start. It’ll help you understand better why we do what we do at Open Cages – and you may find some useful tips on how you can help as many animals as possible.
  • Swarmwise: The Tactical Manual To Changing The World – This one is less about animals, more about effective activism. But that’s all the more reason to read Swarmwise by Rick Falkvinge, founder of the Swedish Pirate Party. This book underpins Open Cages’ strategy for success: it’s all about empowering your activists and removing as many barriers to participation as possible. So if you’re thinking of getting organised for animals – no matter what form that organisation takes – Swarmwise is a must read.

We hope this list is useful to you and that, as we enter this second lockdown, you will have a worthwhile catalogue of recommendations to turn to.

As always, we love to hear from you, so please let us know what you think of our recommendations and if there’s anything you’ve enjoyed during lockdown that you think we should know about, feel free to let us know – we’re always looking to learn more.