Melanie Joy, PhD, is a Harvard-educated psychologist specializing in relationships, communication, and social transformation. She is the award-winning author of six books, including the bestselling Why We Love Dogs, Eat Pigs, and Wear Cows and Getting Relationships Right: How to Build Resilience and Thrive in Life, Love, and Work. Joy is also an internationally recognized speaker and trainer who’s presented her work in fifty countries across six continents.
Joy is best known for her groundbreaking theories on the psychology of violence and nonviolence and building healthy relationships. 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. 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.
Joy’s mission is to help create a more relational world, in large part through raising awareness of the obstacles preventing people from interacting in ways that create a sense of mutual connection. 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.
Joy is the founding president of the international organization, Beyond Carnism. Originally from Boston, Massachusetts, Joy now resides in Berlin, Germany, with her husband and colleague, Sebastian Joy.