Turning adversaries into allies

Leah Garcés wants to eliminate chicken factory farming. The problem is, to make progress, she’ll have to collaborate with her adversary – the chicken farmer. In today’s polarized environment, an “us vs. them” mentality is rampant. Leah challenges that narrative reminding us that we can learn valuable lessons from unlikely allies and that bold, innovative changes to make our food system more sustainable can only happen when we work toward win-win solutions.

Leah Garces is President of the nonprofit Mercy For Animals, one of the world’s largest farmed animal rights organizations and leads a team of 130 staff globally.

“At this point in the history of human society, we’re very polarized. My theory of change is that if we’re going to move the world to a better more compassionate food system, instead of trying to beat down the enemy, we need to sit down with them and have them join us.” On any given day, whether Leah is flying to meet with business executives to discuss moving their company to more plant-based offerings or speaking at a conference about her radical theory of change, she’s ultimately advocating for a win-win between corporate ideals and improving the lives of animals. This talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community. Learn more at https://www.ted.com/tedx

Leah Garcés

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In the spirit of ideas worth spreading, TED has created a program called TEDx. TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. Our event is called TEDxSeattle, where x = independently organized TED event. At our TEDxSeattle event, TEDTalks video and live speakers will combine to spark deep discussion and connection in a small group. The TED Conference provides general guidance for the TEDx program, but individual TEDx events, including ours, are self-organized.