Matt Ball: Changing the world by example, advocacy

By Justin Sayers, Special to the Arizona Daily Star, Posted March 21st 2015

As someone who’s been a vegan for nearly 25 years and is well involved in the local animals rights community, Peggy Raisglid admits she was nervous when prominent activist Matt Ball showed up at her vegetarian eatery.

“He was kind of like a hero long before I ever met him,” said Raisglid, who owns the Lovin’ Spoonfuls Restaurant, 2990 N. Campbell Ave. “The name was well known to me.”

Ball co-founded Vegan Outreach, an animal advocacy group working to promote veganism in the early 1990s. He co-wrote “The Animal Activist’s Handbook: Maximizing Our Positive Impact In Today’s World” and in 2014 published “The Accidental Activist.”

Over the years his reasoned approach has inspired thousands of people to adopt a plant-based lifestyle and to do what they can to reduce animal suffering. In 2005, he was inducted into the Animal Rights Hall of Fame.

Now 47, he is a senior advisor at VegFund, an organization that gives grants to activists to support their outreach efforts.

“He’s extremely intelligent, a very rational thinker, very grounded with a lot of information,” Raisglid said. “You hope you can catch a little of the sunlight that beams off of him.”

About three months ago, Raisglid began selling “The Accidental Activist” at her restaurant. After reading the entire book in a couple days, she was inspired by a passage about how more research on animal suffering needs to be done and proposed the idea to universities around the country.

“I sent them all emails describing what kind of study I thought needed to be done,” said Raisglid, who has a doctorate in chemistry. “The positive response I got was from the University of Arizona.”

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