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Matthew Michael Ball (born January 2, 1968) is an American animal activist. He is co-founder and President of One Step for Animals, and Senior Media Relations Specialist for The Good Food Institute. Previously, he was Director of Engagement and Outreach at Farm Sanctuary, and before that, Senior Advisor for VegFund. In 1993, Ball co-founded Vegan Outreach. Ball served as the group’s Executive Director for 21 years. Ball is credited with helping shift the animal rights’ movement to a more utilitarian focus, including a focus on chickens. He is the co-author, with Bruce Friedrich, of The Animal Activist’s Handbook (2009), and The Accidental Activist (2014). He was inducted into the Animal Rights Hall of Fame in 2005.
Ball was born in Toledo, Ohio. His parents are Cornelius Francis Ball and Judith Anderson Ball, both of Toledo. Cornelius Ball is a graduate of the University of Notre Dame. Before founding Vegan Outreach, Matt Ball obtained an M.S. in Forest Ecology at the University of Illinois, and an M.S. in Engineering and Public Policy at Carnegie Mellon University, during which time he was a Department of Energy Global Change Fellow. He also held a research fellowship in the Department of Biology at the University of Pittsburgh.
Ball married Anne Green, a fellow vegan and coworker at Vegan Outreach, on February 20, 1993 in Urbana, Illinois. Their daughter Ellen Katya Green was born on July 16, 1994, in Pennsylvania and was raised as a vegan. They live in Tucson, Arizona.
Ball says: “[W]e must focus on getting people to consider their first step toward compassion, rather than arguing for our current philosophy or diet. Most non-vegetarians tune out when told to go vegan but may consider starting to make changes like adopting Meatless Mondays or eating fewer chickens.”