Creative Maladjustment

Compassion & Activism

There are some things in our society, some things in our world, to which we should never be adjusted.  There are some things concerning which we must always be maladjusted if we are to be people of good will.

Most of us have become so adjusted to the exploitation of non-human animals that we are blind to the greatest social justice issue of our time.

To be vegan is to be creatively maladjusted to the suffering non-human animals endure by being forced into slavery for human taste, tradition and profit.

To be vegan is to be creatively maladjusted to a violent world.

To be vegan is to be creatively maladjusted to the interconnected problems of world hunger, and the destruction of the limited capacity of the earth to sustain us all, human and non-human.

The salvation of the world lies in vegan maladjustment.


In 1967 Martin Luther King gave an address to the American Psychological Association on The Role of the Behavioural Scientist in the Civil Rights Movement[1].  In that address he called for a new organization, The International Association for the Advancement of Creative Maladjustment, for men and women to be creatively maladjusted to the injustices of their day.

Martin Luther King was not vegan, and he was not a non-human animal rights activist.  Yet, the parallels between the Civil Rights movement and the Animal Rights movement are striking.  His non-violent philosophy and his call for an end to rights violations are highly pertinent to our work for the freedom of other animals.  Arguably, if he were alive today, Martin Luther King would be one of the most eloquent proponents of animal rights among us.  Of note, Martin Luther King’s wife, Coretta Scott, and his son, Dexter Scott King, became vegan.

In the philosophy of Martin Luther King, Mind Freedom International set up the International Association for the Advancement of Creative Maladjustment [2],[3].  Mind Freedom is an activist organization that works against rights violations perpetrated against those who suffer psychological distress in a dysfunctional world, and who, as a result of the effects of their distress, suffer discrimination and exploitation at the hands of society, including many of the professionals who purport to care for them.

In its literature Mind Freedom very wisely refers to creative maladjustment to a range of issues that are not limited to the rights of people with psychological distress.  They include racial equality, religious tolerance, economic fairness, peace, ecological sustainability and energy security, individual liberty, fighting psychiatric profiling and human rights abuses in the mental health system, transparent and corruption free government, community and family values[4].  Mind Freedom welcomes The International Association for Creative Maladjustment to Animal Rights Violations[5] which brings the issue of animal rights to this platform of creative maladjustment.

When those of us in the animal rights movement bring animal rights violations to light we are often accused of undermining human rights and somehow detracting from human suffering.  But there are few examples of human suffering that are not matched by and exceeded by the suffering of our non-human brothers and sisters.  Non-human animals are exploited in far greater numbers than our species ever was.  Far from undermining the human issues to which we should, rightly, be maladjusted, those same issues affect equally sentient non-human animals.  Indeed, many of those issues have their causal roots in our oppression of non-human animals.

Mind Freedom has been inclusive and welcoming of the International Association for Creative Maladjustment to Animal Rights Violations so that the issues facing non-human animals are brought to the platform of creative maladjustment to injustice.

First Annual Creative Maladjustment Week of Celebrations

Compassion & Activism

To launch the first Annual Creative Maladjustment week of celebrations in 2013[6] I have been invited as Director at The Compassion Foundation of Ireland by Ruuts and Shuuts to present ‘Compassion & Activism’[7].  This talk will include how we can use compassion for ourselves and for each other to prevent the risk of burnout or empathic distress that is so common among activists, and instead transform our work to compassion satisfaction in ways that enable us to do our best for those whose liberation and peace we work for.   I will be joined by Mary Maddock, of Mind Freedom Ireland, in unity to represent creative maladjustment to injustice, to everyone, everywhere.
This talk will take place on July 16th 2013
Food Served 5:30-9pm, talk starts 7pm

1, Exchange Street Upper, Temple Bar, Dublin 2
Hosted by Ruuts and Shuuts

Stories of Creative Maladjustment:  Where the Individual Meets the Universal

The First Annual Creative Maladjustment week of Celebrations begins with the publication of a series of stories of creative maladjustment from contributors such as Karen Davis and Butterflies Katz:  Karen Davis, of United Poultry Concerns, launches the celebration with her story Creative Maladjustment:  From Civil Rights to Chickens’ Rights.

What is your story?


Begin it.

Act it.

Tell the World


What you do in this world matters.  Every act, regardless of how insignificant it seems, affects someone, somewhere.  Sometimes the effect is exponential.  For the beings who are impacted by you, what you do means everything.

Creative Maladjustment from Civil Rights to Chickens’ Rights

Butterflies Katz


[1] King, ML (1968) The Role of the Behavioral Scientist in the Civil Rights Movement, Journal of Social Issues Volume 24, Issue 1, pages 1–12, January 1968





[7] This talk has been enabled by a grant from A Well Fed World, for which I am extremely grateful.

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