How can activists strike a balance between fighting for a cause and sustaining relationships with family, friends, and neighbors? Uncommon Cause follows environmental justice activists in Kerala, India, as they seek out, avoid, or strive to overcome conflicts between their causes and their community ties. John Mathias finds two contrasting approaches, each offering distinct possibilities for an activist life. One set of activists repudiates community ties and resists normative pressures; for them, environmental justice becomes a way of transcending all local identities and affiliations, even humanity itself. Other activists seek to ground their activism in community belonging, to fight for their own people. Each approach produces its own dilemmas and offers its own insights into ethical tensions we all face between taking a stand and standing with others. In sharing Kerala activists’ diverse stories, Uncommon Cause offers a fresh perspective on environmental ethics, showing that environmentalism, even as it looks beyond merely human concerns, is still fundamentally about how we relate to other people.