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Animal Rights News Recap 12/2/16

Activists from multiple DxE chapters spoke up for turkeys in a New York City Whole Foods.

https://www.facebook.com/DxENYC/videos/1286592831415813/

On Fur Free Friday, DxE SF Bay Area marched through San Francisco to protest the sale of fur, wool, leather and any other part of an animal's body.

DxE Cleveland disrupted Cleveland Winterfest to explain the violence present at so many holiday dinner tables.

https://www.facebook.com/dxecleveland/videos/980767085362029/

Activists with PETA bared their chests to display the words "Milk is for babies" at a dairy industry gathering. 

A Chik-fil-A franchise owner recently went vegan and has already seen a complete turn-around in his health. 

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Rescued Animal Profile: Miley

Priya Sawhney with Miley, a pig rescued from Farmer John.

Priya Sawhney with Miley, a pig rescued from Farmer John.

Rescued Animal Profile: Miley

(Berkeley Animal Rights Center Newsletter)

By Priya Sawhney

The scene inside Farmer John.

The scene inside Farmer John.

When I first met Miley, I was anxiously waiting in the car for my fellow investigators to come out as part of an open rescue, in which animal rescuers go into farms and rescue injured animals. It was a cold and dark night, so I had heated the car in case we rescued a pig at Farmer John, the notorious “finishing facility” for pigs being killed for food. In the distance, I saw a figure carrying a blanket. Inside the blanket was Miley, sick and freezing cold.

I drove Miley to her forever home shortly after that. During the ride, I was anxious about how heavily Miley breathed - as if she had never slept before. If Miley slept at Farmer John, she risked being trampled by other piglets. Every few minutes I would stop and see if she was breathing, if she was scared, and if she was in good hands. When we got to her new home, we took her temperature, gave her food and water, and let her sleep in peace.

When Miley and I went for walks at her new home at a loving animal sanctuary, she squealed really loud - the first time I saw her with the energy to express herself. When Miley was a little piglet, I would lie down next to her. I could not believe that Miley was going to be killed for food before we rescued her.

After a week, Miley and I grew very attached. I drove Miley to a far away vet visit one day, and she was weak and unable to walk. She was getting sick and scared, and I was worried I would lose her. When I went to leave, I saw a sign on the vet’s office that was like a punch to my gut: “Certified by the Beef Association.” I called the vet’s office every few hours out of fear at that sign.

Caring for Miley after the rescue.

Caring for Miley after the rescue.

Before long, the vet called to say Miley would be okay. I brought her home, and over the next few days she started to recover. She was stronger. She didn’t just walk - she ran. She played in the water fountain. Nothing is as joyful as a little piglet rescued from a life of misery running through green fields in plain bliss.

I left Miley with the most amazing caregivers anyone could ask for, but I couldn’t help but return after a few weeks. When I did, Miley looked up and recognized me. The joy of being recognized by her gave me chills. Seeing Miley recover was the greatest gift I’ve ever gotten.

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Read Between the Labels: Unwrapping the Thanksgiving Turkey

Read Between the Labels: Unwrapping the Thanksgiving Turkey

By Selena Sobanski

      Here we are: it’s almost Thanksgiving and the familiar chaos of dinner preparation, family coordination, and determining who’s responsible for wrangling in drunk Uncle Eddy at the table has begun. Uncertainty for us around this holiday season is customary; after all, what’s better than spontaneity and a few cranberry stains to ring in the holiday spirit? Uncertainty for some, however, isn’t part of the game. While we scramble, we’re unknowingly being watched and manipulated.

     Meat companies are in an increasingly awkward position. After countless undercover investigations inside factory farms, Americans are recoiling at the thought that animal abuse may be occurring on America’s farms, cruelty against our most fundamental values. We are a proud society of animal lovers. Sixty-five percent of us share our homes with them, embracing their slobber, fur balls, accidents, and most special of all, their unconditional love. That’s why many of us, including me, have sought out only “humanely-raised,” “cage-free,” and “free-range” meats, eggs, and milk products. Organizations like the Global Animal Partnership, featured at Whole Foods, claim to certify animal products based on the precise way in which animals are raised, providing animal welfare ratings to satisfy the higher welfare-seeking customers.

     Like most consumers, I value transparency and ethics. I want to make sure that the story I’m being told is the truth, so I decided to investigate what “humane” animal farming really looks like. Where better to look than the “free-range” turkey farm that has supplied the President with his turkey since the 1960s, Jaindl Farms. A supplier to Whole Foods Market, Jaindl stands in the top 98th percentile for animal welfare and in the top 95th percentile for food safety according to auditors. On paper, Jaindl is officially one of the kindest farms in the country to their animals (among the top 2%!). In person, however, the reality is strikingly different; when I visited Jaindl earlier this year, the picturesque facility illustrated on their website washed away as I laid eyes on the most intense misery I have ever witnessed.

     I entered Jaindl in the dead of night, as it was the only way to get a good look at the facility. The air in the sheds was so thick with dust and debris that I could barely see. The smell of ammonia was so overwhelming that I desperately tightened my breathing mask as soon as I entered the first shed. The turkeys let out soft, distressed squabbles and ruffled their feathers in fear because the only humans they had ever seen come through the shed had come to kill the injured birds. Thousands of white turkeys were crammed in each shed. No more than five steps into the first barn, I saw a dead turkey so mutilated that her head was ripped off and almost all of the feathers on her body had been removed, revealing ghastly red wounds- she had most likely been cannibalized, as I learned is frequent in these facilities.

     Everywhere I looked, birds had been trampled. Turkeys’ whole bodies had been pecked by the surrounding birds. Several birds had broken or bent legs. Many appeared to have serious eye infections; some had faces so swollen that their eyes weren’t visible and one turkey even had her eye pecked out. I saw horribly mutilated faces; one turkey completely lacked half her face, a product of painful beak trimming when she was a chick. Lame birds were everywhere. The sickest birds among the crowd could not get up, so they were stepped on, defecated on, and pecked at, often until death. The birds who were ill could not access the food and water and appeared emaciated, lying desperately underneath the food troughs, unable to satisfy their bodies’ most basic of needs. How could I be standing in a farm that scored “perfect” on an Animal Welfare Audit?

     Amid all the misery in the shed, the most heartbreaking sight was a small turkey desperately making her way to the other turkeys encircling us with only one functioning leg. She dragged herself across the ground in a wobbly attempt to flee. We knew farm workers would kill her, snapping her neck as they do to all the runts in the flock, so we decided we couldn’t let her stay and suffer. I placed my hands around her wings, brought her close to my chest, and carried her back to the door through which we entered.

     Avery, as we named her, now lives at a sanctuary where humans take care of her. The life she lives now is the life I had always imagined “free range” turkeys to live; yet the contrast between her sanctuary life and Jaindl could not be starker. The reason Jaindl can be called “perfect” is that animal industries have perverted the very idea of welfare. Jaindl, like all other turkey farms, is an industrial warehouse stacked with living creatures. This Thanksgiving, we may have to ask ourselves: is raising turkeys humanely for food even possible?

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Animal Rights Activist Profile: Sarah Blazer

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Animal Rights Activist Profile: Sarah Blazer

Animal Rights Activist Profile: Sarah Blazer

What inspired you to first get involved with activism and to join DxE?

Twelve years ago I decided that I needed to stop eating animals because I loved them too much. It never made sense to me to love dogs and cats, but eat others’ bodies, and my morals told me that I needed to end this consumption right away.  As I grew older and learned more about the horrendous ways humans mistreat non-human animals, I stopped using, wearing, and eating them entirely. After I made this shift, however, I still felt very alone and helpless; like I just was not doing enough to make a real difference in anyone’s life. That’s when I decided to seek out an organization that did more for animals, as well as providing a real community and support system to its members.  When I first found out about DxE at a vegan festival, it took me three months and countless hours watching videos to actually work up the courage to come to an action. I really felt like I wasn’t brave or outspoken enough to follow in the footsteps of others I saw online, so I kept putting off going to anything. Finally, my first event was a “Why DxE” presentation followed (surprisingly to me) by a restaurant disruption and then dinner out afterwards. Although the disruption itself was fairly dramatic, the dinner later on is what really stood out to me. This was the first time in my life that I found myself at an all-vegan restaurant with a large group of humans who all believed in and fought for the same cause as me. To be honest, it felt like this is what I had been missing for 10+ years, and I was hooked. From that day, I went to every protest, community event, and sanctuary work day I possibly could, and I am grateful every day that I connected with my DxE family.
 
What is your favorite or most accomplished moment in activism or other DxE activity?

Sarah 1.jpg

This seems like such a huge question because so many moments in my DxE history stand out as memorable for various reasons! In terms of actions, I think a huge accomplishment was during the Midwest Convergence last month when a group of over 50 activists did a disruption of Costco to speak up for MIley and others like her. It was an amazingly empowering feeling to simply walk right into the store with no pretence of hiding our real purpose or worrying about being stopped at the door. With so many people present, it made me feel that we were unstoppable. I can only imagine how future actions will go if we can continue this momentum! Additionally, another favorite moment was last year’s Convergence in Berkeley. Although I had only been involved with DxE for a few months, I decided to fly out for Convergence and live in a house with 8 other Chicago activists for a week. The entire week was an amazing experience of learning about effective activism, participating in several huge actions, and growing much closer to my new Chicago friends.
 
Are you involved in any affiliate or working groups or unique activism in your chapter and if so, how does this influence your activism?

In the Chicago chapter I am involved in our Outreach working group, Actions working group, and two different affinity groups.
I love looking at activism from the two different lenses of these working groups, because I feel that it brings together all the best parts of DxE. From community outreach events like Vegan Chalk Challenge days, to bigger actions like our Costco disruptions and food truck fest die-in, I appreciate how accessible we make activism to all individuals who want to get involved. Personally, I also feel passionately about all of the slaughterhouse truck stops we have been doing recently. These actions are a constant reminder of why we need to be doing this work, and also bring up a very real sense of urgency and immediacy. Making any connections with the victims, even just through the holes in the side of a truck, and knowing they will momentarily be killed for human consumption, is a heart wrenching experience like none I have ever had. It pushes me to work harder and spread the animal liberation message as far as I possibly can.
 
How does your work with animals such as wildlife rehab, foster and animal caretaking influence you?

Ever since I joined DxE, I have found myself looking for more ways to get involved with meeting and helping animals on a personal level. I have met elephants who were victims of the trekking and tourism industry, eaten lunch with cats who were rescued from the cat meat trade, taken in dogs who would be killed simply due to shelter overcrowding, and interacted with chickens who were saved from cock fighting rings. Encountering each one of these individuals has pushed me to speak up for them and share their stories so that others can come to know them and help them as well.  Additionally, one of my favorite ways to spend my time these days is going out in the pre-dawn hours to rescue birds that have flown into buildings in downtown Chicago. These are individuals who are attempting to follow a normal migratory pattern, only to be downed by the giant skyscrapers and clear glass windows humans have put up. Doing this work not only gives me a purposeful way to start out my weekend, but it also allows me to feel that I am making a real impact in someone’s life; literally rescuing them from death in many instances. I feel that because our society has done so much to harm non-humans without even giving them a second thought, this work is the least I can do to make some sort of reparations and show that their lives o
matter.
 
What advice would you give to new activists?

I think the best advice I can give to new activists is to just show up! It doesn’t matter if you go to a high-impact political disruption, community potluck, or slaughterhouse truck stop; what does matter is that you are taking the first step in joining a compassionate and loving community of humans who are working to end the suffering of all non-human animals. Sometimes I think taking that first step can be so overwhelming and scary, but I have never met a more accepting group of individuals than those in DxE. If you can show up just that once, you will see that we really do need everyone’s help and talents to be successful. There is a place for everyone in this amazing movement, you just need to be brave enough to go looking for it!
 
Why Animal Liberation?

Simply put, because they deserve it. Animals, both human and non-human, are individuals who deserve freedom and the peace of mind to live out their lives free from distress and harm. I think that in this day and age there is absolutely no reason for one group to have dominion over another, especially not for selfish and violent reasons. Animals are thinking and feeling beings with families and communities of their own, and they deserve our respect and support. We have mistreated and used non-human animals for far too long, and it is time to make the change to a better, more peaceful existence for all. 

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Animal Rights News Recap 11/18/16

DxE Philadelphia disrupted a bacon festival to give voice to the pigs whose suffering was being celebrated.

https://www.facebook.com/dxephilly/videos/1045033935595845/

DxE Pinellas did their first action, disrupting a Rib Festival.

 

Three members of DxE SF Bay Area disrupted Anthony Bourdain, who publicly refuses to eat dogs and yet encourages killing and eating other animals.

https://www.facebook.com/directactioneverywhere/videos/1353613898002289/

PETA held a very eye-catching memorial for the 38 orcas who have died at SeaWorld.

https://www.facebook.com/official.peta/videos/10154762708309586/

DxE's Open Rescue Network saved another life! Avery was rescued from a turkey farm and given a new life.

https://www.facebook.com/directactioneverywhere/videos/1354173557946323/

 

 

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What Is the Berkeley Animal Rights Center?

What Is the Berkeley Animal Rights Center? 

(Berkeley Animal Rights Center Newsletter)

By Brien Southward

Based on social justice-oriented businesses such as Castro Camera, Harvey Milk's camera store and campaign headquarters, the Berkeley Animal Rights Center (ARC) at 2425 Channing Way is not just a place to buy vegan treats, clothes, art, and stickers. It's also a place where all species are treated equally. “We want this to be a place that all vegans who come to the Bay Area should visit,” says Orlando Torres, manager of ARC. “But non-vegans too can see that it's possible to have a community that's non-speciesist and full of love and optimism for a future for everyone, regardless of species.”

Activities at ARC include free speech and nonviolence trainings, documentary screenings, and visits from other social justice movements. Trainings at ARC include open rescue, a form of direct action where animals are rescued from pain and suffering, including animals in brutal conditions on farms. On Saturday mornings it hosts DxE meet ups.

As the first center specifically for animal rights in the United States, the Berkeley Animal Rights Center represents a historical first. “We want to create a city free from violence against animals, to bring in activists, pass legislation, create local laws, and to make it more difficult to perpetuate violence against animals,” says Torres. “The Berkeley Animal Rights Center is instrumental in our goal of making Berkeley a vegan frontier.”

 

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Animal Rights Activist Profile: Jackie Lawrence

Animal Rights Activist Profile: Jackie Lawrence

What inspired you to first get involved with activism and to join DxE?

After being vegan for a little over a year, I felt like I had to do more for the animals.  I initially got involved in two local animal rights groups in Minneapolis, Minnesota.  When I moved out to the Bay Area in November of 2014, my partner Jason and I were looking for activism groups to get involved with and found that DxE was having a "No Thanksgiving" potluck. We really didn't know anyone when we moved here, so we were both a little nervous about going, especially since we had first been exposed to DxE through a Youtube video that was criticizing DxE's action at a restaurant.  We decided to just go check it out for ourselves and really felt welcomed and intrigued by the sense of community and the ideas around animal liberation. 

What is your favorite or most accomplished moment in activism or other DxE activity?

During the convergence last year, we did a singing action inside Westfield Mall.  At the end of the demonstration, everyone else around me did a die-in, and I was left standing by myself holding a sign while wearing a bloody shirt and mask. I then led chants through the mall until we got outside. I was very nervous since I don't generally like public speaking or having attention centered on me, but I felt very empowered in the moment knowing that I had the support of a hundred activists behind me.  And most importantly, rescuing animals during Open Rescue.  It gives me great hope taking animals out of places of violence and offering them the chance to live the life they deserve, free from harm and torture.

Are you involved in any affiliate or working groups in your chapter and if so, how does this influence your activism?

I am involved in Open Rescue, Connections Working Group, and Social Media (video editing), Women Against Speciesism, and Animal Liberationists of Color, although most of my time is spent on Connections. I think community building has been a strong suit for DxE and the reason why we have maintained a solid group of activists who not only do actions together, but hang out together outside of actions.  It was one of the reasons why I joined DxE. Being a part of these working groups has helped me step up as a leader and challenged me to develop new skills that will contribute to activism in effective ways.

How has open rescue influenced your activism?

Being present with all that suffering, witnessing all those animals living in horrific conditions, and living with the pain that I couldn't rescue all the animals motivates me to do activism daily.  I realize that this system of violence is not going to change in one day, but working towards animal liberation every day is creating change in ways we don't always see.

What advice would you give to new activists?

Get involved! There is a place for everyone in the animal rights movement. Each person has unique skills and interests and individual experiences and perspectives that can be applied to activism. Don't let your fear around certain actions deter you away from doing activism.  If you don't like doing certain things, you don't have to! I also think our minds often change around ideas for tactics.  Like I said in the first question, I was skeptical of some of DxE tactics initially.

Why Animal Liberation?

We want to create a world where every animal, regardless of species, can live without being subjected to violence.  To feel safe to go out into the world without having to worry about being confined or violated in any way. To be valued just for being you.

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Four Takeaways from the Effective Animal Activism Symposium

Four Takeaways from the Effective Animal Activism Symposium

By Zach Groff

Animal Charity Evaluators Executive Director Jon Bockman on the importance of numbers.

Animal Charity Evaluators Executive Director Jon Bockman on the importance of numbers.

This past weekend, Animal Charity Evaluators and the Princeton University Center for Human Values co-hosted a Symposium on Multidisciplinary Research in Effective Animal Advocacy that brought together academics, advocates, and others to discuss evidence and new strategies to change the world for animals. The conference was a welcome reminder that when it comes to animal advocacy, we are all on the same team even in the face of strategic differences. Here are a few lessons from the conference that should affect our future advocacy:

1. Research on animal advocacy is growing and has a bright future.

Years ago, the bulk of the research on animal rights activism was done with little effort to follow scientific protocols and think rigorously about cause and effect in activism. Now, activists are working increasingly with academics like Eva Vivalt at Australia National University and Bobbie Macdonald at Stanford University to be careful and transparent in research. Moreover, considerable money is being poured into studying animal advocacy, including the Animal Advocacy Research Fund, which is spending hundreds of thousands of dollars each year on research to inform animal rights activists.

A fish uses a shell as a tool to eat food (via Wired).

A fish uses a shell as a tool to eat food (via Wired).

2. The evidence that fish have complex feelings is increasingly hard to deny.

Animal psychologist Becca Franks at the University of British Columbia is producing a powerful body of evidence that fish seek out “cognitively demanding activities—learning, exploring, discovering, remembering, and problem solving” and that there are signs that these activities leave fish better off. Despite this, fish are killed in terrifyingly large numbers (well documented by The Humane League’s Harish Sethu), numbers so large that industry does not even bother counting individual fish - only their weight. The mass murder of fish in our society is increasingly unconscionable - quite possibly the gravest crime in human history.

3. Conflicted omnivores are everywhere, and humane meat is a palliative.

Lisa Simpson, conflicted omnivore.

Lisa Simpson, conflicted omnivore.

Psychologist Matt Ruby at the University of Pennsylvania (co-author of that 4Ns of meat consumption study many vegans have talked about) has a fascinating paper forthcoming on the characteristics of conflicted omnivores - people who eat animals’ bodies but wish they did not. Much has been made in the past year of a recent Gallup poll that 32% of Americans support equal rights for animals, with many animal advocates pessimistically saying that these Americans are not thinking about animals raised for food. Ruby found that a nearly identical percentage of people eat animals but lament it - suggesting that the animal rights movement, including those fighting for farmed animals, has a lot of public support. If we want to capitalize on this public support, we need to stop attacking conflicted omnivores as hypocrites and start giving them opportunities to support our movement through grassroots organizing, legislation, and more efforts to frame our movement as a struggle against unjust institutions.

Interestingly, about half of conflicted omnivores surveyed reported seeking out humane, local, or free range meat as one way they dealt with the moral conflict - suggesting that knocking down the “humane meat” myth is an important strategy for getting conflicted omnivores to more consciously oppose animal agriculture. This is especially the case given psychological evidence that omnivores who justify their practices by purchasing humane meat are far weaker supporters of animal rights than those who take a stand against meat entirely and given the failure of green marketing in the environmental movement.

4. Discussions around evidence in animal advocacy are opening up.

In a novel development for a conference on evidence in animal advocacy, the recent symposium included talks on racism in animal activism, systemic change, and how focusing on non-farmed animals - specifically, the abolition of practices more widely opposed than animal agriculture - can help farmed animals. This is a welcome sign that the animal rights movement is starting to take wider forms of evidence seriously, something we’ll need to do to start building a movement that does not change individuals one by one but instead changes the whole world.

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Animal Rights News Recap 11/11/16

DxE SF Bay Area took over the grand opening of a new Whole Foods to disprove the myth of “humane meat.”

https://www.facebook.com/directactioneverywhere/videos/1337908876239458/?hc_ref=SEARCH

 

After discussions with PETA, Intermix from Gap Inc. has gone fur-free!

A protest following Trump’s election was hosted by DxE in Boulder and included over 900 social justice-minded people who heard the message that animal rights is a social justice issue.

https://youtu.be/TZJFJlr2O24

DxE Toronto convinced a dairy farm to give them two cows who were going to be killed so that they could live out the rest of their lives in peace.

https://www.facebook.com/vegantoronto/posts/10153945293172761

 

 

 

 

 

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Animal Rights Activist Profile: Adam Alderson

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Animal Rights Activist Profile: Adam Alderson

Animal Rights Activist Profile: Adam Alderson

What inspired you to first get involved with activism and to join DxE?

adam1.jpg

I remember back in August of 2013, I was 19 and experiencing my first semester at Northern Illinois University (NIU). While walking through campus I was addressed by two people with a laptop. They asked me if I wanted to watch a video for $1,  I thought "why not" and agreed, even though I was already intellectually aware of animal slaughter in factory farms, that video was the first time I ever became aware of the raping of dairy cows! It may have even been the first time I actually watched a whole video on animal cruelty, where as before it was primarily a clip here and there, or a animal shelter commercial for charity at night. Previously, it had not been enough for me to change my diet or views due to the powerful grip of the protein myth, not to mention I felt justified in drinking the silk soymilk in the dining hall due to the health benefits while giving little thought to the dairy I consumed in most products besides directly from cow's milk. Nonetheless, the view of machine rods being injected into cows repeatedly stuck with me after that. 

 Many other things influenced my decision to stop eating animals, from a Black Studies college course, to a long term relationship with a vegetarian, to the time I told my Grandmother I wanted to stop eating animals as a child and had that idea quickly squashed. There were low points in my life too which saw my return to the standard American diet, and a loss of faith in everything I believed to be good. Eventually, I returned to plant based eating mainly for health reasons and because that had been so important to me once and I had to do something to show myself I still believed there could be a better way of being.

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Fast forward to this year, I attended Madcity Veganfest where I was excited to meet other vegans since I was pretty lonely as a vegan. As I was leaving, I saw a group of people stationed outside the center, some were playing guitar, and I was just curiously staring at them, when a guy with a beard and golf cap came up to me and asked me if I was interested in protesting Whole Foods with them. I looked at him with confusion, but even more curiosity and decided a little protest with fellow vegans looked like a very interesting avenue to explore, so I told myself when in Rome you got to try everything. I saw this as a chance to learn more about a portion of veganism I was not familiar with and I remembered those dairy cows I felt so sorry for nearly two years prior. During our walk in to the store I was nervous, but once the chanting started and I heard Ernesto's song "Free the Animals" an uncontrollable smiled spread across my face, and I knew in that moment that I enjoyed what I was doing! After the protest and debriefing I hung out with DxE some more that day. I was expecting to have to go back and forth to Wisconsin to reconnect with DxE, but I learned that most of the people I met in Wisconsin were from the Chicago Chapter, and thus I've been a DxE Chicagoan ever since and plan on being one for a long time!

Veganism and activism aren't just a diet and hobby I do, they are an integral part of my life and build on the authenticity of who I want to be and how I want my life to be! I can never see myself going back to how I was before, no matter how many years go by, I am forever changed, and DxE has done nothing, but ascertain that change being for the better! I found a new, healthy social circle in veganism with DxE. I've also found and brought an awareness of veganism and animal rights too my fitness peers with the Frankfort New Lenox Running Club, and Chicago Heights Crossfit. I've attained a job at Iron Oaks Nature Recreation Center and am a Nationally Certified EMT, and member of the National Guard. There's always some problems to deal with, but I am truly satisfied with where I am at today and I am always looking to make tomorrow a tad brighter because I'm far from done .

Thank You Direct Action Everywhere for your help in my new lease on life and compassion for life!

What is your favorite or most accomplished moment in activism or other DxE activity?

My most accomplished moment would have to be the disruption of the Hillary Clinton Rally in Iowa I did with activists from the DxE Chicago Chapter. It really gave me the goosebumps, since it was my first high profile action and we all just did great! One activist got great coverage, our banners got up on National television, and we had a fantastic picture under the rainbow once that activist was finally released. You almost can't get any better than that for someone still so new to DxE!

Are you involved in any affiliate or working groups in your chapter and if so, how does this influence your activism?

I am involved in the Animal Liberationist of Color group in Chicago. I am also an admin of this group as well. I have learned a lot about the parallels between racism and specimen since becoming an activist through documentaries, books, and DxE's lectures on Youtube. It has made me even more sympathetic to human affairs and has strengthened my value of animal affairs. I enjoy taking time out of the month to meet up with people of color within the community, to introduce them to animal rights, and to have meaningful discussion on how we fit into the bigger picture of animal liberation.

How do you stay motivated as an activist?

I stay motivated as an activist by having already come to a firm decision on how I want to live my life. Even if my direct action ends at some point many years down the road, my life will always reflect my activism today and I will find someway to take part in the activism to come in the future and to always add value to this world and the life we all find ourselves in. I want anyone reading this to hold me to these statements!

What advice would you give to new activists?

Please never be afraid to explore! That is the number one thing you can do when you don't know what to do! Explore the world and explore yourself especially as you do this and hell even explore alone if you need to. See things that startle ya and make friends with those who have a different opinion than you because it's so easy to just debate with them and then leave it at that. Rediscover that which you once thought was lost in yourself either from a troubled history or natural aging, and remember as was said near the end of the movie Benjamin Button in a favorite video clip of mine,  "It's never too late or too early in my case to be whoever it is you want to be!"

Why Animal Liberation?

I support animal rights for one simple reason. IT ISN'T NECESSARY TO KILL ANIMALS! It isn't because I have some weird self hatred, and contempt of humans. I believe human beings are an extremely adaptable species and can thrive optimally if we cut out animal protein from our diet. Most of the animal protein isn't in it's natural state anyway, and the animals are kept in dirty and disgusting conditions. Yes you can be fit with animal protein, but being fit and being healthy ARE NOT THE SAME THING, and if you could be FIT And HEALTHY wouldn't you want THE BEST OF BOTH WORLDS?

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It's not just a health issue, it's an economic one too. We could save millions, hell maybe billions, or trillions of dollars on economic resources (food, healthcare, the environment, poverty/famine). Sure don't quote me on the exact numbers, BUT the numbers ARE OUT THERE for why adopting a plant based diet is beneficial for all of mankind, and our fellow earthlings.

A lot of the animals we eat have also been bred to be our companions, which makes them passive enough to be easily eaten in the first place. It's cruelty through genetic manipulation before the killing even begins and to think it was attempted during the slavery of my people, and during the eugenics movement with anyone some bureaucracy deemed deserving of sterilization. It appears human and animal rights aren't so distant after all!

I don't know if I can change everyone, but I can sure try with as reasonable a stance as I can muster, before the vigor kicks in.

ANIMALS DESERVE TO LIVE AND THE ENVIRONMENT NEEDS US.

WHY NOT HAVE THE BEST THE WORLD CAN OFFER WITH IT'S ACTIONS...ONE EARTH, ONE ECOSYSTEM, ONE FAMILY OF CREATION.

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