Animal Liberation Starts with You.
At DxE, we have three major goals
- Mobilizing activists worldwide
- Revolutionizing public opinion
- Transforming politics
We do this through open rescue, mass protest and community building.
1.2 Organizing Principles
We are not shy about our ambitious, honest and dedicated outlook - an outlook that nonhumans everywhere have waited too long for.
We are dedicated to bringing about a radically different world, and each and every one of our organizers share a mutual set of organizing principles that guide our activism, namely animal liberation and nonviolent direct action.
Learn about how we operate and what we believe. If these principles resonate with you, and you regularly take action - you are part of DxE.
1.3 - Our Model for Social Change: strategies, tactics and campaigns
Direct Action Everywhere stands out from other animal advocacy groups for a variety of reasons, but perhaps one of these reasons is because our strategy and tactics are so different from the norm within the animal rights movement. DxE uses lessons from social science and from previous social justice movements to build the most effective movement for animals. We use the proven tactics of nonviolent civil resistance, social influence and mass mobilization to create a world where every animal is safe, happy and free.
1.3.1 - STRATEGIES AND TACTICS
Instead of focusing on creating individual vegans and celebrating new vegan products, we focus on making activists and changing social norms and political institutions. We believe that activism, not veganism, is the moral baseline. Veganism is simply the non-participation in violence whereas activism is actively resisting violence and fighting for justice. Studies have shown that revolutionary change can occur with as little as 1-2% of the population taking action and that every movement that mobilized 3.5% of the population was successful. We believe that a focus on individual consumerism may actually distract from the issue of animal exploitation and allow companies like Whole Foods, who cater to vegans but hurt animals, to avoid criticism. By focusing on making activists, we empower everyone to do as much as they can to help animals.
Community is key to sustaining and nurturing empowered, and ultimately, effective activists in the movement. Research by social scientists like Nicholas Christakis and Duncan Watts have shown that powerful networks were integral in the success of past social movements. Every successful social justice movement was built on already existing communities - the LGBTQ rights movement from gay and lesbian community centers (1,2), the Civil Rights Movement from the Black Church, and the women's suffrage movement from women's clubs. Research tells us that social values are spread via social networks and personal interaction. Your family and friends influence your political, religious, and personal beliefs far more than anyone else. What this means is that if we want to instill anti-speciesism values and reduce the characteristically high recidivism from our own ranks - we need to focus on building robust communities.
Interested in learning how we systematically build communities? Read more here.
Nonviolence is both a strategy and a way of life. It is the foundation of everything we do at DxE. We are nonviolent in our action, our word and our tone. We aim not to "win" or "beat" people but to bring everyone into our beloved community. While many people have practiced and developed the philosophy of nonviolence, we are heavily influenced by the work of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Several DxE organizers are certified Kingian Nonviolence trainers and host frequent trainings. If you are interested in attending a training or hosting one in your city, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Open Rescue, a tactic started by Patty Mark and Animal Liberation Victoria, stands in contrast to the more common form of investigation in the U.S. animal rights movement in which an investigator poses as a farm worker to film using a hidden camera. In Open Rescue activists openly enter farms, usually at night, document the conditions and rescue animals. While investigations and rescues are initially kept confidential, information is eventually released along with the identities of the activists involved.
Open Rescue allows the portrayal of individual animals’ stories. During a rescue, activists focus on animals in the farm and rescue animals who would otherwise die of disease – and thus are of no economic value to the farm – so that their recovery and their story can be documented. We do not hide our identities because we are proud of what we are doing and know that we are taking morally just action. Being a public face to an investigation breaks down the stereotypes of animal activists as criminals, vandals and terrorists.
We believe that Open Rescue extends far beyond the moment in time where an animal is rescued. It involves community building for support, protests in response to rescues, animal care, press work, etc... While we believe that Open Rescue is a form of activism anyone can undertake, it is critical that people are trained correctly as open rescue can pose serious health and legal risks. We offer trainings at least once or twice a year in the SF Bay Area for those who are interested in joining the Open Rescue Network. Our goal is thousands of open rescue teams across the world.
DxE has released over two dozen open rescues thus far, which you can see here.
Inspired by both activist networks and street theater groups such as Improv Everywhere, DxE mobilizes masses of activists to creative protest in prominent public spaces. Protests typically involve disruption of an event or place that justifies violence towards animals. Activists will stage creative street theatre, perform speak outs, sing, leaflet, chant, etc.... Creative protest disrupts people’s daily routines, forcing them to pay attention and engage with the issue of animal exploitation. They get the issue of animal rights on the table in order to eventually spark a national debate on the issue. While protests are not popular, they work.
The Humane Myth
We historically target companies and institutions who claim to sell products with superior animal welfare standards such as Whole Foods Market and Chipotle. We criticize these companies for lying about the actual conditions on their farms and using these conditions to deceive customers with the idea that it is possible to raise and kill animals in a humane way, which we reject. We believe that “humane meat” is the wobbly linchpin holding together the whole system of “meat”.
Our messaging is aimed at putting ‘anti-speciesism’ into popular parlance and about amplifying animals' personhood and dignity. For these reasons, we do not typically use “graphic imagery”. In all of our messaging, we make clear that the problem extends beyond a single target and industry. We have used several themes in our protests and media, including Until Every Animal is Free, It’s Not Food/Science/Fashion. It’s Violence, Disrupt Speciesism and What Animals Deserve.
1.3.2 - Campaigns
While DxE does have a formal organization, we also exist as a platform. Everyone who takes action in accordance with our principles and values can call themselves DxE. We aim to share many of our materials and knowledge with the public.
Our formal organization does offer structure for chapters who want it. We organize monthly days of action, offer trainings, connect organizers through social media, and host monthly strategy calls.
days of action and other protests
DxE holds a day of action every month. Model action plans and themes are provided, but every chapter is welcome to organize an action of their choosing. We support activists in disrupting any place that normalizes, profits from, and promotes violence against animals; especially establishments that go out of their way to market violence as ‘humane’. Protests are often held at grocery stores, but other establishments have been targeted as well. Many chapters host multiple protests each month.
Culturally important events are also often protested and disrupted. Below are some of the types of events we have disrupted:
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- Large Sporting Events
- Food Festivals and Food-Related Events
- Rodeo, County Fair or Agricultural Event
- Corporate CEOs and Important Figures
- Anti-animal Speakers
Local chapters host monthly community events, which could be potlucks, movie screenings, discussions, etc... We emphasize and encourage DxE chapters to volunteer at sanctuaries, shelters and rescues on a regular basis.
We offer a variety of trainings to activists and organizers. Some take place in person and some take place online. We also have Bay Area organizers who travel to different chapters to provide trainings if there is sufficient demand.