Rachel Hipp

Published on:

August 10, 2016

Why DxE Wednesday XXI: Chris Palmieri

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

I had been a vegan for about a year. I heard Wayne give a talk, “Why DxE?” and heard about the current campaign against Chipotle at the time. I did an action in New York after that, and the action brought a lot of people together. When I first was exposed to what DxE does, I was initially against it. It seemed that confrontation must be bad, but after seeing a lot of people I respected getting involved with this, I realized that there was a strong argument in favor of these tactics.

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

I would say that being able to help and be part of some of the higher profile disruptions, most recently the Nathan’s Hot Dog disruption. I think this is one of the more important things we (DxE) do is to get the issue on the table by disrupting high profile events. I really believe it’s important to focus resources in the area of high profile disruptions. It was great to be a part of something big like that. 

Q: How has collaboration helped your chapter?

We are really collaborative in terms of our organizational structure. We talk everything out and listen to everyone’s opinion and bouncing all our ideas off each other. We like to open ourselves up to hearing from other groups, other organizers and other tactics. I feel like there is room in the movement for a variety of tactics, and I am always open to hearing other people’s input and offering my own wherever it is helpful.

Q: What advice would you have for new activists?

If something scares you, you should do it. It’s really intimidating to get yourself out there and be vocal. You should try to find where your talents lie and put your energy into that. It’s not always comfortable to do it. I never imagined I would be this vocal when I first became vegan, and it’s really empowering to do that and to see others do that as well. It’s really impactful and inspiring to see other people take action and speak up for animals. We don’t get anywhere without pushing ourselves beyond our comfort zone.

Q: How do you stay motivated?

I don’t always succeed at this and it can be really challenging. It’s really important to have a focus on community building. It can be a really big motivator when people in your social circles are involved in activism. Making friends with other activists helps me to stay motivated. Also, spending time with animals helps me remember how important it is to fight for them. I share my home with animals and also make time to go to sanctuaries to hang out with animals. Although, the animals don’t always want to hang out!

Q: Why Animal Liberation?

I think that animal liberation encompasses everything. It’s this recognition that all beings have inherent value. From there, not only do we recognize non human animals but also that we are all animals. I don’t see us having the kind of world we want while we are still locking up and killing billions of feeling individuals.