Rachel Hipp

Published on:

February 15, 2017

Animal Rights Activist Profile: Mary Kate Fain

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

About a year ago, I was sitting around at a bar in the suburbs with the one vegan friend I had at the time crying into my lager about how animals were dying all the time and I felt helpless to do anything. I said to my friend, "Why are people not rioting over this! If it was humans dying at this rate, we would be marching in the streets and speaking out to anyone who would listen!" My friend said to me "You know, there has to be a group who is doing just that." I went home and after some googling learned about DxE.

At first I was unsure about the effectiveness of DxE's tactics, but I quickly immersed myself in the literature of animal liberation and successful social justice movements of the past. After about a month of research, I decided that DxE's tactics are the most likely to be effective based on what we now know. This was enough to convince me to go all in for the animals!

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

There are quite a few disruptions that I was very proud to be a part of (Nathan's Hotdogs and the PA Farm Show stand out), but I am most proud of organizing the DxE Northeast Convergence this past October. Bringing together so many activists from across the region, was harder than I imagined when I took on the responsibility, but seeing all of my DxE family (and meeting new people!) fighting for animals in Philly, the city I love, was so inspiring. I had been wanting to do a Liberty Bell disruption for a while, since it is such a renown symbol of freedom, and getting to do that with the whole NE Region was amazing. 

How do you stay motivated as an activist?

Moving from the suburbs into the DxE Philly House was the best thing I could have possibly done to stay motivated. It is easy to get burned out when you feel isolated and alone, but being constantly surrounded by other animal rights activists and living in an all-vegan house, gives me daily motivation to keep fighting. There is nothing more inspiring to me than coming downstairs for breakfast in the morning and seeing our giant "ANIMAL LIBERATION NOW" banner above the kitchen table. It is impossible to lose sight of why you are an activist when the people and places you surround yourself with, continuously remind you.

On a different note, connecting *in real life* with non-humans is also so important. It's much easier to lose your motivation when you only engage with other animals in pictures and videos. Going to a sanctuary, volunteering at a shelter, and even just playing with animal companions at home are great ways to put a name and a face to your motivation.

What advice would you give to new activists?

1) It's okay to be afraid- but don't let fear stop you. It may take a while to work yourself up to doing a speakout in public, but you will get there. Start small and work your way up if you have to! Don't write yourself off because it is something you have never done before. None of us had ever done it before either - until one day we did!

2) Surround yourself by activists. Nothing will help you grow as an activist like being around other activists! 

Why Animal Liberation?

Non-human animals are no different from us in the only way that is morally relevant: their ability to suffer. Everyone deserves the chance to live a life free from harm, regardless of species. Animal liberation is the future!

Want to get involved? DxE is a grassroots network focused on empowering you to be the best activist you can be. Here are some steps you can take. 

  1. Sign up to our mailing list and share our content on social media. 
  2. Join a local DxE community (or, better yet, come visit us in Berkeley).
  3. Take the Liberation Pledge. And join us in building a true social movement for animals.