Animal Rights Activist Profile: Kitty Jones
What inspired you to first get involved with activism and to join DxE?
I saw a slaughterhouse video on Myspace when I was 15 and went vegan that day. I had never heard of it before but I knew it was what I needed to do, even though the adults told me I was going to die (silly adults). I feel like my life had been leading up to that point of realization. I had always felt the idea that humans were somehow more important than other species was redonk. I immediately looked into activist groups and got involved in the Northwest Animal Rights Network and every other animal group I could find, regardless of any petty infighting they may have had.
I moved to Berkeley and someone was like “you gotta meet these people” and brought me to a potluck at Wayne’s apartment right around when DxE had just formed. I honestly thought everyone was super rad but also super unrealistic and idealistic. For example, I felt weird about the word “speciesism”, I didn’t understand why we would protest a place with vegan options, I thought we should be "nice vegans", and I didn’t get why it was DxE and not DAE!
But I stuck around in spite of any different perspectives because I sure as hell didn’t have the solutions or know how to end violence against animals, so why not work with everyone and work together to figure it out. We need to keep our minds open and support other activists, because at the end of the day we’re on the animals’ team and we need to defend them and not our egos and opinions. Anyway, I ended up learning a lot and DxE has changed my life in the best ways! I have learned so much and done so much self-reflection. I’ve come to realize that even though I had been vegan and doing activism for years I still recognized it as more of a personal thing and I didn’t truly believe it was possible to achieve animal liberation.
Now I know for a fact we will achieve animal liberation.
What is your favorite or most accomplished moment in activism or other DxE activity?
At the time, I didn't realize it was a significant event, but a few years ago I went with the Berkeley Organization for Animal Advocacy and DxE to disrupt a goat festival in San Francisco. The action did not go according to plan, but I just got up and started talking during a cooking demo that involved dead goat's bodies. I was so mad at the cognitive dissonance of the thousands of people who were laughing, eating dead animals, and petting baby goats. We shut down the cooking demo and somehow this little action got a ton of attention and I got tons and tons of messages and friends requests on Facebook by people who said they were inspired by the action.
This little protest reached so many people and that's so awesome! That is why we have to speak the truth and we have to speak up for what is right because we are not alone and animal liberation is the future! We can inspire so many others to speak up for justice just by following our hearts!
The video is here: https://www.facebook.com/boaarocks/videos/947757061925329/
Are you a part of any working groups or unique activism in your area and how does it influence your activism?
I'm all over the damn place! I've been involved in a lot of groups here for various social justice causes. I think it's really healthy to be in multiple groups because it helps you have a broader perspective and share ideas between causes. More than anything, I've come to realize that many, if not all of the social issues and oppressions we are working to solve, are interconnected. There is so much going on in the world and we really do have to wake up and fight until we are all free from harm. Some of the other groups I'm involved with are the East Bay Sanctuary Covenant (which is an office that helps people get asylum, residence and any kind of support they need), Food Not Bombs (where we "rescue" food that is going to be thrown out and cook wholesome vegan meals to give away to anyone who needs it), and at the Berkeley Student Food Collective where I cashier and do other stuff.
I do a lot of random stuff with DxE from Open Rescue to subtitling videos. Officially I'm in the meetups working group, which is lowkey the cutest one!
How do you stay motivated as an activist?
I think I'm a bizarre specimen of a human being because my default state of being is one of over-excitement and motivation. I often can’t sleep because I’m too excited about everything that is happening (or I’m scheming about what I’manna do about the bad stuff that’s happening). I think I was just born motivated.
I also feel that there is nothing more inspiring and motivating than fighting for what you believe in and doing it from a place of love. I am beyond honored and blessed to live with amazing activists from so many different countries and backgrounds that are all untied for justice. Everyday I wake up to the most compassionate people EVER and being around them inspires me so much!
What advice would you give to new activists?
So many things, bruh.
1. Believe that animal liberation is possible, because it is! Justice always wins!
2. We are morally obligated the fight for justice. This isn’t a hobby and it doesn’t make you better than anyone else. We are all equal. We cannot give up and we’re in this together, for the long-haul!
3. Don't sweat the small stuff and if you have a conflict talk to the person and work it out, don’t be making drama! Hella people sweat the small stuff and let their egos or disagreements get the best of them, but if we are to be a strong movement for the animal (I repeat, the animals, not our egos) we have to be mature and work out our difference and disagreements in a compassionate way instead of blasting each other and dividing groups. I’m serious, because tiny disputes can cause big problems.
4. All injustice is connected so learn up about other social causes too! The oppression animals experience doesn’t exist in a vacuum and we really do need to fight for liberation for all. Being vegan and an animal right activist is awesome, but doesn’t give us permission to ignore other important issues.
5. Hit me up if you ever need support or have questions! firstname.lastname@example.org
Why Animal Liberation?
That's like "Why Justice" or "Why Make the World a Better Place"? Because we must!
Animal liberation because all of our liberation is tied. Animal liberation connects to human liberation and liberation for all! The world doesn't have to be an awful place. We can and will achieve a world without speciesism or any other systems of oppression.
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.