Animal Rights Activist Profile: Billy Hall
What inspired you to first get involved with activism and to join DxE?
When I first became vegan I knew I had to become an activist too. It just felt like the right thing to do. I went to a few vegan meetups, leafletted at a few festivals, and made a few vegan friends for the first time in my life. It was a few months into being vegan that I met Erika Jensen, a Los Angeles organizer, at a potluck in Cleveland. I watched some DxE videos from the 2015 Forum and I felt empowered by the energy of the activists. We talked about nonviolent direct action and its presence in social justice movements throughout history and it just made sense to fight for non-human animals in this way too. That night, I participated in my first disruption, at Chipotle, and I became an organizer two months later.
What is your favorite or most accomplished moment in activism or other DxE activity?
The 2016 DxE Forum, my first forum! I learned so much about disruptions, open rescue, and how to build up a chapter, and I got the chance to see a lot of my activist friends from around the country and also make so many new ones.
Are you involved in any affiliate or working groups or unique activism in your chapter and if so, how does this influence your activism?
Not within DxE, not yet. I’m really looking forward to getting involved in Open Rescue, and I’m hoping Cleveland can start up some of the affinity groups that chapters like Berkeley and Chicago have.
How do you stay motivated as an activist?
I always have something to look forward to! Whether it’s the next big disruption, next year’s forum, or even the next potluck in my city, I am always excited for the next time I get to meet up with activists and work towards animal liberation.
What advice would you give to new activists?
Just get out there! I know anxiety about meeting new people and venturing into the unknown can be scary for a lot of people, it’s something I live with constantly myself. But stepping out of your comfort zone is the best way to grow as an activist and will allow you to reach new heights in what you can do for the animal liberation movement. So go to a community event, observe a disruption if you’re not ready to join one, and find a community of people who will be there to support you.
Why Animal Liberation?
Non-human animals deserve as much happiness, freedom, and legal protections as humans do. Every animal, regardless of species, will one day know a world without fear of confinement or exploitation.
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.