Why DxE Wednesday V: Diane Gandee Sorbi
This is the latest installment in a series of interviews with DxE activists conducted by Rachel Waite, who is part of the blog team and an organizer for DxE Grand Rapids (MI)
Q: What inspired you to first get involved with activism and join DxE?
After becoming vegan, I knew I had to do more than just not participate in animal exploitation. I began leafleting and doing pay-per-view. I had lots of great conversations with people who wanted to make changes, but I was often disheartened by how frequently someone would tell me they already knew what happened to animals and didn't care. I attended a talk at the DxE House about the differences in their approach to animal advocacy. Much of what they said about creating systemic change as opposed to individual vegan conversions made sense to me. I did some reading about what had been most effective in past social justice movements and decided to devote most of my time to working with DxE.
Q: What is your favorite or most accomplished moment in activism or other DxE activity?
My first time leading chants on a megaphone and also doing my first speak out were very empowering moments. I have always been rather shy and would go out of my way to avoid confrontation. I told myself it was for the animals, and I pushed past my comfort zone. I also really loved the Earthlings march!
Q: How did you get involved in open rescue, and what did you take away from that experience?
The first time I heard about open rescue, I knew it was something I wanted to participate in. I attended the open rescue training at last year's forum. The rescue was a very powerful experience. I held a sweet turkey in my arms and carried her to safety, all while knowing that just a few years ago one of her sisters would have been on my Thanksgiving plate. It was an emotional moment filled with both regret and reconciliation.
Q: What keeps you motivated in your activism?
The animals. As long as I live, I will work for their freedom. Also, other activists! Being surrounded with wonderful, caring people who devote countless hours to making the world a better place is a constant inspiration.
Q: What advice would you give to new activists or those interested in open rescue?
For new activists, my best advice would be to stay involved. If one type of advocacy doesn't resonate with you, try something else. We need all hands on deck in this fight, and all advocacy has value. Do the best you can, and try to avoid criticizing the work of others you may not agree with. If you are interested in open rescue, attend a training. There are many ways to help, including important background work such as research and working with the press.
Q: Why Animal Liberation?
Because everyone has a right to their own life, and to live safe and free from exploitation.