Why DxE Wednesday XI: Erika Jensen
This is the latest installment in a series of interviews with DxE activists 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?
I was inspired by seeing DxE videos on Facebook, specifically one from DxE Chicago where Glenn Alexander spoke. I was already feeling for a while that I wasn't doing enough for the animals by just being vegan, and seeing that action really made me feel like I could find my voice and do so much more.
Q: What is your favorite or most accomplished moment in activism or other DxE activity?
My most accomplished moment would be after I visited Chicago: when I came back to Cleveland, I went out and did three solo disruptions in one night! I knew that if I could do it, I would be able to start my own chapter, even though it terrified me. That night, I found my voice and felt so empowered.
Q: How does fear or anxiety affect your activism?
I have debilitating anxiety, something I have had as long as I can remember. It definitely affects my activism, but it doesn't stop me from doing it.
I am an absolute wreck inside before actions. Sometimes I really just don't want to do them because I want to hide in my house and not be around people, even other activists, and the last thing in the world I want is attention on myself. But I still go out there and do it because the animals need me to, and my suffering is nothing compared to their suffering.
Q: How do you stay motivated as a DxE organizer?
What keeps me motivated more than anything else is the animals. They are suffering every second of every day, and they need me to be their voice. I still lose hope at times, but when I do, spending time with fellow activists and/or watching a disruption video really helps to inspire me again.
Q: What advice would you give to new activists?
I would tell new activists to not hesitate to get active. It can be hard, and sometimes you want to give up, but don't lose hope, because we are on the right side of history, and we will win. And definitely to not hesitate to reach out to other activists for support or to take a break if you are feeling emotionally drained. Self care is so important.
Q: Why Animal Liberation?
Because animals have a right to their lives, their families, and their own bodies. They deserve to be free from exploitation.