Rachel Hipp
Published on
January 18, 2017

Animal Rights Activist Profile: Selena Sobanski

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

I was introduced to activism and, specifically, DxE by a friend I met at the Animal Rights Conference in 2014. I soon met the wonderful Zach Groff, who encouraged me to get and stay involved in the DxE CT chapter, of which I eventually became an organizer. DxE empowered me to be confident in my activism and to ditch the, at the time, growing pessimism for a refreshed perspective on how we can truly change the world for animals. 

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

My favorite moment in my involvement with DxE was when I, alongside other open rescue activists, rescued Avery Harika the turkey from Jaindl Farms. It was so incredible to feel a life move from a place of sure death to a place of safety and love. 

Are you involved in any affiliate or working groups or unique activism in your chapter and if so, how does this influence your activism?

With a fellow animal rights activist from New Mexico, Charlie, I helped create the only New Mexico DxE chapter, DxE Albuquerque! I am also moving to Berkeley in May and am so excited to dig my roots into Bay Area activism. 

How do you stay motivated as an activist?

Before I was an activist, I found staying positive and active to be quite difficult. After developing a DxE community and getting personally involved in direct action, however, I felt I was no longer idly sitting by while animals suffered and staying motivated became easier than ever. That doesn't mean there aren't challenges, but if I ever fall into pessimism, I recall carrying Avery away from impending death and watching her lay on fresh hay and eat delicious food for the first time at her sanctuary, and I remember that each and every one of us can help save the lives of animals. For that, there are so many reasons to be hopeful and stay active.

What advice would you give to new activists?

My advice for new activists? Make close friends within the movement. People you can rely on for emotional support and for activist inspiration. Community is crucial to activist longevity; if you don't know anyone around you, check out local DxE chapters or Meet-Up groups and develop new friendships. If you're still having trouble finding other activists, speak up about your goals for animal liberation to those around you and you may very well find others who share these aspirations. Keep in mind: you have an entire movement of people supporting you so you are never alone! 

Why Animal Liberation?

I fight for animal liberation because violence against animals has become so normalized that most people do not even recognize animals as victims of systemic abuse and objectification. 

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.

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