Animal Rights Activist Profile: Jack Sadat Lee
What inspired you to first get involved with activism and to join DxE?
For the first year and a half of being vegan, all of my activism was online - posting vegan recipes on Facebook and sharing rhymes I had written that fit the changes I was going through. I was even reaching out to people outside of Facebook to help them make the connection. But, it wasn't fulfilling and some of my vegan Facebook friends had called me an activist. I had seen a few videos, but from overseas of activists. I had never met another vegan in person. I had friended vegans from everywhere on social media, except Chicago. Then one day, I received a Facebook message from a DxE Chicago organizer and the next thing I know - BAM - I was disrupting Rib Fest with 30 other activists!
What is your favorite or most accomplished moment in activism or other DxE activity?
At our latest disruption, the Violence Behind Every Egg, we had 13 new first time college vegans, that were intrigued but weren't sure about DXE's approach based on the information out there. I was the marshal (with great support as always) of the action. It was a very effective event- Eva's bold speak out telling her first-hand account of open rescue brought a shopper to tears. This same shopper put her "cage-free " eggs back. These young activists saw all of this unfolding and at that moment along with other positives from this action sold them on DXE's ability to be effective. During our debriefing, we let everyone speak and we noticed they all got it and we played a part in bringing more voices to the cause.
Are you a part of any unique activism or working groups in your chapter and how do they influence your activism?
I'm involved with three DxE groups at the moment. I am proud to be part of Animal Liberationists of Color (ALOC) to help end the ridiculous myth of what vegans look like! The Writing Group has given me the confidence to submit an Op-Ed, "I Dream of Justice for all the Animal Kingdom", which was published by Counterpunch. Thanks to my team that helped get me published and show me the importance of supporting each other! I also belong to the Chicago Music Group where we have so much talent, and every song is about animal liberation! My sisters of DxE-Chi Hip-Hop Division is my favorite, because it's where I can share my poetry and focus it towards the message of animal liberation with in my own unique fashion. The Action working group was the first group I joined, and also the one I feel is most important. This group gave me a chance to listen to other Chicago organizers, who helped me grow into my current role as an organizer and a rotating action-marshal. My involvement in these working groups allowed me to use my voice and build on my strengths, even when I was a new activist!
How do you stay motivated as an activist?
I stay motivated as an activists by being surrounded by a group of people that not only truly cares about the animals, but we also genuinely care about one another. Sometimes I wonder if I would have fit in as well with other chapters as I do in Chicago, given that I'm older, woke up later in life, and am not the most social person on the planet. But, nothing matters to this team.
I can honestly say, they are my inspiration. I also watch Open Rescue videos to inspire my writing. Emotion is key for me, and those videos of truth bring me lots of emotion!
What advice would you give to new activists?
Be proud of the choices you're making by not only avoiding animal based products, but also by spreading the truth about why it's wrong to use animals.
DXE will teach you how to effectively approach situations in a non-violent tone, which is key in interpersonal interactions. Most important advice: Come to actions and get involved in working groups!
Why Animal Liberation?
Simply - we are all sentient beings that share the same planet. Non-human animals gave no consent to be used as objects for human pleasure. Animal Liberation is simply righting an obvious wrong within our status quo!
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.