Animal Rights Activist Profile: Tania Patricia Campos Suarez
Q: What inspired you to first get involved with activism and/or to join DxE?
As a vegan and someone who knew that animals are just like us in all the ways that matter, I felt isolated. I found myself pleading with friends, family and coworkers to consider what animals are going through. I never had support or any structured outlet to channel my energy into. However, in June of 2016 I attended a Bernie Sanders rally in Modesto, CA and members of DxE came to disrupt it. They held signs and chanted as the Secret Service rushed to surround Senator Sanders and two activists unrolled a giant banner that said, "animal liberation is social justice". I went home that day and went to DxE's Facebook page and started sharing content and sending friend requests to activists. A few months later, I finally made it out from Modesto and attended my first DxE protest. It was a great experience and everyone was so welcoming and friendly that I kept coming to more and more actions whenever I could. Before long, I was contributing to working groups, moving in to an activist house in Berkeley and even marshaling my first protest.
Q: What is your favorite or most accomplished moment in activism or other DxE activity?
My favorite moment took place on the last day of DxE forum 2017. We learned at the action briefing that morning that all 200 of us would be participating in DxE's first broad daylight open rescue. We silently marched to a slaughterhouse in San Francisco and held white flowers and bore witness while activists walked in to the slaughterhouse and removed six hens one by one. I felt so empowered to be part of a community and a movement that was putting animal liberation into action. With each bird who came through those doors, leaving their property status behind, tears fell down my cheeks as I promised myself that I would keep fighting until the day we could remove all animals from exploitation everywhere.
Q: Are you a part of any working groups or unique activism in your chapter and how do they influence your activism?
I'm in a few working groups, but the outreach working group is one of my favorites! We organize New Activist Orientations, tabling events and we work on strategies to bring new people into our community. I think this is important because if we are able to mobilize thousands of activists, animal liberation will happen soon.
Q: How do you stay motivated as an activist?
I keep in mind two things: that this is a marathon not a sprint and that animals are suffering immensely and dying by the millions every day. I give myself space to get rest and to find a balance between activism, friends and my job, but I never lose sight of the fact that we are doing work that needs to get done.
Q: What advice would you give to new activists?
I would urge new activists to aim to be as effective as possible by finding something they're passionate about and working hard to apply it to our movement without fear of failure.
Q: Why Animal Liberation?
Because animal liberation is social justice. I am here to challenge injustice whatever it is. A lot of times that's injustice towards nonhuman animals. Other times that's injustice towards immigrants, injustice towards people of color or injustice anywhere we find it. I am here learning, working and fighting until everyone is safe, happy and free.
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