Animal Rights Activist Profile: Thomas Esquivel
Q: What inspired you to first get involved with activism and to join DxE?
I was a new vegan and watched a video from DxE on youtube where activists were disrupting a chipotle festival. I believe it was called Cultivating….. Violence? It was so inspiring to see people just like me standing up to a multi-billion dollar company that hurts animals. A switch was flipped that day inside of me.
Q: What is your favorite or most accomplished moment in activism or other DxE activity?
My favorite accomplishment would have to be 2 years ago. I helped organize my first DxE Inland Empire action titled “Love is Action” with my fiancé Abraham Santamaria for Valentine’s Day. I was so scared and nervous, I felt like I was having a heart attack. But being there with Abraham and so many other supportive activists, I made it through.
Q: Are you a part of any working groups or unique activism in your chapter and how do they influence your activism?
Along with helping to organize the Inland Empire Day of Action, I also organize the local Earthling experience, potlucks and our newest social event, Karaoke. Fun events are the easiest way to bring people into the world of activism and to build friendships with more compassionate people.
Q: How do you stay motivated as an activist?
I stay motivated by always trying to get better and do more. I started with just holding a sign at an action. I later moved on to speaking out, leading chants and then became a local organizer. Lately, I have been involved with filming and editing our day of action videos and running the DxE Inland Empire Instagram page. With so much different work to do, it’s hard to be anything but motivated.
Q: What advice would you give to new activists?
Try your hardest to push through the nerves and stress of being an activist. You see people online or in videos and they look so confident, but 9 times out of 10 they are probably just as nervous. Also, don’t be a lonely vegan, surround yourself with other animal rights activists. They will keep you motivated and push you to be your best.
Q: Why Animal Liberation?
It’s the right thing to do. When I see animals in slaughter houses, hurt or separated from their families, I cannot help but to speak up for them. Being gay and Hispanic, I know how it feels to be told my life doesn’t matter. I’ve always connected with animals. Their pain is unimaginable and needs to end now!
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.