It seemed like a miracle that first I found DxE only weeks after I decided I wanted to be an animal rights activist. I had been a vegan for about 4 years, vegetarian for 33 years. A friend inspired me to take the next step–to actively help the plight of animals through waking up people who eat them and use them in ways that cause the animals suffering.
It seemed miraculous that I was visiting the Bay Area (my home was and till is in the Arkansas Ozarks) and I had a house sitting job ini Berkeley within walking distance of the first ever Animal Rights Center!
I felt so welcomed at the first Saturday morning “Meetup” which was one of the first held since they opened. I was thrilled to hear the brave testimonies of activists who had done such things as jumped up on stage at a Bernie Sanders rally and unfurled a sign promoting animal rights. I learned about the power of “open rescue” and how heroes like Wayne Hsiung and Paul Pickelsheimer risked going to jail in order to save injured or dying pigs, chickens, and other animals from farms where they were being raised to go to slaughter. The animals would be taken to a place where they could be taken care of for the rest of their lives in safety and happiness
I could jump right into learning about activism. Months later, I thought another miracle occurred–I happened to be in Berkeley visiting a friend, and the 2016 Forum was happening!
I tried to find the truth behind the story that someone who I met at the DxE Forum told me. I really did my best. But I just could not get all the facts lined up. Maybe back then, there weren’t enough facts for me to research. I felt so connected to the people in DxE who I had trusted and so I went with their explanations.
A series of events have happened since then that helped me wake up to the fact that DxE has serious problems with its culture that need to be addressed. I am working with others to inspire DxE to hire a consultant who can help them transform their organization into one that helps their members thrive in healthy community.