Direct Action Everywhere
DxE protest at Whole Foods Market
Direct Action Everywhere (DxE) is an international grassroots network of animal rights activists. The group calls for total animal liberation. Direct Action Everywhere holds protests in restaurants, grocery stores, and other venues to challenge speciesism. DxE activists also performed an investigation of a farm that supplies eggs to Whole Foods Market and other retailers.
DxE's first action occurred in January 2013. Six activists demonstrated in front of a meat counter at a Sprouts Farmers Market, contending that the items being sold there behind the counter were not food but "the torment and suffering of billions of our friends in factory farms and slaughterhouses."
Soon thereafter, DxE launched campaigns against corporations, notably Chipotle and Whole Foods, which they considered to be purveyors of the "humane myth"—the idea that there are "humane" ways to kill unconsenting beings that do not want to die. Numerous demonstrations—"speak-ins" and "die-ins"—were staged in Chipotle restaurants as well as other establishments.
One of the more widely shared was that of an activist named Kelly Atlas, who gave a monologue in an unidentified restaurant testifying that the restaurant and others like it were responsible for horribly mistreating and murdering the likes of her "little girl" Snow, a chicken who had been rescued from a factory farm. Responses appeared on numerous news websites. Afterward, Ms. Atlas had exchanges in traditional media with Glenn Beck and Dr. Drew. In response to mockery by Mr. Beck, Ms. Atlas released a short video telling the story of Snow the rescued chicken.
On January 7, 2015, DxE released an open rescue investigation video of laying hens at a Northern California farm that supplies eggs to Whole Foods. In the video, which featured footage of crowded, dirty henhouses and injured birds, DxE contended that the hens' welfare was severely compromised, even though numerous boards had labeled the farm as 'Certified Humane.'
The original actions were organized around the San Francisco Bay Area. By December 2014, DxE's network had grown to at least 90 cities in 20 countries.
DxE's organizing principles call for "total animal liberation" understood as "species equality". Typically these phrases are hyperlinked to texts by Peter Singer in which Singer argues that like interests should be given equal consideration, that most animals, including all farmed animals, have an interest in not suffering, and that failure to treat them with equal consideration amounts to a kind of discrimination best labeled speciesism.
DxE's focus on nonviolent direct action is based on the belief that social change depends on changing the beliefs of the public by spreading memes that are spread accurately, widely, and for a long time. They focus on telling the animals' stories from the animals' own perspectives.
The inaugural DxE video contended that "our conviction is that the status quo will remain unchanged unless there is a considerable amount of pressure exerted from the outside. We also feel that mere education is not enough, and that animal liberation will only come about by creating a cultural climate of saying . . . that it's not right to use others for our benefit, whether that be other humans or other nonhuman animals."
- "Direct Action Everywhere press page". Retrieved 2015-01-13.
- Abbott, Katy (June 19, 2014). "Activists stage ‘die-in’ to protest animal testing in UC Berkeley labs". The Daily Californian. Retrieved 2015-01-12.
- Klein, Karin (September 29, 2014). "The Chipotle protests: People are species chauvinists, but so are cats and dogs". LA Times. Retrieved 2015-01-12.
- Salonga, Robert (August 31, 2013). "San Jose festival draws huge crowd, bacon enthusiasts". San Jose Mercury News. Retrieved 2015-01-12.
- Pinkham, C.A. (November 24, 2014). "Animal Rights Group Performs Supermarket Chicken Funeral". Jezebel. Retrieved 2015-01-12.
- "Animal Rights Group’s Video of Hens Raises Questions, but Not Just for Farms". New York Times. January 8, 2015. Retrieved 2015-01-12.
- "Protesters Rally at Whole Foods Against Treatment of Farm Animals Used for Food". NBC Bay Area. January 11, 2015. Retrieved 2015-01-12.
- "It Starts With You...". YouTube. January 8, 2013. Retrieved January 25, 2015.
- "Direct Action Everywhere: FAQ". Retrieved January 25, 2015.
- "Direct Action Everywhere: Past Action Videos". Retrieved January 25, 2015.
- "#DisruptSpeciesism - Kelly". YouTube. October 1, 2015. Retrieved January 25, 2015.
- "Diners film and laugh as emotional animal rights activist storms into California restaurant and tells them they are eating 'violence, not food'". DailyMail.co.uk. October 13, 2014. Retrieved January 25, 2015.
- "Woman Interrupts Restaurant Patrons With Tears and Screams, ‘This Isn’t Food, It’s Violence!’ — Wait Until You See Why". The Blaze. October 6, 2014. Retrieved January 25, 2015.
- "Glenn Beck Bashes the Chicken Lady". YouTube. Retrieved January 25, 2015.
- "Vegan rant goes viral: 'This isn't food, it's violence'". October 14, 2014. Retrieved January 25, 2015.
- "Video: Glenn Beck Responds to ‘Chicken Lady’ Who Said He Mocked Disabled Hen". The Blaze. October 14, 2014. Retrieved January 25, 2015.
- "Truth Matters: DxE Investigators Expose "Humane" Fraud at Whole Foods". YouTube. January 7, 2015. Retrieved January 25, 2015.
- "Stop the Violence - DxE December Day of Action". YouTube. January 20, 2015. Retrieved January 25, 2015.
- "Direct Action Everywhere: Organizing Principles". Retrieved January 25, 2015.
- "Effective Meme Spreading". YouTube. November 5, 2013. Retrieved January 25, 2015.