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In conversation with Mr. Seb Alex, an animal liberation activist
JULY 15, 2020
(1) What do animal rights mean to you? What inspired you to become an animal liberation activist?
Every single second, 84 thousand animals are killed by humans for food, clothing, experimentation and other reasons. This sums up to 2.7 trillion animals a year, a number the human brain cannot even comprehend. The reason why this happens is because of how we look at animals: commodities, objects, resources, things. Not individuals who have the right to life, safety and autonomy. Animal rights can change that once accepted by the public and any governing organization. Unlike how we have been living and what we have been taught, animals are not here for us to eat, wear, experiment on, or exploit. They are here for their own reasons, just as we are for ours.
A year after having gone vegan, I saw photos of activists raising awareness about animal rights in London, I quickly checked if there are any groups in my area. After making a few posts on Facebook, I started getting active as well.
The immense suffering of the animals that are exploited and killed fuels my activism and helps me always keep pushing forward.
(2) We know that you have given many speeches or lectures about animal or sustainability issues in Germany, Switzerland, Belgium, The Netherlands and Portugal. What motivated you to give speeches or lectures around the world?
Around a year and a half ago, after filming the slaughter of cows on the kill-floor of a slaughterhouse and sharing it online, I received a message from a student who asked me if I would be interested in giving a speech in their university. I believe, Malcolm X had said, that “Education is the passport to the future”, and I could not imagine a better opportunity than being able to give speeches to university students. I wondered if I can make a bigger project out of this and asked on my social media platforms who is interested in organizing one at their educational institution (school, college, university, etc.). All they have to do is decide the date, time and place and as my activism is funded by donations, they do not need to worry about any expenses whatsoever. This resulted in giving speeches in 33 universities and schools in many European countries and 45 more invitations from around the world.
(3) How do you promote animal rights in your daily life? What have you found to be some of the most effective ways of promoting animal rights?
From my own experience, lectures/speeches have so far shown to be one of the most effective ways of promoting animal rights. As I gather anonymous feedback from each lecture, I have seen the results myself and it really motivates me to do this whenever I can. However, there is no “one” perfect way of promoting animal rights. I believe using social media and even non-violent civil disobedience events are extremely powerful as well.
In my daily life, if it is not during a period of giving lectures or speeches, I promote animal rights on my social media platforms.
(4) What is your biggest challenge to promote animal rights? How do you handle it?
I would say the biggest challenge so far is still being a part of a very small group of humans who are ready to get active for the animals and their rights. Although veganism is growing very fast, we have to keep in mind that it is still a relatively small part of the world population that are animal rights activists. The way I handle this is by introducing the importance of activism in my lectures to make sure people not only go vegan, but also become active, and providing workshops to vegans and activists in order to better our advocacy.
(5) Are your family and friends supportive of what you are doing now?
I have the privilege to come from a family where no member is against veganism or animal rights. In fact, both of my parents are now vegan. As a result, I have the full support of my family. Most of my friends are animal rights activists. I have lost very few friendships for what I do, but we have to keep in mind that we do not do this for us, we do it for the animals.
(6) What are your hobbies and passions outside of promoting animal rights?
Snowboarding and skateboarding, although I have not had the time to enjoy either of them during the past couple of years. However, I do enjoy photography a lot and I sometimes take a few hours off every few months to take some photos on the streets or in nature.
(7) How would you suggest people get involved with what you do?
Find what you are good at and use that to promote animal rights. You do not have to do what I do, you do not have to do anything another activist is doing. We all have our own unique ways of contributing to this cause and all of our activism types matter and are needed. From street activism, to social media, to cooking, to lectures or other events, only you know what you are best at. My only suggestion is to never step back and always speak up.
(8) Do you have any other words for us?
Always stand against oppression and remember that no matter what difficulties you may face, you are doing the right thing.
Educate yourself about animal rights, go out there and start changing world!
More about Seb Alex: