Zoe Rosenberg: Born An Activist

At just 16, Zoe has already started her own farmed animal sanctuary, led high-profile demonstrations, and inspired thousands about activism.


Sanctuary starter...

Zoe Rosenberg has built an impressive resume in the world of animals: she’s been arrested twice in the name of animal activism, she’s the social media coordinator for Direct Action Everywhere, and she even started her own animal sanctuary, Happy Hen Animal Sanctuary, five years ago. Did we mention she’s only sixteen years old?

Nothing seems to be out of reach for Zoe, but how did the vision for a better future start? Well, Zoe recognized the problem. In its earliest stages, Happy Hen focused solely on rescuing chickens, and for good reason. Zoe tells us, “food industry egg-laying hens are genetically modified to produce over 300 eggs per year, when by nature they usually only lay 10-12. So it isn’t uncommon in peak time to lose up to two hens a week, and most of the time there’s nothing we can do.” Eventually Zoe realized the problem extended beyond just chickens, and so her organization started taking in other farm animals that suffered abuse at the hands of factory farms. She now houses a plethora of animals, all saved from these industries.


It seems fairly easy to stare down the factory farm industry and blink first. And the work of dismantling systemic abuse isn’t done overnight. But there are nights where hope feels fleeting, and futility is a closer comfort.

Zoe isn’t so easily defeated. “I try to translate a lot of my grief about the situation into action. Instead of giving up, I work really hard to share that animal’s story, in hopes of maybe changing the way people look at these creatures.”

The work doesn’t stop with taking in animals. Zoe takes to social media to promote her cause, though it can often fall on deaf ears. That’s why she’s taken to the stage to highlight the struggle of factory farm animals. “The first time I gave a speech was in San Francisco when I was twelve; that was the moment I realized my voice could mean something to people.” Zoe has been rallying the masses ever since.

...and inspiration.

How does Zoe keep such a hopeful and optimistic attitude? Well, she simply looks back through history and sees all the progress we’ve made so far: “the truth, and what is right will always win. If you want to bring about change, you just have to work for it.” That change comes with a vital caveat, however. Each passing second, animal abuse continues. So Zoe believes it’s important that we don’t sit idly by and let these problems fester.

That’s why Zoe says she recommends the Rosa Parks deck to anyone who believes in the power of activism. She urges us to, “recognize the urgency, and the fact we don’t have time to waste. There are thousands of animals being killed right now. Let’s act now.”