BERKELEYSIDE -- Sawhney, a Berkeley resident, is one of the four elected leaders of the San Francisco Bay Chapter of DxE, an international organization that advocates for animal rights — often by breaking into farms and slaughterhouses to whisk away animals its members think are being raised in crowded and unsafe conditions. The organization also uses civil disobedience, direct action and the courts to fight for the rights of captive creatures intended for human consumption. Members contend that the killing of animals is so dire that drastic action is needed to stop it.
Sawhney went to San Francisco State, where she studied communications. In 2013, after meeting Wayne Hsiung, a former corporate lawyer and professor, she joined forces with him to co-found DxE. Since then, the animal rights organization has added chapters in Mexico, France, Belgium, Spain, Italy, Turkey, Greece, Romania, Denmark and the United Kingdom. Its largest chapter is in the Bay Area.