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  • "Gary Yourofsky: Fighter for justice"

  • "‏4 anti-fur activists arrested"

  • "Animal rights activist vows to live and die for his cause"

  • "Animals Are Slaves To The Circus"

  • "Activist stages protest outside circus"

  • "Driven by a passion for justice"

  • "Taking a stand and standing alone"

  • "Activist chained to car at Shrine Circus"

  • "Yourofsky chained to car at fur store"

  • "Animal rights activist won't stand for cruelty"

  • "Champion or criminal?"

  • "Activists disrupt fur store business"

  • "Activist devotes life to animal rights"

  • "I'm prepared to go to prison"

  • Breaking laws, from Jesus Christ to Nelson Mandela,

  • from Rosa Parks to Martin Luther King,

  • laws have always been broken to facilitate substantive change.

  • Today's speaker holds a BA in journalism from Oakland University

  • and a radio broadcasting degree from Specs Howard School of Broadcast Arts.

  • Gary Yourofsky has already experienced more than many people will ever want to in a lifetime.

  • He has been arrested more than ten times,

  • and spent 77 days in a maximum security detention center,

  • all in the name of animal rights.

  • Gary has lectured in hundreds of schools nationwide,

  • including The University of Connecticut, Michigan State and Bowling Green,

  • Author Charlotte Montgomery even included a chapter about Gary in her book, Blood Relations.

  • Please welcome, national lecturer, Gary Yourofsky.

  • Good afternoon, everybody,

  • my name is Gary Yourofsky.

  • Please take a moment and write down my email address and my website, in case you want to contact me later on.

  • Today we are going to talk about the world's forgotten victims:

  • Animals.

  • And the world's oldest and strongest addiction:

  • Meat.

  • I'm going to challenge your belief systems today, so certain parts of the speech will be intense,

  • but let me start with a quick disclaimer:

  • I am not here to be your enemy.

  • The views expressed today, do not necessarily reflect the views of your professor or this institution.

  • I am not trying to take you away from your religion.

  • No religion mandates meat eating!

  • The Golden Rule states: "Do unto others as you would have done unto yourself"

  • and animals qualify as "others"!

  • and "Thou shalt not kill"!

  • The four most important, and yet, most ignored words in all religious teachings.

  • There is not an asterisk next to that commandment saying:

  • "unless you walk on all four and have fur, feathers, horns, beaks or gills."

  • You can keep your friends, your politics and you patriotism,

  • still watch your favorite TV shows and listen to your favorite music,

  • even if it's Ted Nugent.

  • I'll be making some sarcastic, yet truthful comments throughout the speech.

  • Please feel free to laugh while I'm being sarcastic,

  • just don't laugh during the serious parts.

  • And I'm gonna speak for around 65, maybe 70 minutes,

  • but then we'll do a Q&A session after, for about half an hour, so hold your questions until then.

  • In the meantime, I have some rhetorical questions for you.

  • Is slavery - owner, victim, profit, domination - exclusive to the human race?

  • Have blacks, Jews, women and children been the only victims of this atrocity?

  • Have not cows been enslaved?

  • What about pigs, chickens, turkeys, fish, sheep?

  • If they're not enslaved, then what are they? Free?

  • Can slavery have a victim that is neither a human, nor an animal?

  • Have not the oceans, the forests, the earth itself, become victims of ownership too?

  • And what about a slaughterhouse?

  • HOUSE...OF...SLAUGHTER: SLAUGHTERHOUSE.

  • Do you really think there is such a thing as "humane slaughter"?

  • Exactly what is your definition of "humane"?

  • Besides psychological and physical abuse, torture, dismemberment and murder,

  • what else do you think happens to animals inside of a slaughterhouse?

  • Do you think they get belly rubs and tushy slaps?

  • And if you think there is such a thing as "humane slaughter",

  • I'm curious, do you also think there is such a thing as "humane" rape?

  • "Humane" child molestation?

  • "Humane" slavery?

  • How about "humane" holocaust?

  • In fact, what is your definition of a holocaust?

  • Is it a massacre of human beings, or a massacre of innocent beings?

  • I thought it was innocent...

  • Which brings us to the biggest holocaust massacre of all:

  • Every year in America, without mercy,

  • we murder 10 billion land animals, and 18 billion marine animals.

  • Not for health, survival, sustenance or self-defense.

  • People eat meat, cheese, milk and eggs for 4 reasons:

  • Habit

  • Tradition

  • Convenience

  • Taste

  • I want to define a word that might be new to some people right now, and it's 'vegan',

  • it's up there, on the screen: V-E-G-A-N.

  • Vegans, like vegetarians, do not consume the meat of any land or marine animals.

  • Vegans, however, unlike vegetarians,

  • also refrain from eating cheese, milk, eggs, honey or any animal product, whatsoever.

  • We also don't wear animals skins, no fur, wool, leather, silk or down.

  • Now, I want to let you all know, that I was not raised vegan.

  • I ate meat, cheese, milk and eggs for around 25 years.

  • I used to wear leather shoes, belts and jackets like everyone else.

  • In fact, around 20 years ago, I even owned a fur coat.

  • Needless to say, I understand your lifestyle, it used to be mine.

  • And for people involved in politics...

  • Let's get this out of the way right now.

  • I am not a democrat, an anarchist or some hippie with a closet full of tie-dyed shirts.

  • I'm not a republican, a socialist or a fascist.

  • I'm an activist,

  • root word is 'active'.

  • I've been banned from 5 countries so far, and arrested 13 times,

  • for random acts of kindness and compassion, on behalf of my animal brothers and sisters,

  • if you want to read up about that, check out my website.

  • And today, I would love to give you a chance to actually do something, and truly get involved!

  • Because I understand that a lot of people want to get involved, honestly I do.

  • But putting a "Coexist" bumper sticker on your car,

  • wearing a "What would Jesus do?" bracelet,

  • or sporting a "Peace and Love and Sunshine" t-shirt:

  • That is not "getting involved"!

  • I understand that we are all on a journey in life.

  • We all have different likes and dislikes,

  • different nationalities and religions too,

  • but there is one thing that we need to have in common with each other, and that's peace!

  • Genuine compassion and genuine peace for our planetary companions!

  • Contrary to political and religious dogma, animals do not belong to us.

  • They are not commodities! They are not property! And they are not inanimate, stupid objects, who can't think and feel!

  • That Descartes' Cartesian way of looking at animals,

  • like they're machines...

  • It is outdated, and quite frankly, 100% insane.

  • Because, if we all understand that animals use their eyes to see,

  • ears to hear,

  • noses to smell,

  • mouths to eat,

  • legs to walk,

  • feathers to fly,

  • fins to swim,

  • genitalia to procreate,

  • bowels to defecate,

  • I'm always perplexed that most people don't believe that they can also use their brains to think,

  • feel,

  • be rational, be aware and be self-aware!

  • Am I supposed to believe, that every body part of an animal functions just like it's supposed to,

  • except the brain?

  • Those lies are thick.

  • The propaganda from the animal abusers is enormous!

  • I mean, when was the last time you turned on TV and saw a commercial for shiitake mushrooms?

  • People singing and dancing down the streets, having a good time eating mushrooms?

  • How about alfalfa spouts?

  • Quinoa? (It's a seed)

  • Radishes?

  • Raspberries?

  • Tofu?

  • You don’t see that stuff advertised on TV. What you see instead?

  • HAVE SOME MORE MEAT! HAVE SOME MORE CHEESE!

  • Have some more cheese on your meat! Meat, cheese, double cheese, extra cheese,

  • and how about a little more cheese with your meat?

  • Have some more cows milk, have some more eggs!

  • And then what do you see interspersed between those advertisements???

  • Not feeling so well?

  • Need to see a cancer specialist? How about a heart doctor?

  • Needs some Lipitor? Zocor? Crestor? Plavix? Needs some diet pills?

  • How about some energy drinks? Some Kaopectate? Tums!

  • Pepto Bismol...

  • Youve been duped.

  • Theyre killing you, theyre killing the animals, and theyre killing this planet.

  • And those blinders are on nice and tightly,

  • but if you give me an open mind today, that's all I ask for, an open mind,

  • I'm gonna take your blinders right off!

  • My goal is simple. All I want to do is re-connect people with animals.

  • Awaken some emotions and some feelings and some logic, that is been buried and suppressed, intentionally, by our society.

  • And the reason why I say "re-connect" it's because each and every person in this room

  • used to be a real animal rights person at one time,

  • a true animal lover, and a real friend to the animal kingdom.

  • And it's when we were kids!

  • When we were young...When we were kids...Man!...We used to be in awe of animals.

  • They used to make us laugh, and giggle and smile.

  • They made us pretty happy!

  • And there was a time in our lives, when we would do just about anything in the world to make THEM happy as well.

  • To protect them from cruelty!

  • Or to, at least, ACKNOWLEDGE the cruelty they were receiving.

  • I mean, if somebody was mean to an animal in front of us when we were little,

  • we would have screamed and cried.

  • And that's because we all used to understand right from wrong, when it came to the treatment of animals.

  • Until somebody told us, and taught us differently.

  • You better believe that somebody told us to ignore their suffering!

  • To MOCK and excuse, their pain, and their misery.

  • To make fun of their very existence.

  • And this is something I want you to focus on - today, tomorrow and beyond...

  • What in the hell happened along the way?!

  • Who taught us to be so mean, and nasty and vicious and hateful,

  • or indifferent towards animals when they used to be our friends?

  • These are innocent beings, who have done nothing wrong to us.

  • Because I'm pretty sure, we can all agree on at least one thing right now...

  • That hatred, in its purest form, is a learned behavior.

  • Racism. Sexism. Heterosexism. Antisemitism. Misogyny...

  • These are all learned behaviours! When kids are 2, 3, 4 years old, playing on a playground

  • they couldn't care less about the color of their friends' skin or their religious background.

  • I don't think there is any doubt, that hatred, in its purest form, is learned.

  • So species-ism is no different.

  • That's going to be a new word to a lot of people, it's up here on the screen, below the word "vegan"

  • is the word 'species', with an -ism attached to it,

  • and I want to define this word as the unethical, unprincipled point of view,

  • that the human species has every right to exploit, enslave and murder another species.

  • And all because we believe that our species is so more special,

  • so more superior than the other ones,

  • that we're the only ones that count, and we're the only ones that matter.

  • Now, correct me if I'm wrong,

  • but that line of thinking, that thought process,

  • that is the basis of all forms of discrimination.

  • One group saying and thinking that they're more special than everyone else,

  • and they proceed to exploit them, oppress them, denying them their right to be free.

  • They treat them like property, they enslave them in many cases,

  • and in many other cases they murder them with premeditation, and without penalty.

  • And understand something essential about discrimination!

  • It is NEVER OK to be picking and choosing which forms of discrimination to be opposed to...

  • And which ones to say are evil: Racism...

  • And which ones to say are okay: Speciesism.

  • Discrimination is evil on its foundation...Or it is not.

  • We cannot have this one both ways, it doesn't work like that.

  • I want to ask you, to use some empathy right now.

  • And when I say 'empathy', what I'm saying is: place yourself in the position of the animals,

  • and start to view this issue from the animals' point of view.

  • From the victims' point of view.

  • When you examine any form of injustice, whether humans are victims or animals are victims,

  • please remember the victim's point of view.

  • If you are not the victim, don't examine it entirely from your point of view

  • because when YOU'RE not the victim, it becomes pretty easy to rationalize and excuse cruelty,

  • injustice, inequality, slavery, and even murder.

  • But when you're the victim,

  • things look a lot differently from that angle.

  • And now, I want to show a graphic, 4 minute video right now,

  • about what goes on inside of a slaughterhouse.

  • I want to ask you, not to turn away, not to close your eyes during this video.

  • It's because, if you choose to eat meat, cheese, milk and eggs,

  • I think, at the very least, you are obligated to see the pain and suffering you are causing.

  • But if you do feel the need to turn away or close your eyes during this video,

  • you might want to ask yourself a question:

  • If it's not good enough for my eyes, then why is it good enough for my stomach?

  • Hurt! Hurt! Hurt! Hurt!

  • If you've gotta hurt 'em, hurt 'em.

  • Slamming baby pigs to ground

  • when they don't grow fast enough

  • Killing dolphins in Futo, Japan

  • Kosher slaughterhouse in Iowa

  • Guillotine machine

  • Debeaking

  • Castration

  • No anesthetic

  • Force-feeding goose for liver pate

  • Male chicks ground up alive

  • Killing turkeys with crowbar

  • when they don't grow fast enough

  • SASHA Farm Animal Sanctuary