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Nov 22, 2006
Focus: Civil Rights
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Even though i strongly disagree with the last part of this interview about the use of violence, this guy is really on the right spot for all that is around animal rights & speciesism!! i just hope he eventually changes his mind when it comes to direct actions


The Gary Yourofsky Interview

By Claudette Vaughan

Gary Yourofsky is an ex-employee of PETA’s and founder of his own organization ADAPTT- Animals Deserve Absolute Protection Today and Tomorrow. Here he speaks to the Abolitionist on animal rights and liberation, on Ingrid Newkirk, on violence as tactic and veganism as lifestyle.

http://www.abolitionist-online.com/interview-issue05_gary.yourofsky.shtml

Abolitionist: The dismal failure of these heads of the animal rights and animal welfare organisations that couldn’t or wouldn’t offer resistance to the current state of things for animals has now contributed to this current cul-de-sac the movement finds itself in. Isn’t it long overdue, esp now that new people are coming through, that we demand a regime change away the former administrators of the current animal rights movement, even though the media still churns out the same old names as the "radicals" of the movement?

Gary Y: PETA and HSUS are a hindrance to the animal liberation movement. Their endless compromises, persistent shenanigans and myopic tactics do NOT bring animals closer to freedom.

I am tired of being silent about it.

As long as PETA and HSUS exist, animals will remain enslaved by the billion. . Ingrid Newkirk, a serial cat killer, goes out of her way to trap homeless, healthy cats in the Norfolk, Virginia, area and then kills them in a shed located on the grounds of PETA's Norfolk headquarters. She has maniacally deified herself as the supreme arbiter of life and death, and convinced her clique that all cats (and dogs) who have no human family should be murdered. She rationalizes this psychosis by claiming that if the animals die they are no longer suffering. Everyone understands that dead animals (and humans) no longer suffer. But that approach is akin to America's invasion of Iraq in 2003, when U.S. mercenaries killed innocent Iraqi civilians and then proclaimed that they wouldn't be suffering anymore under the tyrannical regime of Saddam Hussein.

Rational people want to end the pain and suffering that animals endure, and eradicate dictators like Saddam (and his sons Uday and Qusay). However, killing innocent civilians in Iraq, and murdering homeless animals by pre-emptively assuming that one day they might suffer, or believing that they suffer without human companionship, is insanely delusional. If this movement rightfully condemns the meat and dairy industries for murdering cows and chickens, then this movement has to condemn PETA for the murder of homeless dogs and cats.

Sadly, I see no difference between Newkirk and a hunter like Ted Nugent or a slaughterhouse designer like Temple Grandin. They all prey on innocent creatures. They all rationalize their homicidal acts with diabolical excuses. They are one and the same; skulking serial killers who wouldn't know the meanings of honesty, compassion or decency if Noah Webster came back from the dead and bit them on their asses! Newkirk has turned PETA into an efficient killing machine mirroring the companies - like Neiman Marcus or HLS - she claims to despise.

Furthermore, under Newkirk's guidance, she has single-handedly turned the animal liberation movement into a mockery with her naked women campaigns and cartoon-costumed protests. And when rational vegans condemn PETA’s irrational approach, Newkirk tries to fool everyone with trite lines about “animals suffering without PETA” or “animals suffering from the infighting in the movement”.

Those aforementioned comments are deceptive and only allow PETA to continue on its course of destruction. Doing some good while intentionally doing bad is neither acceptable nor beneficial. Each person or group must always do good. You can make mistakes along the way. Acceptable mistakes like bringing the circus placards to the vivisection protest, or misspelling someone's name in an op-ed piece, or realising that you should be focusing your efforts on education instead of lobbying, or understanding that breaking laws is actually a valuable tactic to achieving liberation. But killing homeless animals by the thousands is more than a mistake. It is serial murder!

As for HSUS, they are just as destructive as PETA. Besides Wayne Pacelle’s $300,000 annual salary as the new head honcho of HSUS, his obsession with lawmaking is a waste of time. He loves to cite examples about the value of the U.S. civil rights act of 1964 and the 19th Amendment of 1920 that gave women the right to vote. But he doesn't understand that these laws were only approved BECAUSE of all the violent and non-violent protests, and because people took the issue of inequality to the streets FIRST. It was the culmination of violent and non-violent protests, countless acts of civil disobedience, and thousands of marches that created WIDESPREAD, MASSIVE support for the laws to be passed and, most importantly, enforced. Pacelle wants to jump the gun and pass laws even though society doesn't understand the immorality of speciesism.

It’s all fucking backwards. I will not deny that a few people have been prosecuted with anti-cruelty legislation, but no one has ever been prosecuted for any SERIOUS atrocities against the billions of animals killed in slaughterhouses or research labs. There are no Saddam Husseins on trial for the mass murder of animals. If anti-cruelty laws were effective, then everyone at a Smithfield slaughterhouse would be arrested and jailed. Every vivisectionist at HLS would be arrested and imprisoned for life. Furthermore, what’s the point of punishing someone after the fact anyway? It’s only revenge. Don’t misconstrue what I am saying. I enjoy revenge as much as the next person, but I want to get to a point where there’s no revenge. Revenge becomes unnecessary when there is no wrongdoing in the first place. This is where we need to be.

There will always be people who have no morals and no conscience and who will commit heinous acts like Nugent and Newkirk, and we need to be vengeful with these serial killers. But we have to enlighten the masses first via education, direct action, civil disobedience, and violent and non-violent activism ... in order to radicate the majority of the killings. We can’t only seek to prosecute a few psychos who punch dogs in the face at vivisection torture-houses while concurrently billions of animals are being massacred for sandwiches, and billions of humans are mindlessly taking part in the massacre. If we opened people’s eyes with education or violent force, then that would reduce the murders and be a BIGGER victory than any paltry law the HSUS got passed.

Abolitionist: It can be argued that the so-called "Humane Meat" Movement led by Newkirk’s PETA and Pacelle’s HSUS has a case to answer in that the Humane Meat Movement, running along side the Animal Rights Movement is doing far more damage than what introducing violence into the AR Movement ever would.

Gary Y: As ethical vegans, it's logical for us to proclaim that the only nice slaughterhouse is an empty slaughterhouse. This statement, however, is often challenged by those who believe that baby steps and compromise are the only ways to move forward. It is my belief that baby steps and compromise prevent any forward movement whatsoever. These tactics actually allow people to continue the killing with a clearer conscience. For example, in 2000 the state of Florida banned the use of gestation crates for sows. Florida, however, did NOT ban the abuse of pigs, the murder of pigs or the consumption of pig flesh. They removed one piece of torture, which is akin to asking a slave-owner 200 years ago not to rape female slaves on Sundays, nor beat male slaves on Fridays. The slavery problem would not have been solved if people spent their time asking for absurd baby-step concessions. The murder of pigs will not be solved by asking the murderers to no longer confine the females in gestation crates. People in Florida have a mistaken belief that pigs are no longer being abused because crates have been banned; therefore, it is okay to eat pork chops and ham.

When we deny every animal's inherent right to fly, swim and run freely via compromise and concession, we are being cruel and dishonest, because no animal would choose to be enslaved and killed. Many people who purport to care for animals rarely apply empathy to examine the issue from the animals' point of view. Empathy allows people to understand an injustice without over-analyzing the issue, especially when those in power deem the victims unworthy and expendable, something Hussein, GW Bush, slave-owners, meat-eaters, and organizations like PETA and HSUS have all done to their respective victims.

In the book DOMINION, Matthew Scully explained that people have a choice to be radically kind or radically cruel. This illuminates the hypocrisy of the meat-eating animal welfare movement, which seeks to regulate the enslavement and killing of billions of animals via "humane slaughter" laws. By definition alone, slaughter is radically cruel. Therefore, it can never be humane. Taking an animal's life for profit or preference is a crime. Killing "nicely" does not exonerate a killer from the killing. Buying meat, milk or eggs from organic or free-range farms doesn't exonerate the consumer from complicity either. From the animal's point of view, the killer and the consumer are one and the same.

Fortunately, de-programming the perfunctory ways of meat-eaters is possible.

During my annual vegan lecture tour (250 talks for 10,000 carnivores in college classrooms), thousands of people convert to veganism, vegetarianism or significantly reduce their meat, cheese, milk and egg intake. Reduction and abolition are the only options to ending a massacre. Regulating torture, abuse andmurder does not reduce nor eliminate torture, abuse and murder.
Regulations are an explicit stamp of approval to let the carnage continue unabated because compassionate ways of enslaving and killing billions of animals do not exist.

Abolitionist: In SATYA magazine March 05 article titled “A Whole New Alternative" ‘Compassionate Meat At Whole Food Prices, Bruce Friedrich from PETA had the sheer audacity to say "{PETA} …we’re trying to ensure that farmed animals are treated as well as dogs or cats until they’re killed…". First of all, PETA kills homeless animals in their thousands and secondly I don’t want Bruce Friedrich speaking on my behalf since there’s a presumption even today that PETA is the "voice of the international animal rights movement". What are your views Gary?

Gary Y: It's a damn shame that PETA has become synonymous with the phrase ‘animal rights’ ... in the same way Kleenex has become synonymous with the word tissue or Levi's with the word jeans. PETA does not and should not represent the animal rights movement. They are an absolute embarrassment. They have become a destructive enterprise that murders dogs and cats, praises animal killers like slaughterhouse designer Temple Grandin, exploits and degrades women in disgraceful (and ineffective) naked campaigns, and believes that revolutions can be won in the boardroom instead of realising that revolutions are only won in the classroom, on the street corner or in the jailhouse!

PETA has turned itself into a corporation like the environmental corporation that Greenpeace has become, and the civil rights corporation that is the NAACP. All three groups used to be hungry for progress, and used to demand change, and never back down nor compromise. However, they all decided along the way to focus their crosshairs on wallets and purses instead of scumbags who commit injustice.


Abolitionist: Where’s the cavalry? I mean where’s the cavalry for the weak, the disabled, the innocent and the defenceless in life and why did it never arrive in the animal rights movement?

Gary Y: Apathy, consumerism and complacency are powerful opiates. Even those who care enough to adopt a vegan lifestyle continue to selfishly love their jobs, houses and cars so much that they refuse to risk their freedom for those who have none. This is why there have been so few Gandhis, Malcolm X's and Cesar Chavez's. It's not that they were superhumans who possessed magical powers. They were simple humans who were determined to eradicate injustice at any cost. We all have the capacity to be a Gandhi, an X or a Chavez. We simply have to let go of that disgusting trait of selfishness and walk the talk. Be the epitome of altruism.

Gurdjieff, the Great Russian Seeker of Truth, explained that life is the payment of promissory notes one makes while in a waking sleep. He said that humans spend the majority of life going through the motions, making promises (marriage, employment) they never intended nor wanted, and then suffering from the burden of fulfilling those unintended commitments. Commitments to our jobs, our homes, to our spouses and family members are ignoble. The only commitment should be to justice by any means necessary.


Abolitionist: Has there been a deliberate ploy to dumb down Americans since the 1970’s? Take the media’s analysis on Iraq for example. Anyone who resists Amerikan foreign policy is a "terrorist" as are animal rights activists within Amerika. And now the US has a president who embodies this overly simplistic analysis. What are your comments on the current political state in the US today?

Gary Y: The USA defines the word imperialism. GW Bush commits evil acts, such as lying and murdering, on a daily basis. But what's even scarier than Bush’s iniquity is that 58,000,000 Americans voted him into office! Sometimes I am not sure if I am more embarrassed to be human or more embarrassed to be an American. Americans have been turned into walking zombies via religion, government, schools and the media. Buy this product or go to this university and you'll be happy. Wear this cologne and you'll get laid. Eat these dead animals and you'll be a man. Believe in this invisible being in the sky, and you'll go to a pretty place after you die. Sometimes I think that the only effective and productive method of destroying speciesism would be for each uncaring human to be forced to live the life of a cow on a feedlot, or a monkey in a laboratory, or an elephant in the circus, or a bull in a rodeo, or a mink on a fur farm. Then people would be awakened from their soporific states and finally understand the horrors that are inflicted on the animal kingdom by the vilest species to ever roam this planet: the human animal!

Deep down, I truly hope that oppression, torture and murder return to each uncaring human tenfold! I hope that fathers accidentally shoot their sons on hunting excursions, while carnivores suffer heart attacks that kill them slowly. Every women ensconced in fur should endure a rape so vicious that it scars them forever. While every man entrenched in fur should suffer an anal raping so horrific that they become disembowelled. Every rodeo cowboy and matador should be gored to death, while circus abusers are trampled by elephants and mauled by tigers. And, lastly, may irony shine its esoteric head in the form of animal researchers catching debilitating diseases and painfully withering away because research dollars that could have been used to treat them was wasted on the barbaric, unscientific practice of vivisection.


Abolitionist: Is not the problem the age-old problem lies in complicity and the silence of the by-standers, vegan or not?

Gary Y: The hate that humans hold toward animals is matchless. It is impossible to overcome with compromise, or with only entreaty. It is so vicious, aseptic and bitter that a thousand peaceful Gods and Goddesses couldn't eradicate it. This is why corporations like PETA and HSUS must be destroyed. And why their naked women campaigns and inane cartoon costumes must be stopped. This is why violence must be employed at some point, in association with education and civil disobedience and direct action. And this is why we must not love the enemies of animals.

I firmly believe in trying to educate and deprogram the direct killers of animals - the vivisectionists, the hunters, the slaughterhouse workers, the CEOs of every company in the meat, dairy and egg industries - and the indirect killers of animals (the meat-eaters). However, when education and civil disobedience and protests do not work, actions have to be stepped up.

The callousness of the human species cannot be solely washed away with a leaflet and an op-ed piece. Humans need to be kicked off their pyramid of domination. As activists, we should realise that we work for the animals and the animals alone. We should NEVER seek human approval nor human adoration. We shouldn’t care less about sanctimonious verbiage vomited out from judges, prosecutors, police officers, media outlets and politicians. We should take action, and MAKE justice reign. We should not wait for change. We should not ask for change. And we should not beg for freedom. It must be demanded!

Abolitionist: Will total animal liberation occur without bloodshed and should the movement not turn away from this indisputable fact but instead accept it, if one is serious about engaging in the fight for animal liberation?

Gary Y: Since the majority of people are close-minded, rude, incoherent, incognizant and just plain mean, and since logic and compassion can not solely deprogram and educate the masses, it is time to resort to powerful tactics that make them understand. I've said it before and I’ll say it again: Love does not solely conquer hate, reason does not solely conquer ignorance or flat-out stupidity, and compassion cannot always eradicate institutionalized violence. Any thoughts disputing the latter are only textbook fantasies. The majority of Gandhi’s followers rioted in the streets, killed British soldiers of oppression and routinely set fires. The Black Panthers and Malcolm X’s BY ANY MEANS NECESSARY brand of activism were integral to the civil rights struggle. Vitriol was rampant. Even MLK’s pacifist followers hose to riot and set fires in the streets after his assassination. So much for pacifism in the times of heated moments, huh?

I am only bringing up these examples because so many people in the AR movement are naïve when it comes to substantive change. Power concedes nothing without demand. And unethical people don’t always change their unethical ways with a smile and a dose of logic.


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Posted: Nov 22, 2006 2:12am

 

 
 
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