Here is the full transcript of Gary Yourofsky’s entire speech on animal rights and veganism at Georgia Tech 2010 [Q&A Session Included].
Breaking laws from people, 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.
Gary Yourofsky – Animal rights activist
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 going to 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 , 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, leather, wool, 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 can 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 sprouts? Quinoa? It’s a seed. Radishes? Raspberries? Tofu? You don’t see that stuff advertised on TV.
What do 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 cow’s 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? Need some diet pills? How about some energy drinks? Some Kaopectate? Tums! Pepto Bismol. You’ve been duped. They’re killing you, they’re killing the animals, and they’re 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 going to 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 has 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, anti-Semitism, misogyny, these are all learned behaviors. 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 — 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. 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?
Did you ever wonder why McDonald’s and Burger King and Wendy’s never show you those images in their TV ads? Instead they show you smiling cartoon caricatures of animals singing and dancing and playing, lying to you. brainwashing you, programming you, not to care about things you would normally care about, things that you used to care about.
Right now, at this very moment, on American highways, there are no less than 5,000 concentration camp trucks. Trucks that we have constructed. Inside these trucks, there are living, terrified innocent beings: cows and pigs and chickens. These trucks are being driven to concentration camps’ slaughterhouses that we carefully constructed all across America.
When the trucks arrive, the animals are so frightened that they won’t even get off the truck. They’re not stupid, they know what’s next. So people go on the trucks with electric prods and force them to walk down the chutes to their own deaths. Or if the animals are small enough to man handle, like chickens, we’ll just grab them off the trucks and toss them inside.
Inside, these innocent, living beings are hanged upside down, fully conscious. In other words, they go in alive, against their will, and come out chopped up, into hundreds of pieces.
But do you know what’s more insane than that? Meat eaters. Walking around like their lifestyle isn’t causing any harm, like it’s normal and natural to be consuming violence and death. How would you feel, if the day that you were born, somebody else had already planned the day of your execution? That’s what it’s like to be a cow, a pig, a chicken or a turkey on this planet. I think this type of behavior is inexcusable, an unbecoming of a species that claims to understand right from wrong. The animals have not done one single thing to us, to deserve the wrath and cruelty that we hurl on them.
And I hope you all understand what I’m offering you today. When you hit the door, after my speech, are you aware, that for the first time ever, you can now directly participate in ending a massacre? Instead of sitting around and paying lip service to all the massacres, and all the problems that are always going on, on this planet. What is so frustrating to me, when I travel this country doing around 250 lectures every year, to some 7500 students, is that everybody talks a good game. I’ve noticed that people are quite the smooth talkers when it comes to peace and compassion. I mean, people always want to tell me, never show me, just tell me how peaceful they are, because of what they believe in. Or what makes them sad. “Hey, Gary, I believe in God, and I believe in angels, and I pray all the time. And those earthquakes, the one in Chile, and Haiti, aww, that was sO sad.” No shit, it was sad.
Since when, does ‘feeling sad’ about an obvious tragedy, or ‘believing in’ something, make the world a better place, or make somebody a good person? And listen, folks, I am not trying to dog you out when I talk like this, I’m not. I’m just not a politician. I’m not a bullshit artist. I don’t know how to schmooze people, as you can see. It’s kind of beyond me. I hope you appreciate my honesty and my genuineness today. And I’m not a sales person. I’ve got no books to sell you after my lecture. No DVDs and no documentaries. No collection plate going around, I don’t want your money. I don’t want your email addresses, and I don’t want your mailing addresses. Keep all that stuff.
I am here to talk about the worst form of cruelty and violence taking place on this planet. Even though most people don’t seem to care about it. But when you sit back in the comfort of your living room, and you start condemning atrocities elsewhere, that is pure, unadulterated, lip service. That’s the definition of “lip service.”
But veganism, this is now a chance to actually walk the compassionate talk that everybody is always talking about. This is your chance to show others how truly peaceful you are. This is the chance for a personal revolution to leave your mark on this planet by causing the least amount of harm possible. Always being vegan.
Now come on, what’s the argument for not causing the least amount of harm? Inconvenience? Indifference? Apathy? Selfishness? I want you to know, I don’t live in fantasy land. I am well aware that animals are suffering and dying, just because we’re here on the planet with them. We build homes through their habitat. We pollute their environment. Destroy their habitat. Is there a reason we have to maximize the suffering and maximize the cruelty and the death that they already endure, by eating them, on top of it all? You want to talk about pouring salt into somebody else’s wound, 98%. And I repeat this stat: 98% of animals who are abused and killed on this planet, are abused and killed by the meat, dairy and egg industries. This is where all the harm is taking place.
And in America, from birth until death, each meat eater consumes around 3000 land animals, and thousands of other marine animals. Those are USDA stats. And they seem to think a lot of people eat animals, because we’ve all been told that humans are carnivores, we’re omnivores, we’re meat eaters and we’re supposed to be doing this.
Are you aware that physiologically the human body is actually 100% herbivorous? Plant eaters. The length of our intestines are somewhere between 7 to 13 times the length of our torso, our trunk. That’s the same length of all herbivore animal intestines on this planet. They’re very long. But the length of the intestines on real meat eaters, hyenas, coyotes, bears, tigers and lions, only 3 to 6 times the length of their torso. They have a short intestinal tract, so they can push through quickly, decaying and rotting animal flesh. Animal protein, cholesterol, saturated fat, trans-fatty acids, which is why it is impossible. I’ll repeat, impossible, for any genuine meat eater to ever, clog their arteries. Never happens to a real meat eater.
What’s the number one killer of humans who choose to eat meat, cheese, milk and egg? Heart disease from clogged arteries, atherosclerosis. Humans and other herbivores, we sweat through our pores to cool ourselves. We don’t pant, like dogs and cats and lions to cool ourselves down. No claws on the human hand, claws are a trademark of the carnivore and the omnivore. We have carbohydrate digestive enzymes in our saliva, only herbivores possess that, meaning we’re supposed to be eating tons of carbohydrates like fruits and vegetables.
Our teeth, broad, short, blunt, flat, just like the teeth of other herbivores and before somebody blurts out hey Gary what about these canines dog. Most of the herbivores have canines, incisors and molars, it would not be possible for them, for us, to be eating hard fruit like apples without those teeth. Our lower jaw goes from side to side in a grinding chewing motion, like this — we grind and chew when we eat. If you grind and chew when you eat, like you all do, you are an herbivore. The jaws of carnivores and omnivores can only go up and down, vertically, rip and swallow, there’s no chewing, grinding, side to side action.
And I’m a fair guy. I mean if somebody out there truly believes that humans are meat eaters. I’ll give you 2 challenges to prove me wrong after class and please do so if you want. I want you to go outside and locate a squirrel on campus, and when you spot that squirrel, put that carnivores feet into affect that everybody has and chase that squirrel down, pounce on him and catch him in your mouth. No tools, no weapons, no cages, no one’s allowed to be a cheater and a fake carnivore in this challenge, and when you are done killing this squirrel in your mouth, be my guest, eat the squirrel. Eyes, nose, face, toes, tail, anus, inner organs, blood, fur and don’t forget about the brains. You don’t get to pick and choose which body parts you want to eat, and you don’t get to cook it either. If people want to be real meat eaters, I’d love to see people eat raw flesh from the bone, down to the bone with nothing left but the bones, day after day after day.
And challenge number two, find a 2 year old child, place the child in a crib, in the crib put 2 things, a live bunny rabbit and an apple. If the child eats the bunny rabbit and plays with the apple, send me an email, would you let me know, because I’m going to come back and buy everyone in this room a brand new car if that happens. Benzes and beamers, leather interior too, in fact, next time I’m at Georgia Tech, if that happens, I will eat a steak sandwich in front of everybody, chase it down with a chili dog with extra cheese, a bucket of ice cream and a bag of beef jerky, too. And I’ll take the jerky and I’ll dip it in the ice cream and eat it like that.
Now I would not hold my breath on these promises, not that I won’t fulfill them, I’m a man of my word. But those things cannot and will not be happening, because humans also possess zero carnivorous instincts, zero omnivorous instincts when we’re born, young and growing up, we’re all born vegan. We just acquire a taste for meat, cheese, milk and eggs after their forced down our throats during childhood.
Now, all I’m asking you to do is something normal and natural anyways. Eat what comes from the earth. Every vitamin, mineral and nutrient that exists. Protein, calcium, iron, potassium, all the B-vitamins, you have an original source, and it ain’t the animals. You are aware that people eat animals after the animals have already eaten from the earth. People eat cows after the cows eat up the grass, some of the soil. Then we ship them to a feedlot and feed them most of our corn, wheat, oats and soy. Then we take more of the corn, wheat, oats and soy, shove it down the throats of pigs and chickens and turkeys. Stop filtering your nutrients through somebody else’s body. It’s illogical and irrational.
Go to those sources directly, fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, grains, legumes. These things cannot harm you, cannot cause a disease and more importantly they harm no one else in the process. But when we consume what walks, what flies and what swims, that is abnormal.
What does everybody think diseases come from? Broccoli? Asparagus? Kale, Collard greens, blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, peaches, nectarines, grapes, bananas, avocados, onions, tomatoes, cucumbers, spinach? And in case anyone is wondering about those pesky little E. coli, Salmonella contaminations a couple times a year with the vegetables, let’s keep in mind the one and only source of E. coli and Salmonella. Shit! Human shit or animal shit. Spinach doesn’t shit. Broccoli doesn’t shit. Peanuts don’t shit. Let’s stop blaming the plant products when there’s an E. coli, Salmonella contamination. That’s the fault of a meat eating society.
Why? Well, meat eaters want billions of land animals to eat, so we have to mass produce billions of land animals. Keep in mind, this has nothing to do with God. Nothing to do with evolution anymore. This is a business. This is Smithfield, ConAgra, Perdue, Tyson, McDonalds, Burger King, Wendy’s, KFC. That’s why we have animal agriculture classes in college.
So when we mass produce billions of land animals, they have trillions of tons of manure. That stuff gets in the waterways, and there’s run off onto the crops, or they’re putting feces contaminated water directly onto the crops. But all of our main diseases, heart diseases, heart attacks and strokes, most of the cancers, prostate cancer, colon cancer, breast cancer, pancreatic cancer, ovarian cancer, kidney disease, diabetes, osteoporosis, high blood pressure, obesity, asthma – Four main factors that cause them.
Now I know about other factors, I’m not saying that you can’t get sick elsewhere, of course you can. Smoking, drinking, stress, chemicals in the environment, high fructose corn syrup, Twinkies — I know about the other things that can lead to an ailment, but the 4 main factors are found inside of meat, cheese, milk and eggs. Cholesterol, saturated fat, trans fatty acids, animal protein. And I’ll repeat that last one, that nobody wants to hear about — animal protein.
But when you go vegan, did you know that you eliminate cholesterol entirely from your diet? You can only get cholesterol from meat, cheese, milk and eggs. And your body makes cholesterol on its own, that’s the only such thing as good cholesterol. If you bring it in from an outside source, it’s automatically bad cholesterol. You can take out around 95% of saturated fat, when you go vegan. And you can take out all the naturally occurring trans-fatty acids too.
Keep this in mind: between 2% to 9% of all meat and all dairy is naturally comprised of trans-fatty acids. And you can obviously take out all of animal protein.
Now animal protein is way too acidic for the human body. We don’t process it properly. It is the main reason why 1 in 3 meat eaters continually get cancer. And it’s one of the main causes of osteoporosis.
Are you aware that when animal protein enters the human body, it makes our blood acidic, instantaneously? But our blood can’t stay acidic for long or else we die. So our body has to figure out instantly how to neutralize the acidity. I have some good news and some bad news.
Let’s start with the good. Our bodies have figured out how to neutralize the acidity. The bad news: there’s only one way to make it happen at this point — with phosphate. There’s only one source of phosphate in the human body, bones. Just so you know, our bones are comprised of two things, calcium, phosphate and they’re bonded together. So our body leeches calcium, phosphate out of the bones, takes the phosphate to neutralize the acidity, and then we pee out the calcium. This is why every single epidemiological study, those little ones done on the human populations. Every single one, shows that societies that consume the most amount of animal protein have the worst rates of osteoporosis, bone fractures and cancers. While societies that consume little to no animal protein, the vegan and vegetarian ones, Hindus, Buddhists, Jains, Rastafarians, Seven Day Adventists have little to no rates of osteoporosis, bone fractures and cancers.
And so we don’t get into a debate during Q&A about different medical studies that are out there. A lot a times when people know I’m coming to class in advance, well, they’ll spend a few hours online, looking up studies, print it out, wait for Q&A, go “Hey Yourofsky, I got a study here that contradicted everything you told us today. What’s up with that?”
Well, here’s what’s up with that. You don’t need a medical study to show me what people are dying of, but for the record, every study you can produce showing that humans need meat, cheese, milk and eggs, I’ll produce two. 2 to 1 ratio, showing that meat, cheese, milk and eggs are responsible for every major disease. But, we all know medical studies can be manipulated either way. So even though I got a heavy 2 to 1 edge on this, I say toss them all out. Because you don’t need them. All you have to do, is pay attention to this meat, cheese, milk, egg eating society that we all live in.
So how many of your family members and your friends’ family members have a disease already, or have died already from a disease? Because I can’t be the only one affected by this. My grandfather died of from a heart attack, my grandma died from a stroke. My Uncle Jack died from a heart attack. And last October on the 15th, I got a call around midnight, that my father had just died from a heart attack. My mom, she’s got asthma. My step-dad’s got heart disease so badly he takes 7 pills for breakfast. My best friend Daren, four of his aunts and uncles have died from diabetes. His ex-girlfriend Rita has breast cancer at 40 and she’s dying. Just found out a few months ago that his current girlfriend Dione has ovarian cancer. And yesterday my girlfriend, just found out that her father has prostate cancer.
What’s the one thing we all have in common with each other besides the air we breathe and the water we drink? Meat, cheese, milk and eggs. Animal products all day long. And I know you can blame some of the cancers on environmental pollution, there’s no doubt about that.
But how you’re going to blame heart attacks and strokes on environmental pollution? And diabetes, osteoporosis, obesity? Here, I’m going to break this down for you in a couple different ways today, I’ll show you what’s killing people, and I’m going to show you who’s lying to you, too. Flat out, bald faced lies. Let’s come to an agreement on the dairy industry and let me know if I’m being unfair with this, I want to know.
According to the dairy industry itself, the main reason they exist, is so you can get calcium. Fair, is that not their entire claim? “Eat some cheese. Drink some cow’s milk. Strong bones, strong body. Milk does a body good.”
Got milk? Check it out with the USDA: In America, we consume the most amount of dairy on the planet. Right here. You can’t even get a sandwich anymore, without cheese. We put cheese in every nook and every cranny of every single food item, we put it inside the pizza crust now. We put cheese on top of salads, too. You can’t even get a salad anymore without cheese. And if you’re lucky to find salad minus the cheese, what’s the first thing people say to the waiter? “Hey uh, can I get some ranch, or some thousand island? Can you pour some dairy on these vegetables for me?”
So in this society, where everybody is hooked on cheese. I mean hooked! Like it’s been laced with weed, crack, ecstasy, morphine, and the antidote. Most people can’t even fathom one meal, let alone one day, or a lifetime without cheese. In fact, if you want to know why vegetarians never go vegan: Cheese! Cheese on a baked potato, cheese on the broccoli, cheese on everything in sight. Even lactose intolerant people eat cheese. And I don’t care what anybody says about this, they might avoid straight up cow’s milk. But slap a double cheese pepperoni pizza down in front of a lactose intolerant person, no hesitation, right down the hatch. So, we got all these animal products going into our diet.
Did you ever wonder why there are no less than three TV commercials being run for calcium supplements? Actonel, Boniva, Citracal. You got to be kidding me. Calcium supplements in America? How come there’s osteoporosis at all? How come at the vitamin stores, I say plural, stores, because when I travel the country, boy meat eaters pull me aside all the time and say: “Hey Gary, we eat meat because you get everything you need from meat. All the vitamins, all the minerals, all the nutrients.”
Well how come in this meat, cheese, milk, egg eating society that we all live in, every city has not only 1, but 2, 3, 4, 5 or 6 vitamin stores? How come Rite-Aid, CVS and Walgreens now have complete vitamin sections too? With a whole shelf devoted to calcium supplements. I thought everybody was getting calcium from the animal products. That’s what the meat and dairy people say. Newsflash! You don’t. Animal protein won’t allow it. Animal protein makes your blood acidic, so your body takes calcium phosphate out of the bones. Phosphate to neutralize, calcium gets excreted through the urine.
There are 4 commercials for fiber: Metamucil, Fibercon, Fibersure, and Benefiber. If people ate a frickin’ apple or a pear once in awhile, nobody would need help taking a shit. Now pay attention, and look around and see what’s going on.
Now with all this being said, we’ve established the four reasons why people eat meat, cheese, milk and eggs. No debating, no discussing it. Habit. Tradition. Convenience. Tasty. Yeah, I know why people do it, I did it for 25 years myself. We don’t do this to be ethical and stay healthy. That’s obvious. And we don’t do this to help the environment out either.
Two quick things on the environment. And by the way go to my website, click on ‘all about veganism’, click on the environment section, world hunger and environmental pollution. Root cause of world hunger: meat eating societies. 65% of the world’s grains are set aside every year to feed 53 billion land animals that are killed every year on this planet and tens of billions of marine animals. We got fish farms nowadays. Instead of using those crops for six and a half billion people. Do the math on this, you don’t have to be Einstein to figure this equation out.
And again, environmental pollution, air pollution, water pollution, deforestation, greenhouse gas emissions — the number one cause is animal agriculture. Now, I want to get back to ‘tastes good’, though, because I think meat tastes great. And it might shock you to hear me say that, but if you’re doing some kind of extra credit essay on my speech, and you want to quote me, quote me right now: I love the way meat tastes. Love it. Cheese, love it. Cow’s milk and eggs, love it. Guilty as charged. I did not stop eating this stuff because of a ‘taste’ issue. I stopped for ethics, morality, decency, compassion to the animals that I share this planet with.
But here’s the coolest thing about being vegan in this day and age: It’s never been easier. You can have the same smell, taste and texture of meat, cheese and milk, without it. Nobody has to suffer and die for your dinner anymore, including you. They make all the products you like to eat, in a vegan version. They make it from soy and wheat and rice and hemp, I want to show you some of the products that are out there, and I am not receiving compensation from these companies. These are my selections, the best tasting mock meats. I’m going to put them up on the screen, so we can all see it clearly.
Do you guys like bacon? Lightlife Smart Bacon, bacon made from soy. This company, Lightlife, also makes smoky tempeh bacon. Now, tempeh is a fermented version of soy, so it tastes a little different than the other stuff, but keep in mind, I would not recommend products to you if they didn’t taste fantastic. I am trying to win you over, so you go veg. I’m not showing you every product we have, some of our products suck. I’m showing you the best of the best.
And when I say some of our products suck, don’t act like there aren’t shitty Chinese restaurants, nasty pizza places, and disgusting hamburger joints, okay? It works both ways. If it’s made great, no matter what it is, it tastes great, if not, it’s going to stink. Lightlife also has soy chicken strips and steak strips, as well. They also have a full line of deli meats: turkey, baloney and ham. You cannot tell the difference by sight, taste or texture. A small company called Melissa’s has Soyrizo, vegan chorizo. Energy bars! Like Cliff Bars, Luna bars, and a new bar, that just came out called Pro Bar, you might not have seen that one, yet. They’re all vegan and many other companies have a vegan energy bar, as well.
Now, remember, when you go veg, you don’t give up anything. You’ve got the vegan version of stuff, or eat things that are truly natural, like fruits and vegetables or beans and lentils.
You like turkey? We’ve got you covered. My favorite product? Tofurky! Tofu turkey. Stuffing on the inside! Looks, smells and tastes like turkey, you’ve got to slice it with a knife, but guess what? No turkey had to suffer and die for this. Tofurky also has Tofurky slices, six different flavors of Tofurky slices. Tofurky also has Tempe strips. Remember I talked about the faking bacon, the Lightlife Tempeh? They have some tempeh products, too. Tofurky also has Italian sausage, beer brats, and there seems to be an addiction in our society for beef jerky? I don’t know what the hell is going on with everybody’s taste buds, everybody has lost their minds. But, we’ve got you covered. Tofurky jerky! Anything you’re looking for, we’ve got that stuff veganized.
And many other companies have a vegan jerky, as well. The absolute best company on the market right now, is It’s All Good Gardein Protein. That is one of their chicken dishes. That is two of their chicken dishes! Three chicken dishes! They have more chicken dishes, they have steak dishes, and they just came out a few months ago with Buffalo wings, as well. Trader Joe’s, that grocery chain, they want to compete now in the soy meat industry. They made their own brand of soy chicken and soy steak strips.
There’s a company called Vegetarian Plus, and they have vegan, citrus spareribs. And Gardenburger has had Riblets, mock ribs, for over ten years. I can’t tell you how many of my meat eating friends and family members I’ve flat out fooled with this stuff. And this company also has shrimp, kung pao chicken, orange chicken and tuna rolls, as well.
Now I mentioned wheat meat earlier, I don’t think people really understand what it is, there’s actually a name for it, it’s called seitan. Not satan, SAY’tan. And you want to give this stuff a try, too. And they now have flavored seitan on the market too, by Upton’s: Ground beef style, chorizo style, they also have an Italian sausage flavor, as well.
Another favorite company, Nate’s Meatless Meatballs. Now, I know you guys have seen veggie burgers before, probably Boca. But, if you don’t like Boca, good news. There’s Amy’s, Morningstar Farms, Dr. Praeger’s, Sunshine burgers and Gardenburger, all the different tastes and textures. And if you’re looking for no soy, a different kind of mock meat in your diet, a new company called Bahama, Rice burgers, burgers from rice. We also have sausage and meat balls made out of rice, as well.
Another company with a no soy, a different kind of mock meat taste, a small company from Cincinnati, called Five Star Foodies has artichoke burgers, my new favorite kind of veggie burger by far, burgers from artichokes. They also have a harvest roast. It says ‘vegetarian’ but it is vegan. It’s a fake turkey with fake skin around it, too.
Now, Amy’s is on the market, and I know you’ve seen her stuff. She’s got a ton of stuff, but keep in mind, most of her stuff is only vegetarian. It still has eggs and cheese, and other animal by-products in there. But, one of her vegan stuff, tofu scramblers, a fake egg. A hot pocket, that actually tastes good and is good for you too. And Amy’s also has rice macaroni with Daiya cheese! A brand new vegan cheese on the market, Daiya cheese, which you can find at Whole Foods, right now. It comes in two different flavors. A lot of people are going crazy for the Daiya cheese, I still like Follow Your Heart, which has four different flavors of vegan cheese, comes in a big block and it melts.
Now, sometimes you’ve got to be creative with this stuff. Lightlife also has vegan pepperoni which is ready to eat directly out of the bag. If you get some of this vegan pepperoni, buy yourself a Tofutti Pan Pizza with Tofutti soy cheese on it. Tofutti also has cream cheese, sour cream and ice cream as well, before it goes in the oven or after it comes out of the oven, slaps some pepperoni on there and you got yourself a pizza.
Remember there is soy milk and rice milk, almond milk, hemp milk, coconut milk, oat milk, hazelnuts milk. Seven vegan milks on the market. There is soy ice cream, rice ice cream, almond ice cream and coconut milk ice cream, an ice cream bars by So Delicious. And let me just say this, you have never in your life had ice cream till you had the coconut milk ice cream by So Delicious. If you go to my website and click on ‘Veg Shopping Guide’, I have taste-tested everything for you in advance. Check out the brand names I recommend. I can assure you I eat nothing nasty.
And what about Ethnic food, Indian food, Middle-eastern food, Mexican food? Plenty of veggie options there. Italian food, pasta and spaghetti and a real pasta, a real spaghetti, just like bread, never requires animal products.
Now unfortunately, we defiled these products, so you always have to ask or check out the ingredient list. But every Italian joint has at least one, if not two or three of the genuine noodles, which are always vegan. And when it comes to best bread around — Whole Foods or Panera Bread, Breugger’s Bagels, Einstein Bagels — 90% of those breads and bagels are always vegan.
Our Asian food, Japanese food, Chinese food, Thai food, Korean food, Vietnamese food, all you have to do is substitute tofu for the meat in any of their dishes, tell them to make it without fish sauce and you have a vegan meal. And soul food can be veganized as well. In fact, you guys are pretty lucky to be in Atlanta. You have two soul food restaurants owned by the same company, Soul Vegetarian — 10 minutes from campus. Vegan Mac ‘n Cheese, collard greens, yams. They have something called a “Kale Bone” sandwich, which is a fake roast beef sandwich with cheese dripping off of it, too. You got to check out Soul Vegetarian. And don’t think I don’t watch your faces when I’m up here.
How come, when I talk about mock meat, you always catch a handful of people in every crowd, and we have a big crowd today so I stopped counting at about 8 or 9. How come there is always a handful of people that wrinkle up their noses, make big wide eyes, and start glancing at the people next to them or across the aisle like “Soy chicken, is this guy crazy? Soy bacon? He must be out of his mind!” How come this stuff, that is made of soy, wheat, vegetables, grains and spices — no chemicals, contrary to the lies being spread about these products by the meat and dairy industries. How come this stuff is considered gross to most people but meat?
Meat’s got five components, let me break it down for you: blood, flesh, veins, muscles and tendons — the cut up corpse of a dismembered body. How does meat not qualify as gross and disgusting to everybody? How in the world is a beverage, a liquid that oozes out of the uddpuers of cows, a secretion that drips from the mammary glands of another being, that’s loaded with pus by the way. Oh yeah, let me tell you about the pus in your cow milk — it’d be my pleasure. When you hook machines up to the udders of cows three times a day to suck them dry, those machines cause massive amounts of infections on the inside and outside of the udder.
Now let’s add all the bovine growth hormone they put in cows to make sure they provide huge quantities of milk, which always leads to another infection. The machine doesn’t know what not to suck out. Pus, mucus and infections right in with your milk, and yeah milk is pasteurized.
But when did pasteurization become a removal process? It’s a sanitation process. You’re only sanitizing pus, and you want to look this up online. Well you don’t think the dairy industry would ever use the word ‘pus’ when they write about this problem in their own trade journals, yeah they’re going to deceive you again with this. Look up the scientific term for pus: “Somatic Cell Count”. And by the way, our government, the USDA, they allow the dairy industry to have a maximum amount of one eye dropper full of pus in every glass of milk. Drink up.
Oh! And by the way, when you’re looking up that lie from the dairy industry and all the other ones, you might want to look up ‘Casomorphins’, I got it up on both sides of the board. Remember that part of the speech earlier when I talked about people being hooked on cheese like it was laced with weed, crack and morphine?
Mother cows, before birth, produce a substance in their milk to make sure that the calf stays close. And actually human women do this too — it’s not morphine but in cows it is, a version of morphine: casomorphins. That’s why people are so hooked on cheese, got to have their daily fix of morphine.
Does anybody know what an egg actually is from a hen? And don’t say embryo or aborted fetus — not even close, it’s unfertilized so it can’t be either. Hen is a female, though, unfertilized egg through a female system? It’s part of her menstruation cycle, it’s a hen’s period. People scramble up hen periods in the morning and all of a sudden I’m weird because I don’t make omelets anymore?
And what about vomit? Oh, we’re going to take those blinders off today. C’mon you guys love vomit, you adore it all over your food. Better give this one a pretty name, though. Nobody’s going to buy and eat vomit. Unless we call it honey instead. Honey comes directly from a bee stomach, it is regurgitated right through a bee’s mouth, look it up with any wildlife biologist. But nobody wants to eat Bee-Vomit Nut Cheerios, we want Honey Nut Cheerios — so we lie to ourselves to play euphemism games.
The standard diet of a meat eater is blood, flesh, veins, muscles, tendons, cow secretions, hen periods and bee vomit? Now we’re not done yet. I am not going to let you off that easy, not while I’ve got you here today. You know where we top this all off in my opinion? Because every November, during the certain holiday people love so much, people take a dead turkey, open up the dead turkey’s ass, or carve out a really big hole in their ass, take some stuffing and shove it inside their dead empty ass, and use the little dead ass as an oven to bake some bread.
Somebody else’s dead empty bacteria-laden ass to make bread? Ass bread? And people think vegans are weird? Because we eat tofu and rice, and beans, and lentils? I tell people one of my favorite meals nowadays: yams. Boy, dish me up a plate of yams for dinner and I’m a happy guy. I know how most people are, though, I tell them that and they’re like “Wait, you just eat yams for dinner?! I don’t know man, that’s kind of weird.”
Okay. But somebody else’s ribcage sitting on your plate isn’t weird? Doesn’t make you think twice? Severed legs, sliced up thighs, and mutilated breasts sitting on your plate doesn’t make you think twice. And you want to know why? Those blinders are on nice and tightly aren’t they? And I bet most of you were perturbed at me when the speech began and I accused everybody of having blinders on.
I’m not here to be your enemy. I’m here to call you out, though. You might have had a pretty good excuse before I got here of being uninformed and misinformed. Okay, that’s fair. Honestly, I was the same for a long time. I’m kind of curious, though, what’s the excuse now? You got a choice today. When you leave this room, you can choose to be radically kind — never to intentionally harm another animal for breakfast, lunch or dinner ever again. These creatures have never harmed you, violated you or taken advantage of you in any way shape or form, the least you can do is return the favor.
Or you can stay radically cruel. Keep the status quo as is, make sure animals have no freedom, make sure they never experience one drop of human kindness, make sure their babies are stolen from them, make sure their beaks are sliced off, their horns are cut off and their testicles are ripped off. Make sure there is a knife in their throat every second of every day for eternity.
I really hope you make the right choice.
I want to wrap this speech up, so we can do our Q&A session. Give me about 6 more minutes to say something on the dairy industry, as it pertains directly to cows.
We talked about the pus in cow milk, which is gross. We talked about the unhealthiness of consuming dairy products, but we have yet to focus on what the cows are going through.
Keep in mind, veganism isn’t about your health, that will be selfish. I’m trying to get people to be unselfish, for a change. To be altruistic, do something kind for somebody else and when you do that, don’t expect something in return.
But when it comes to cruelty, I think there is more cruelty in a glass of milk than a steak. I want to make my case visually and verbally. You will only be the 11th class to see what I’m about to show. Because this just went down a few months ago in plain city, Ohio, at a ma n’ pa dairy farm.
This is not an isolated incident. Don’t for one minute think that this is an isolated incident. This is how slaves are treated. You don’t really think that slaves get treated nicely, do you? You really think white people were nice when they shipped black people over here on ships? You don’t think Nazis were nice when they walked Jews and Gypsies into the gas chambers, do you? And this happens because you want to buy those products. Yeah, that guy is a scumbag for doing that, but he’s doing that because you want to eat what comes out of her body.
And enough already! You’re not a caveman and you’re not a cavewoman anymore. Stop acting like Neanderthals. This is 2010. Give it up! It’s not cute and it’s not funny. Because animals are being abused. It is not your right and it is not your freedom to do this to them. You don’t get to have freedom when somebody else doesn’t. That’s a violation.
And if you wonder why vegans get so upset sometimes, like I am right now, you just saw some of it. Every time we show up at a farm, somebody is punching, kicking and stabbing somebody. And something else that I’m curious about, how come when I show videos like this, of people punching and kicking animals, people are more upset with that than when they shove a knife in their throat? So, even if you find a farm where they’re not punching and kicking, when they shove a knife in their throat and put a bullet between their eyes, how is that not cruelty?
Did you know that 90% of hamburger meat in America comes from the dairy industry? When cows no longer give huge amounts of milk after 3 to 7years — slaughterhouse, no exceptions. If ever given a change, cows can live to be 18 to 25. And cows are like all female mammals. I’m not trying to talk down to you, when I speak about animal issues. It’s just that people don’t think that animals go through the same things, the same emotions, that you go through, that we all go through.
In order for a female mammal to give milk, she has to be pregnant. Every year, every cow on every dairy farm is raped. A long steel device, shoved into their vaginas to inject them with bull semen, or sometimes they use a bare hand. This forces the milk flow. And after she gives birth, babies are stolen.
And let me tell you something, the worse scream I have ever heard, and I’ve heard them all first hand. When I started finding out about this stuff, a little over 15 years ago, I was like everybody else. I didn’t believe it was that bad, I thought that everybody was exaggerating. But unlike everybody else who just blows it aside, brushes it off, I actually went to see what was going on. I spent 6 weeks at Thorn Apple Valley pigs slaughterhouse in Detroit in 1993. I broke into animal research laboratories. I broke into fur farms. I went behind the scenes of every circus and every rodeo that ever came through Michigan.
Worse scream I have ever heard! A mother cow on a dairy farm, as she screams and bawls her lungs out day after day for her stolen baby, to be given back to her. And I can only imagine, the same scream every woman in this room would make, if somebody held you down after birth and stole your newborn baby from you.
And why do they take babies away from their mom? Well, the dairy industry can’t have little babies sucking up all that milk that was meant for them, when they rather sell it to you instead. Every time you have a glass of cow milk, some calf is not. And mother cows make milk for one reason anyways. During Q&A we are about to have, you can ask me whatever you want. I’m no politician, bring up anything. If you went online before I got here and saw my radical assays, that got me kicked out of countries, bring ’em up!
There is one question I will not entertain, though: You cannot ask me why cows make milk. “Thus, if it’s good for us, shouldn’t we be feeding it to our kids, Gary? Shouldn’t we be having it?”
Nature took care of this one at the beginning of time: cows make milk for their babies and for their babies alone. Case is closed. Forever! Permanently! No debate. No discussion. They don’t make milk for baby elephants, baby orangutans, baby hedgehogs, baby rabbits, baby rats, baby humans, adolescence humans or adult humans. This body of ours has absolutely no need for cow milk, like it has absolutely no need for giraffe milk, and zebra milk and rhinoceros milk, hippopotamus milk, camel milk, deer milk, antelope milk, horse milk, pig milk, dog milk and cat milk. The only milk that we ever need is our own mother’s breast milk when we’re born. And that’s it. And when we’re done weaning, we never need one drop of milk ever again.
No species on this planet needs milk after they’re done weaning. But if you want to include some kind of milk in your diet like I do, let me reiterate the good news: soy milk, rice milk, almond milk, hemp milk, coconut milk, oat milk, hazelnuts milk. I promise you’ll like one of those seven vegan milks.
Remember, when you go veg, you don’t give up anything. You got the vegan version of stuff, or eat things that are truly natural like fruits and vegetables, beans and lentils, and seeds.
I want to thank everybody for listening with an open mind, I do appreciate that.
Let’s do some Q&A. We still have about half an hour for Q&A session. You can ask me to clarify something if it didn’t make sense to you. Something in the video — what was going on, why it was going on, how I got started, jail stories, whatever you want. I’m here to please. Somebody popped up back there first.
Audience: So like, let’s say I did want to become a vegetarian, the price range for a week amount of food versus somebody who eats meat, and goes to Walmart or Target or Kroger, the groceries stores that aren’t generally pushed towards vegetarians and vegans, what would be the difference in price?
Gary Yourofsky: It’s going to be cheaper. There’s a big myth out there that it’s more expensive to be veg. Let me explain this in a couple of different ways.
Now, first of all, the cheapest things on the market are cruelty-free and vegan. Rice, beans, lentils, pastas, things like that. Keep in mind, this is why poor people, impoverished people around the world, they’re vegetarians. Eating meat is a luxury. It’s only cheap in America because we subsidized the hell out of it. And I want you to put one thing into the equation and nobody ever wants to put into the equation. Health. Pharmaceuticals, hospital visits, doctor visits, all these pills, all the vitamins, health care. That stuff was not created for vegans. Those are meat eating creations. I’m about to turn 40 in August, I have no health care. I take no vitamins. I see no doctor. I don’t need to. I eat properly and I exercise.
So if you put health into the equation, meat eating is the most expensive diet out there, for sure. Also keep in mind, if you do buy processed foods, vegan or non-vegan, you always pay a little extra. If you pay Turtle Island Foods to make you a Tofurky, if you pay Lean Cuisine to make you some kind of meat dish, it’s a little more pricier because somebody did it for you. So you could also, if you’re really good in the kitchen, make this stuff on your own.
Now, I got a recipe section online, I also have a restaurant section and a grocery section, too, so you can always look up that stuff, you can contact me, ask me how do I make this favorite recipe of yours. I will track it down. My girlfriend, too, is a wonderful chef as well. So keep all those things into the equation.
Let me say one more, too. If you eat out, whether you eat meat or you’re vegan, it’s always a little more pricier, too. So don’t blame it on: “Uh, I went to this vegan restaurant and it was pricey.” You know, Outback Steakhouse isn’t so cheap either, and Longhorn Steakhouse and all these other places, too. And if you eat out at restaurants, places like Subway, their veggie sub, when they’re not doing their $5 special, the veggie sub is always the cheapest thing on their menu, on Italian bread and it’s vegan. If you go to Taco Bell, get a bean burrito without the cheese, you want to talk about dirt-cheap — 99 cents. And I bring this up, because students try to do this with me all the time: “Gary, I understand what you’re saying but I’m broke, I’m a college student, only got a dollar, got to go to McDonald’s” Well, you can do the same nasty shit at Taco Bell too, okay? And I say nasty shit, because if you eat at McDonald’s, don’t tell me you’re eating for taste!
Audience: So how do you get the same meat taste for a vegan meal without using meat?
Gary Yourofsky: Yeah. If you use the right combinations of vegetables and spices, you’d be amazed what you can mimic. For instance, there’s a lot of mock-fish that’s out there, I was talking about the shrimp from that company. If you go to a website called Vegieworld: V-E-G-I-E, one G, vegieworld.com, they got fake lobster, they got cod, they got salmon, any fish product you’re looking for. They use seaweed. Seaweed gives the fishy smell and the fishy taste. You’ve all had a good Portobello mushroom at some time, too. If you hookup a Portobello mushroom on a grill, tastes awfully steaky. So they use mushrooms when they want to get a beef flavor, too.
The woman that runs my recipe section, Amy Ball, one of the best chefs that nobody knows about. I was passing through San Francisco a few years ago, and one of my perks for traveling is that I get to eat all over the country. And I know what’s vegan that’s out there, so I stopped by her house and she says: “You want a vegan hard-boiled egg, Gary?”
She didn’t say vegan, “You want a hard-boiled egg”.
I said: “You kidding me? You got a vegan hard-boiled egg? What do you mean? There are no vegan hard-boiled eggs!”
She’s like: “I got one for you.” She takes an avocado, slices it in half, takes half of it out. Think of an avocado; think about yolk that’s been hard-boiled, it’s the same texture. One’s yellow, one’s green. She takes the avocado, put it on some vegan mashed potatoes, that’s she made with hemp milk or rice milk, whatever her vegan milk of the day was, that mimicked the outside softness of the egg. She puts two dashes of salt on there and goes: “Take a bite.”
“Holy shit! Vegan hard-boiled egg.”
So if you get really creative people in the kitchen, there are a lot of creative chefs out there, they can make anything tastes like something else. So that’s what they’re doing. No chemicals! No chemicals. Yes?
Audience: Some of these meal-like foods, do they have to go the extra length and add a lot of sodium and corn syrup?
Gary Yourofsky: There’s sodium in there for sure, absolutely. And you know, salt is something that gives things a lot of taste, so, you might have to look out if you want to watch your sodium. But I don’t want people to be concerned about sodium before you’re concerned about animal protein, cholesterol, saturated fat, all the other things. It’s kind of pointless. It’s kind of like somebody smoking a cigarette in my face and go: “Hey Gary, you shouldn’t really smoke that weed.”
I’m like “What?! What are you talking about?” If you are doing something unhealthy, what’s the point of trying to find, keep away something else that might be unhealthy for you?
Audience: From what I understand, the basic concept of veganism is not to exploit or harm living beings, right? Everything from, say cows to even yeasts. But what about, say if you have to deal with parasites, bacterial infections, diseases from that, how do you go about treating yourself?
Gary Yourofsky: Yeah. Self-defense is an acceptable form of protecting yourself. That’s understandable, but say –
Audience: Say as a doctor, in your profession, you have to, I mean you have to go in there and you have to kill, I mean…
Gary Yourofsky: Kill what? Bacteria?
Gary Yourofsky: So, are you founder of “People for the Ethical Treatment of Bacteria”? This is — the only thing that bothers me when this is brought up, is that you want to equate cows in the same level as parasites and bacteria.
Audience: Oh no, I’m equating bacteria and yeasts together.
Gary Yourofsky: Okay, but do bacteria harm you most of the time? When they do, they’re harmful, you have the right to defend yourself and kill something that’s harming you.
Now, let me explain this in a different way. If you and I were walking through the woods and a bear attacked you and jumped on you, do you really think I’ll be like “Huh, too bad, I’m vegan, man.” I will beat the shit, or try to beat the shit, out of the bear and get him off you as a self-defense. You were attacked. If some human jumped on you for no reason, I’d also protect you, too. If bacteria are killing you and destroying your body, you have the right to destroy the bacteria that’s trying to destroy you. Keep in mind, cows do not attack us. Chickens have never attacked a human being in history. Something else I’m kind of curious about: how come we think we’re better than chickens, when we kill 35 billion to 40 billion chickens every year on this planet? We’ve been doing this for thousands of years. How is the murderer more special than the murdered? How is the oppressor better than the oppressed? We got this stuff backwards, we’re not better than them. We’re the ones attacking them, that makes us less important, that makes us worse, that makes us evil.
Audience: So, say the world population is at 8 billion now, and at least most of the United States, it is considered meat eaters, right? So with only a certain portion of the world being devoted farmland on, places we can grow food, and it just seems to me, that if most of the world went vegan, then it would — I mean, I know your quote on the 65% of the grain goes to meat products. But how would we support ourselves without meat products, I guess that’s what I’m trying to say.. or eggs, or…
Gary Yourofsky: Easily and wonderfully. Let me throw out some other stats: 95% of soy in America is animal feed. 80% of corn in America, animal feed. 70% of oats in America, that’s animal feed. If we ate the stuff directly, do you know that one acre of land can yield 30,000 pounds of carrots, 40,000 pounds of potatoes and 50,000 pounds of tomatoes. One acre of land can only give you 250 pounds of meat. Okay? We would be using less land, destroying less habitat, if we just ate crops directly. Please go to the “environment” section on my website or go to a website called earthsave.org, everybody gets fed.
Here let me throw this out there: You know, the world’s largest ‘feed the hungry’ organization is called Food for Life Global, please look them up online. When I found out about this group, that solely uses vegetarian and vegan food to feed people, 2 million meals per day. I found out about them about 10 years ago. I also found the second largest group on the planet doing ‘feed the hungry’ stuff is Plenty, plenty.org is their website. Both are vegetarian groups.
Now, I sent a letter to both presidents saying: “Oh my God, this is wonderful! Finally somebody realized you don’t have to harm animals to help people.” I got letters back that were almost identical, they said something like this: “It’s not that we do this for ethical reasons, we don’t want to argue with you, we don’t want to debate you on that. We do this because it’s cheaper, and we feed 20 to 30 times the amount of people when we use vegetarian food than when we — than when groups use meat.”
Another question, somebody up here? Right there.
Audience: I agree with you on the vegetables and fruits and all that stuff is really good for you, but I guess, let’s say, processed soy is bad for you because it causes the body to generate extra estrogen.
Gary Yourofsky: Well, here’s something interesting on that. If estrogen is people’s concern about soy, meat and cow’s milk have twice the amount of estrogen that’s found in soy. But let me break this down for you. The estrogen that’s found in soy is a phytoestrogen, P-H-Y-T-O, plant based. Phytoestrogens cause no harm to human body, whatsoever. It’s animal estrogens that drive the body crazy.
But I got some good news for you. If you’re really concerned about eating soy, you don’t want to do it, don’t do it. Eating soy does not mean that you can’t be vegan, or not eating it. There’s wheat-meat, or just get down to the nuts and bolts of veganism: Go fruits and vegetables, lentils and beans and things like that. So you don’t have to make soy part of your diet. And if you want to go to my website, I hope you do, I got a brand new section about all the myths out there about soy, a lot of them are being spread by Mr. Michael Pollan, “The Omnivore’s Dilemma”.
And by the way, what the hell is the dilemma? Is being kind instead of cruel really problematic to people? Michael Pollan, by the way, is a hunter, is an unpaid spokesman for the meat and dairy industries. Please do not go listening to the “Food Inc.” movie or to his “Omnivore’s Dilemma” book, he’s nothing but Ted Nugent-like.
Audience: I was just wondering if you’re only bought products made in the U.S.? Because you’re advocating like cruelty-free, but then, what about, like cruelty to other people in sweatshops? Do you only buy American —
Gary Yourofsky: Oh yeah, nowadays. You could look at the tag, and it’s from Hemptown. I buy my stuff from vegan companies that pay a fair wage, and yeah, I don’t do the Target stuff anymore, the Kohl’s or anything like that. There are a lot of other issues to be concerned about, and I’m glad that this is brought up. But let’s keep in mind the main form of cruelty on the planet, is what we do to the animals. But please, get involved in other issues like avoiding sweatshops, try to buy locally and all that stuff.
Audience: Do you find that it’s affordable to buy…?
Gary Yourofsky: Yeah, you know, I got 3 of these shirts, I just ordered them, they were 9 bucks each, and yeah, they were dirt cheap, too. It’s not as difficult as people think, to live ethically. It always seems that way because we’re used to the other way, of not caring about where products come from, not caring about what happens to other animals and to other human beings.
Audience: Which country were you kicked out of?
Gary Yourofsky: Canada kicked me out first in 1999. This happened because in 1997 I decided I wanted to do more than just be vegan, I wanted to actually free animals who were being held captive. So I went to a mink concentration camp, a fur farm for animals, the Eberts Fur Farm in Blenheim, Ontario. Now, I’m from Michigan, so Canada is just right across, about half an hour, 45 minutes away. So I went to this farm, and I opened up the cages for 1542 mink.
Now, mink in the fur industry are killed in two ways. One, they have their necks manually broken, they take them out of the cage and snap their neck against somebody’s knee, or they gas them, back to the concentration camp stuff.
Now, things went badly that evening, I was arrested, and quickly 540 mink actually escaped that night. Holes were cut in the perimeter fence, there was a little dirt road, and then there were 600 acres of forest. That’s all they had to do is get across the street, find the way out.
Unfortunately, a thousand mink never made it off the grounds, for that, they were doomed. All I can give them or anyone else, would be a chance to be free. I mean, let’s face it. If you were all being held in captivity, you were going to have your neck snapped, your skin ripped off your body so somebody else could make a pair of slippers, you’d all be going: “Man, I hope Gary’s coming by tonight, open up this damn cage, give me a chance!” So I got arrested that night, I was put in maximum security by the way. I was given a six-month sentence, I did 77 days before they deport me and threw me out and made me persona non grata.
And let me just tell you a quick little story, too. While I was in jail, I was with some pretty bad people, child molesters, rapists, murderers, people who are trying to stab people. They were trying to teach me a lesson, they put me in one of the worst places around. So, they put me in the unit, went in on day one, kind of a holding unit before they move me to my unit. And there’s a TV set on in the corner, and the alpha male has got the clicker, He’s…5, 5:30, 6, 6:30 news. Lead story in Canada that night: “International Terrorist Gary Yourofsky Sent to Jail Tonight”
“Gary Yourofsky – International Terrorist, Sent to Jail…”
I got ‘international terrorist’ with every mention of my name, I’m from Michigan, and it’s Canada, I am now global. So, I don’t know anybody on day one, I’m standing at the back of the cell and they’re all huddled round the TV. And they finally realized I’m in there with them. One guy is kind of standing like this, he’s looking around — “Hey! That’s the guy back there… that’s…”
He goes around: “That’s the guy back there.”
Now, the alpha male gets in, he walks up to me, pretty big guy, he’s like: “You’re an international terrorist?”
I said: “Yeah.”
“Because that’s funny man, you don’t look like an international terrorist.”
I said: “Maybe it’s because I’m the exact opposite of one, here’s what I did, I freed some mink, they were going to have their necks broken…”
Now, the first thing he said to me, I preached a lot in jail, first thing everybody said to me was: “What the hell is a mink?”
“It’s like a big ferret, it’s in the rodent family…”
And the next thing that was always said to me — this is not verbatim, but the intonation is verbatim. It went something like this: “Wait a sec, they put you in here with us because you freed some rats?” In the end it’s always with an “us”, they knew they were bad. “With us?”
I said: “No no no, they put me in here with you, because I also caused $2.1 million in damage to the mink farm, and put the guy out of business permanently to this day. And we don’t tolerate economic sabotage in our society.”
One more thing I want you to think about, when they first arrested me, they refused to give me bail. They thought I was going to bail out, go back to Michigan, and there’s no extradition for mink liberation. So, I had a 10-day bail hearing. I bring this up because I challenge anybody in this room, find me a 10-day bail hearing for a rapist, a murderer or a child molester. Won’t do it. But, the mink liberator gets 10 days.
Now, on day 10 my attorney, Steve Rogan, found out that the same exact judge, Elaine Babcock, that have been denying me bail for 10 days, had just given a man from Michigan, 3 weeks earlier, $1000 bail, second degree criminal sexual conduct. Now, you know how judges can get when they don’t want to hear something in their courtroom. Boy, she goes flushed red, top of her voice, she goes: “Steve, don’t you dare bring that up in my courtroom! That’s got nothing to do with this case, and you damn well know it!”
Now, I’m sitting over there in the defendant’s box, I can’t talk to my attorney now, he was pacing in there, but in my head, I go like: “Don’t back down, don’t back down, don’t back down…”
So he’s pacing and pacing, I’m like: “Come on Steve…”
And 30 seconds later, he turns and he says: “You know what, Your Honor? It’s got everything to do with this case! My client, tried to stop cruelty, and he wants to go to jail at this point and make a statement on behalf of the animals. You gave that guy, from Michigan bail for sexually assaulting a woman, and you won’t give my client bail?”
She looks at me for the first time in 10 days, and I was like, “Well… $10,000 bail.”
Now, agree or disagree with lawbreaking, and I hope you understand, everybody that we all collectively admire: Dr. King, Gandhi, Rosa Parks, Henry David Thoreau, Jesus… were all radical lawbreakers. Every single person on this planet that ever made substantive change was a radical lawbreaker. Even if for some reason, you don’t think that I should be breaking law, or that people should break laws, you can’t tell me, it should cost $1000 to sexually assault a woman for bail, and $10,000 to free some rats.
Bottom line in this: Sexually assaulting a woman doesn’t affect the economy. And we just don’t care about things that don’t affect the root of all evil: Money.
Audience: a) What got you started? and b) What’s the tattoo on your arm?
Gary Yourofsky: Tattoo is me with a mask on, holding a bunny rabbit, and it says “Praesto et Persto”, which is Latin for “I stand in front and I stand firm”. And it says “ALF – Animal Liberation Front”, which is a group that goes around, there’s no membership, but anybody that goes around and liberates an animal or destroys the place that tortures, is considered an ALF member.
What got me started was my stepdad is a clown in the Shrine Circus. Takes me backstage when I’m 23. And mind you, I got my blinders on too, I can care less about animals besides the dogs that are in my life or if a chipmunk runs by me, I’m like: “Hey! There’s a chipmunk.” But I’m like everybody else, I’m eating dead animals, I could care less about cows and pigs and what they’re going through. And he invites me backstage and said: “Do you want to come see the elephants?”
I’m like: “Hell yeah! I want to see the elephants. Are you kidding me? Can I bring Wendy with me, too?” My girlfriend at that time.
He said: “Yeah! Bring Wendy down.”
So Wendy and I go backstage, we’re excited. We were like playfully pushing each other like: “I’m first… first… first…” Until we got back there and we just stopped dead in our tracks. When you see cruelty in front of your face, you don’t need somebody to explain it to you. I knew what I was seeing was evil. 3 elephants were lined up in chains, front left foot, back right foot, each of them chained up to the cement floor of the warehouse of the Michigan State Fairgrounds. I look to the left I saw — I saw a monkey, screaming and grabbing the bars of his prison. I saw 2 tigers to the right of me pacing, pathetically.
And I turned to Wendy, pardon my language, but I’ll tell you exactly what I said. I said: “What the fuck is an elephant doing on 8 Mile and Woodward Ave. in Detroit in the first place?”
And she said: “I don’t know.”
And we walked up, face to face with these elephants, and if you pay attention to energy, and please don’t think this is weird, we do this all the time. Like with babies with infants, they don’t talk and communicate, but if a baby starts crying, “Please don’t… You thirsty? What…are you hungry? You need to be changed?” You’d figured out, look at their eyes, look at their movement. These elephants were swaying like this, neurotically.
Now, I’m no elephant expert but I know that’s not elephant behavior. I later found out that’s a neurotic behavior every elephant gets in every circus, because they’re kept in chain. In the wild, elephants walk 20 to 50 miles a day. I looked into their eyes, I saw nothing but hopelessness and fear, and I knew something was wrong. So that got me thinking: Where do my food come from? Where do my shoes come from? What really goes on in an animal research lab? So that’s when I started investigating, I’ve mentioned this earlier, I started going in to the Thorn Apple Valley pigs slaughterhouse. I started going into animal research labs. And I fought it at first, like everybody been – well, like most people do, I didn’t want to stop eating the animal, what else am I going to eat? Salads all day long? I mean, it’s really like it’s a myth out there, that all vegans live off of, is iceberg lettuce and tomatoes. Okay, this is not true, but that’s what I thought too.
So anyways, the more I thought about it, the more I realized, that I was a hypocrite. And here’s a paradox I want you to think about: Why do we call some animals “pets” and others “dinner”? Why do we fight for the rights of certain animals, to be happy and loved and safe? Dogs and cats in America, but others? “Hey! Slice their beaks off! Those damn hens, slice them off. Fully conscious! Those pigs, those piglets, rip their testicles out, screw ‘em!” There’s a major hypocrisy going on. You can see the choice that I make.
All I can ask you to do, is put your head on your pillow every night, and know that you are not responsible for premeditated acts of cruelty. Again, the world is tough enough for us, and especially for the animals. Do we have to make it worse by eating them? There’s no need, in this day and age, to be consuming any animal product, whatsoever. It’s time to let it go.
Audience: So, I noticed when I came in here, that you are not a member of PETA, why is that?
Gary Yourofsky: Ahh, I’m screwed. Full disclosure: 2002-2005 till November, PETA funded my tour. I was never a PETA employee. I took money from them as a sponsor — Independent contractor. I take money from anybody to do good things with it. I don’t think it’s wrong to take evil money and do good things with it.
Now, PETA pulled their funding from me in November ’05, because they told me that education isn’t important. Really? It’s the only thing that ever made the world a better place, was teaching somebody else about why they shouldn’t discriminate or harm somebody else. But, bottom line with PETA, the corporation that is PETA, with their corporate headquarters in Norfolk, Virginia, I’m a money-taker and not a moneymaker. I told you during the speech and I meant it. I’ve never once charged a school for a lecture. I’ve never once charged a professor to pay me to come to their classes. I’ve never once passed around a collection plate to students. I do not believe you should have to pay to learn about the truth.
Now, PETA – it costs me about $64,000 a year to do this tour, 35K to 40K is the travel, hotels, rental cars, food, gas. It’s not cheap because if I’m on the road seven and a half months a year, I take the rest so I can just live and pay my own bills, which is meager, it’s a meager salary that I get for doing this. But in the end, the accountants came in to PETA’s headquarters, Ingrid Newkirk’s offices, she’s the founder and president of PETA, and said: “You know we’ve given Gary $64,000 for 3 years, that’s $192,000. We also gave him $20,000 to put his speeches on DVD, that he gave out for free to the students, when he was supposed to charge them 10 bucks.”
When I first got these DVDs, people would always come up and say: “Hey Gary, I want to share this with my boyfriend, my girlfriend, my dad, my sister, whatever.”
And I’d go: “Oh, great, I got some DVDs, they’re 10 bucks.” And, you know, the average student would say: “I’m broke, I’m a student, what do you mean 10 bucks?”
I’m like: “Huh, okay, here you go…”
So I ended up — I gave out at least 95%, if not more, of my DVDs. Well, PETA found out about that, they were pissed off, and I used to say: “You guys make $25 million a year, you can’t give out a couple thousand DVDs to people, that are actually now begging to learn more about animal rights and veganism?”
So that, you know, obviously ended our relationship, when they pulled their funding from me. But something else I always condemned PETA, when I first started, while I took their money, and now that I don’t take their money, I still condemn them. They exploit women. Their tactics are so ridiculous. They’re always looking for a naked woman. Like Pam Anderson, they want to put Pam Anderson’s boobs on billboard all the time. Now, listen, I dig that Pam Anderson cares about animals, honestly. But her boobs don’t make anybody go vegan!
Now, when I used to bring this up with Ingrid, she used to say: “Do you know how many people see those billboards than see your speech?”
I’m like: “Oh, it’s not even close, millions more.”
Are you telling me guys who are walking through Time Square, New York City, there’s Pam on the billboard, and they go: “Holy shit, look at those tits! Let’s get some tofu!” There’s no connection.
Now, listen, I understand — I understand why sex is used, why women are exploited to sell products, I don’t like it. But, if you tell guys: “Spray this on, and 12 women are going to tackle you in the hallway and have sex with you!” Boy! Guys are out like: “Gimme some AXE, spray it all over me!”
You tell a guy: “You’re going to get laid if you buy a Harley!” Boy! Guys want to go and get a Harley. But you show Pam Anderson’s boobs…Nothing. In. Out. Doesn’t do anything.
And there’s a lot more horrible things going on in PETA. I actually have an essay on my website, if you click on “Other Animal Rights Issues”, I have an essay entitled “What’s Wrong with PETA?” and “What’s Wrong with the Humane Society of the US?” Which is nothing but an animal welfare group, that doesn’t want to see to free animals at all.
Next question. Let’s go up here and we’ll go back there in a sec.
Audience: You mentioned the pet thing earlier, how do feel about, you have pets that are carnivores and feeding them meat?
Gary Yourofsky: Bad idea. Now, let me preface this, I do not challenge anybody’s love for their dog or cat, if you’re a sane person, sane people, who have dogs and cats, treat them like family members. Unlike Michael Vick. But, you brought up a major problem with them.
Now, number one is they’re carnivores. Now, this means we have to enslave and kill more cows, pigs, chickens, turkeys and fish to feed the dogs and cats that we like more than the cows and the pigs. Now, hear me on this. I don’t care what carnivores do on their own in the wild. Who cares — I got the Planet Life series, Planet Earth series, I watch them on National Geographic, I can watch a lion tear up a zebra to pieces, it doesn’t bother me.
But we have no business killing on their behalf. And I’ll explain this in a simple way. Who’s got a cat? Somebody’s got to have a cat, in front? Somebody? Do you ever go outside and kill birds for your cat?
Audience: No, he brings them back.
Gary Yourofsky: Thank you. Cat does it on his own. Nobody kills a bird for their cat. But, you pay people at the slaughterhouse to kill birds for Science Diet, Iams, and all the other pet food. Just like we pay people to kill chickens and pigs for us because most people can’t shove a knife in somebody else’s throat. So, bad idea to have carnivorous pets.
Now, good news: In this day and age, there’s vegan dog food and cat food. Now, this being said, I am not here to turn your dogs and cats to vegans. I did not get kicked out of 5 countries, by the way, the other 4 countries, somebody asked, were England, Northern Ireland, Wales and Scotland. Even though I never set foot on their land ever, they preemptively threw me out, because they didn’t like my essays. But I did not get — I did not get arrested 13 times to turn your dogs and cats into vegans.
But, if you knew what was in dog food and cat food, let me mention the other problem of having dogs and cats, we over breed them. Every year we murder 5 to 10 million dogs and cats in our shelters every year. These are now slaughterhouses. So there needs to be a moratorium, too, until every cage is empty. But those 5 to 10 million dogs and cats in shelters that we kill every year, raise your hand if you think they end up in a landfill. You’re wrong.
Once a week, the rendering truck comes around, picks them all up, and grinds them up and sells them to Science Diet, Alpo and Iams and all the pet food companies. So we’re making our dogs and cats cannibals, and they don’t even eat real meat that they would normally eat. I never talked about chemicals in all the animals that people eat. This is for you too. This is a whole other issue on the side, that I’m more focused about ethics and stuff. Okay, but they eat… they eat chemically laced meat. They eat what’s left on the slaughterhouse floor, things that we don’t eat. Every time there’s a meat recall, or a spinach recall for E. coli, you don’t think that stuff ends up in landfill, do you? Science Diet and Alpo and Iams. So, this is why the vegan food is better for them.
Now, I want to show you something real quick. Actually, I knew this was going to happen this summer. I have never shown this before, but my dog, Rex, passed away in 2004, he was 15 years old. And Rex was a vegan for the last 9 years of his life. Nature’s Recipe, vegan dog food formula. Don’t tell me Rex doesn’t look wonderful, because he does. Because when I travel with him, and he came with me a lot on the road, I took him to vets when I had to, every vet freaked out and said: “Oh my God! You can’t make your dog a vegan Gary, because you’re a vegan! He’s a carnivore.”
I’m like: “Go ahead, do some blood work on him.”
They all do blood work, call me 3 or 4 days later say: “Mr. Yourofsky, all the vets are in the back room right now, we are astonished. Your dog is in the most amazing health we’ve ever seen.”
I said: “Yes, because my dog doesn’t eat garbage.”
And when I say ‘the garbage’, too, when I was at Thorn Apple Valley for six weeks, every day I saw a truck pull into the lot, the side of the truck says “meat not fit for human consumption”. I watched the truck go into the alleyway every day, took three garbage bins and dumped them out. The garbage bins. Right off to the pet food company. It wasn’t hard to track that down. So this is way that vegan stuff is better.
Now, the vegan cat food, by the way, is not on the market, got to go online and, I think vegancats.com, or evolution.com. But vegan dog food is at every pet food store that I’ve seen. It’s called Nature’s Recipe.
Speaker: Oh, I’m sorry, I see we’re out of time.
Gary Yourofsky: You know what? Thank you very much for listening, I appreciate it.