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Gary Yourofsky shocked supporters when he
announced his retirement from social media. In what he called his final social
media post, he stated, “My tank is completely empty, so I will no longer be
online or active in any capacity besides helping students with animal rights
projects and answering emails from people who are beginning their vegan
He explained that his 18 years of
face-to-face activism, which he started in 1996, and his online activism that
began more recently have left his mind worn out. In his post, he touched upon
the fact that he started his journey as an animal rights activist after seeing
a chained elephant at The Shrine Circus, and he has since participated in
hundreds of demonstrations. His activism also included traveling from 2002 through
2014 to give lectures on topics that included ethics.
After drawing attention to some of the
things he accomplished as an activist, he accused others, stating, “Fast
forward to 2017, and it’s pretty obvious that ‘the struggle’ took its toll on
me, especially when the majority of the animal rights movement
(apologists/pacifists/intersectionalists) is more concerned about offending
“oppressed” humans instead of demanding an end to their oppressive hypocrisy!”
Gary is no stranger to controversy, yet his
mischaracterization of intersectional activists (who are against any
oppression) as part of his good-bye is puzzling. He then gave five points he wants to make
before saying good-bye.
In the first point, he wrote, “Since
humanity thrives on abuse, discrimination and injustice 24/7, I no longer
believe veganism can reduce or eliminate the depraved things we do to each
other.” He hasn’t given up on the lifestyle, though, ultimately concluding in
the point, “Fortunately, vegan lifestyles weren’t created for us. They exist to
reduce and eliminate the depraved things we do to animals and the environment.
So the fight to end speciesism must continue!”
Within his other points, he takes back
stating that there were no vegan rapists in the prisons of the world and talks
about who he perceives as human rights hypocrites.
Gary goes on to give shout-outs to people
who have helped him along the way. He then advises activists, “Just speak for
the animals like you would want to be spoken for if you were in their position,
and always follow YOUR heart when it comes to activism. Stop thinking of ideas
when you can put those ideas INTO ACTION instead!” Clearly soured on
conferences and meetings, he then asked activists to stop having them.
Gary concluded, “Unfortunately, you will
discover that enlightenment is bittersweet. Seeing the truth, knowing the
truth, and living the truth is wonderful. But realizing how evil our family,
friends and species are is maddening! Just keep opening the eyes of as many
people as you can for as long as you can so one day you, too, can say “tag,
you’re it” to a bunch of people you’ve influenced.”