Gary Yourofsky

by Nicole from San Diego

Photograph of Gary Yourofsky ( ( Dr. C. Michele Martindill))
Photograph of Gary Yourofsky ( ( Dr. C. Michele Martindill))

If you truly love animals, then why do you only eat cows, pigs, chickens, or fish and not dogs or cats?  Why is it acceptable for humans to only eat flesh of some other animal, but not those in the household? Why would we think we are far more superior than animals? These are a few thought-provoking questions that Gary Yourofsky has explored throughout his life. Gary Yourofsky is an American animal rights activist and founder of Animals Deserve Absolute Protection Today and Tomorrow (ADAPTT). His impact on society has changed millions of people from all around the world and their views on animals, as well as the animal agriculture industries that manipulate us. Gary Yourofsky, not only is a hero, but is a truly significant human. He continues to educate and inspire people to be more compassionate and open minded through peaceful lectures and protests.

Yourofsky was born on August 19, 1970...holds a B.A. in journalism from Oakland University in Rochester, Michigan, and a radio/broadcasting degree from Specs Howard School of Broadcast Arts in Southfield, Michigan (ADAPTT). With these credentials, Yourofsky was able to educate and lecture people from all over the world. He has given 2,660 lectures to more than 60,000 people at 186 schools in 30 states and several Israeli cities/schools, including the U. of Alabama, U. of Florida and Georgia Tech (ADAPTT). In each lecture he convinces a large majority of people to become a vegan, which is a person who replaces all animal products with wholesome plants.

Gary showing compassion towards a young animal ( ())
Gary showing compassion towards a young animal ( ())

Yourofsky first began his journey to veganism and lecturing compassionately about animals' rights when he discovered the Shrine Circus, which raised funds for children injured in fires. His stepfather invited him to a behind-the-scenes tour. Yourofsky, at the time was a 23-year-old student (Darom). What Yourofsky first imaged were animals simply entertaining like they were born to, however, he saw something life changing. "'I had blinders on back then. I didn't know what was going on with the animals [...] until I got backstage. I saw the elephants lined up in chains, I saw the monkeys screaming [and] I started to think that this was more of a slave show'" (Darom). Yourofsky had a realization of what animals truly go through: hours on end of trying to please humans for entertainment. This was just the beginning of his journey, as Yourofsky began to research and visit slaughterhouses, and as a result, he had "awakened" into a path of compassion and kindness for all living beings. Later on, Yourofsky began to actively and peacefully protest for those who did not have a voice, which were the animals. For these actions, police departments "[have] arrested [Gary]  numerous times for random acts of kindness and compassion, and banished by five countries from entering their borders (ADAPPT).

Gary Yourofsky is my hero because he is open minded and open hearted to any situation in life. Just after Yourofsky witnessed a slave show of animals in a circus, he immediately researched and saw with his eyes the process of animal slaughter, and through this journey he held an open mind and heart: "Yourofsky started to wonder about the animals and whose flesh he ate and whose skin he wore.[when] his gaze encountered that of a pig. 'Our eyes locked together. And it was like he was asking, why are you doing this to me?...If dogs and cats were being treated this way, most people would be screaming bloody murder. But if it's cows, pigs, chickens, turkeys - that's okay. That's the way it's meant to be. Well, it's not okay. It's a horrible, vicious world that humans made'" (Darom). For Yourofsky to realize what animals go through everyday for human pleasure and entertainment takes an open-mind. Digging deeper and deeper into what animals experience and actually feel takes an open-heart. There is no humane slaughter or way to hurt an animal that wants to live, and there is no smile or love to killing. Without an open mind, people would be closed off to seeing that only dogs and cats are allowed to not be slaughtered, while other animals are. However, with an open mind, Yourofsky and many others see clearly that all animals are equal and deserve equity. Along with this thought, Yourofsky also began to 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.[t]hen 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'" (Darom). Humans coexist with all the other species living on Earth as well, so with that known, then why do humans believe that they are the superior to other species? Without our existence, all species on Earth would thrive, and with our existence Earth would die. With our continuation of the mindset of humans being superior to each specie, we impact everything around us very negligently. Being vegan is not only about diet, but the act of loving and being compassionate towards all beings no matter who they are, and what they have done. Yourofsky shows this important message by sharing and lecturing people, as a result, this sets an inspiring example for all. Gary Yourofsky's open heart and mind proves that with these qualities, one person can spark a change in the world.

Gary Yourofsky with a cow ( (Danya Kaufmann))
Gary Yourofsky with a cow ( (Danya Kaufmann))

Gary Yourofsky is a "deserving" hero because of his compassion towards anyone around him, no matter who or how they may be. Throughout Yourofsky's journey to veganism and discovering the truth, he became a kindhearted animal liberation activist: "In 1997, Gary liberated more than 1,500 soon-to-be-murdered minks from the Eberts Fur Farm in Blenheim, Ontario" (ADAPTT) Yourofsky's bravery for setting free soon-to-be-murdered minks was through compassion for animals' lives, not for fame or money. His kindness towards all living species has peacefully taught people that animals do have emotions that humans also feel. With this fact,  people are able to enable that kid spirit that once loved and cared about animals with their lives. As a result, becoming a more compassionate and caring being for both the animals and each other. In one of his lectures, adviser Chad Tew states, "This discussion is about the symbolic healing of our public forum" (EBSCO). In this lecture to Georgia Tech, Yourofsky enlightens and takes "blinders" off of those listening with an open heart. Within a free environment of no judgment and pure truth and love, a change can happen. This type of dynamic change in attitude creates an incredible type of healing and unites people to care for animals. Yourofsky's empathy impacts the world's mistaken views to clear and pure truth that ultimately wipes out all propaganda and lies spread thick by many industries and corporations.

As Gary Yourofsky once said: "'The problem is that humans have victimized animals to such a degree that they are not even considered victims. They are not even considered at all. They are nothing. They don't count; they don't matter; they're commodities like TV sets and cell phones. We have actually turned animals into inanimate objects - sandwiches and shoes.'" Through Yourofsky's powerful, compelling words, we must realize how we have become lost in the world we live in. Although many may not know that we consciously or unconsciously, passively hurt animals each day. We create and commit a conditioned evil within ourselves and pass it on to others. WE must be the change within ourselves to make a change of evilness. Anybody at any age can still make that connection that we are responsible for the harming of animals, which also includes the climate, environment, the people around us, and each specie. Through  compassionate and an open mind,we have a choice each day to heal ourselves or to support evilness with the choices of what we digest. Through compassionate and an open mind, we can learn to love ourselves and the animals. Gary Yourofsky is a hero for the animals and a hero for us.


Works Cited

"About Gary Yourofsky." Adaptt Biography in Context,, n.d. Web. Accessed

12Jan. 2017.

Darom, Naomi. "Is Vegan Superstar Gary Yourofsky an Animal Savior or a Mad Militant?" Haaretez Daily Newspaper,  

06 Sept. 2012. Web. 23 Jan.>.

"USI chapter hosts lecture with animal rights activist." Quill; Apr2008, Vol. 96 Issue 3, p7-7,

1/3p. Ebsco Host Biography In Context. Accessed 12 Jan. 2017.

Page created on 2/9/2017 12:00:00 AM

Last edited 10/5/2021 1:42:30 PM

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