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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 journeys.”
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.”
Robin Raven is the author of Santa’s First Vegan Christmas. She has written for publications such as The Malibu Times, Alabama Baby & Child Magazine, the official website of Melissa Gilbert, and USAToday.com. She holds a BFA from the School of Visual Arts and is now furthering her education. Robin often has her nose in a book and her arms around a rescued animal. She’s a vegan foodie who blogs at RobinRaven.com and loves to connect with readers on social media. You can follow her @RobinRaven on Twitter.
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