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Published:March 30th, 2007 05:02 EST
Veganism: One of the Original Ways of Life

Veganism: One of the Original Ways of Life

By Garrett Godwin

Gary Yourofksy has his own definition of meat.  "It is a cut-up course of a dismembered animal" he said.  According to him, people eat meat because it "tastes good."  Yourofsky also states there is no reason for eating meat; only an excuse.  "If we don`t kill animals" states the 36-year-old, "they`re going to take over the world."

Gary Yourofsky was born in Oak Park, Michigan on August 19, 1970, where he ate meat for most of his life until the age of 25.  "My blinders were opened wide nice and tight" he said when growing up.  On July 24, 1996, he was born again as a vegan, which is someone who refrains from eating cheese and drinking milk as well as not consuming meat from animals.  He is also the founder of ADAPTT, known as Animals Deserve Absolute Protection Today and Tomorrow, a non-profit animal rights organization with the belief "that all animals have an inherent right to be free and live completely unfettered by human dominance."

His goal is to reconnect people with animals because we all used to be connected.  "When we were kids" he said, "we used to be in awe of animals.  When it comes to treating animals, we used to have a sense of right and wrong.  Why we choose not to be their protectors is a mystery to me."  When speaking on veganism, Gary isn`t looking for compliments on his speech, but looking for people to wake up and realize what they`ve been eating.  "It is so disheartening", he continues, "that I present a speech about compassion for animals.  I don`t know if I`m more embarrassed as an American.  Shouldn`t we try to end cruelty as we can?"

According to Yourofsky, we were born vegan, but chose to eat because it was shoved down our throats.  "Everything humans do is 100% backwards" he said, "which is few want to hear.  We`re not gods nor angelic.  We`re not saints nor perfect.  As long as my species are doing wrong, I`m included.  Gary also states that we, humanity, are selfish and barbaric.  "Humans are acting volatile against the animals on the same planet they live in" he responds.  To the world, he continues, humans and animals are completely different.  When speaking, one of the people in the audience states to him that "they`re just chicken."  But not to Gary Yourofsky, who believes that eating meat is not only "the root of all evil", but it is also a sin, a crime, and an injustice. 

"We believe that our species is superior", he states, "a basis for all forms of discrimination.  When I was growing up, my parents were pretty cool.  They taught me that discrimination is wrong in any form.  It is always easy for victimizers to mock the victims due to human suffering.  Hatred, sexism, racism -- these are all learned behavior.  Cruelty is cruelty, and discrimination is discrimination."

Meat has five components: blood, flesh, vein, muscles, and tendon.  "How can people not define it as disgusting?" Gary asks.  "If it`s not good enough for my eyes, then why is it good enough for my stomach?  Ignorance is bliss."  Gary wants us and the rest of the world to treat animals not as neither food nor enemies, but rather friends and neighbors.  Use empathy, he said, but don`t over think.  Also, use The Golden Rule, which is found in Matthew 7:12 in the Word of God, for a change: treat everybody -- including animals -- with compassion and mercy.

"It is time to get back on track with compassion" he states, "and it starts with the dinner table."  However, according to Gary, you can`t serve two masters at once.  In this case, you can`t fight injustice when eating meat.  "[Besides compassion], Peace [also] begins in the dinner table" he said once again.

Looks like Alice Walker, agrees with him.  "The animals of the world", said The Color Purple author, "exist for their own reasons.  They were not created for humans any more than blacks were created for whites or women were created for men."

Gary Yourofsky knows that being a vegan in 2007 is never easy, especially when it comes to milk, cheese, meat, eggs, and other dairy products.  But, according to him, that doesn`t mean giving up everything; you`re trying to live life the "vegan version".  "I know people think I`m radical", he said, "Because peace is a radical statement.  I`m no PR person.  I`m no salesperson.  I`m here to talk about the worst cruelty to animals.  There is only one way to be free, and that is veganism." 

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