In this interview, vegan activist Gary Yourofsky speaks about how to be an effective animal activist and deal with the mental and emotional toll of awareness.
Upon opening our eyes and realizing the extent of animal suffering in this world, many of us come to the desperate question “What can I do?” If you’re like me, you want to make a difference in the world and have an impact for the animals’ sake. In this first installation of my interview series with vegan activist Gary Yourofsky, we talk about how to take effective action for animals.
If you’re already an animal activist, you’ll know that this work takes its toll on you. In this video, Gary also addresses his experience of dealing with the overwhelming suffering in this world. We must not lose hope, for as Gary says, whatever we as activists are going through, it’s nothing compared to what the animals are going through.
To hear Gary’s answer in full, be sure to check out the video, but here is a golden nugget:
“Enlightenment is bitter sweet, and I’ve told this to a lot of people. It is bitter sweet. it’s wonderful to know the truth, to see the truth, to live the truth, but it’s maddening to see how selfish and evil our species can be you have to keep on going for the animals, that’s the only thing. Just think about them and keep on going for them.”
What are your thoughts on and experiences with animal activism–have you found what is effective for you? How do you handle burn-out? I’d love to hear from you in the comments!
— Emily Moran Barwick
Gary Yourofsky is one of my favorite activists and I agree with him in this interview.
And although I agree with Gary regarding not really concerning yourself with global human rights, I do think we should stay aware of what’s going on in the world; I don’t think we should just forget about others in the world and be ignorant about what’s going on in the world, and I do think we should also help our own species locally from wherever you are. I think it’s imperative as a vegan (veganism is by the way someone who fights for injustice toward both species–not just animals; to support animal rights and not support human rights is being speciest. Being a speciest is not just in regards to animal injustice).
Yes, it is a lot of work, but start in your own backyard, locally, in animal and human rights, as well as supporting the environment in ways like recycling, picking up trash, etc…. It’s just human decency and the right thing to do ethically.
Also, if you don’t support human rights as well, you may be accused of hating humans and you will have lost your chance of convincing a lot of people to become vegans. Showing hatred and non-support of the fellow human race is a huge turn-off for non-vegans, and I believe a turn-off for most all people.
Oh, to correct an error: I meant veganism is by the way someone who fights AGAINST injustice toward both species.
Emily Moran Barwick (BiteSizeVegan) says
thank you for the comment Lorrie. and I so think people can definitely miss the vegan message if they assume it means human-hating. and i don’t think being aware of human issues is a problem at all- i think gary’s point was to take action with things that you can control. (not that you were saying he wasn’t) :)