Gary Yourofsky on Keeping your sanity in a cruel world
I sometimes find it difficult to not feel depressed when considering all the animal cruelty taking place in the world. And the question; how do you keep your sanity in a world filled with so much cruelty, is readily on my mind.
One of the people I love listening to, is Gary Yourofsky. In my opinion, this man is invaluable in the spreading of information regarding animal rights, veganism and why we should end the cruelty now.
Thus, it seemed only natural to reach out to Gary and and thank him for his service, and also bring up the topic on how to keep your sanity in an insane world.
It didn’t take more than a few hours before I got a reply, and it reads as follows.
Thanks for choosing to be a sane person in this insane world.
I am not immune to the frustration, anger and madness either. I am a proud misanthrope these days, and a recluse. When I am not giving 200 lectures annually, I am at home with my dog and wife. I dislike everyone else.
But, as you know, you still gotta fight the good fight. It is now your job to find people who ARE thirsting for knowledge, who aren’t comfortably numb with all the cruelty inflicted on the animal kingdom. And teach them. Unfortunately, you have discovered that enlightenment is bittersweet. On one hand, it is wonderful to see the truth, to know the truth, and to live the truth. However, it is maddening to realize how evil our family, friends and species can be! Fortunately, not all of us are evil nor beyond help. Find the good ones and forget about banging your head against the wall with the reprobates.
Obviously Gary too, feels despair, hopelessness, and anger. If he didn’t, he probably wouldn’t be doing what he does.
I know that both myself and countless others feel the same way Gary does; which is why the following part is so important.
But, as you know, you still gotta fight the good fight.
In other words, it doesn’t matter how shitty you feel about something, because that is not going to make the life of a single animal any better. The only thing that can, is being active. Speak up!
It is now your job to find people who ARE thirsting for knowledge, who aren’t comfortably numb with all the cruelty inflicted on the animal kingdom. And teach them.
What Gary has shown us is that speaking up works. It’s effective. It might not feel like that’s the case all the time, and you may feel like whatever you do is just a drop in the bucket. But eventually, that bucket will fill up. It will overflow.
As Gary has pointed out; it took a long time to convince white people that they couldn’t own black people, so you can only imagine how long it will take to convince people that abusing animals is not okay. That doesn’t mean we shouldn't fight for change though, quite the contrary!
Long after we’re all dead, and men and women who have yet to be born look back on history, I promise you, the people who stood up for what’s right, will be the celebrated ones. Future men and women will be asking themselves; what the hell were we thinking with all that cruelty?
Like Gary says; truth is bittersweet. It’s wonderful to see the truth, but on the other hand it hurts. It hurts to see friends, family and strangers make light of animal rights. It hurts when they laugh. It hurts when they act like you're the crazy one, when all you're really trying to do is not hurt others.
Fortunately, not all of us are evil nor beyond help. Find the good ones and forget about banging your head against the wall with the reprobates.
I think what we can take away from the above is that some people are beyond help, and that trying to convince said people will only drive you crazy. Instead, seek out those with potential to become vegan, and do whatever you can to convince them.
The Best Speech You Will Ever Hear
In closing I want to leave you with what has come to be known as the best speech you will ever hear on the issue of animal rights.
It can be hard to watch at times, but if you consume animal products, you at least have a moral obligation to understand where what you eat comes from, and not just turn a blind eye to the suffering.
Gary encourages you to ask yourself
"If it's not good enough for my eyes, why is it good enough for my stomach?"
For the animals,
Capacity to suffer
The ethics of drinking milk
Is it offensive to compare the holocaust with the meat industry?
Will animals go extinct if the world becomes vegan?