Is Violence Ever Necessary for Animal Liberation | Gary Y Famous Quote - VeggieBoards
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#1 Old 01-26-2015, 01:25 PM
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Is Violence Ever Necessary for Animal Liberation | Gary Y Famous Quote

Does violence have a place in the animal rights liberation movement? Vegan activist Gary Yourofsky thinks so and is a very controversial figure within the vegan community- particularly for a specific quote from on of his essays on violence. In this interview, Gary shares the full explanation of his stance on violence and when he feels it is necessary. Would love to hear your opinion in this mattter!
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Last edited by River; 01-28-2015 at 06:12 PM. Reason: Mod Edit: Removal of video inciting violence or law breaking. See Community Guidlelines or TOS.
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#2 Old 01-26-2015, 01:26 PM
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Oh god I find the timing of this hilarious.

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"You will always be fond of me. I represent to you all the sins you never had the courage to commit.”
Oscar Wilde, The Picture of Dorian Gray
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#3 Old 01-26-2015, 11:51 PM
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Thanks for clarifying Gary's opinions on this matter!
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#4 Old 01-27-2015, 08:24 AM
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Mod post: I am moving this thread to the Compost Heap, as I am sure it will bring a lovely debate on violence as a social movement tactic.

Keep it theoretical folks
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#5 Old 01-27-2015, 11:18 AM
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Animal liberation is not the fundamental goal of veganism. The larger goal is to shape a world where all animals can live together. We do this, not by living by the rules of the past, but by inventing new ones. Yourofsky has lost sight of this, if he ever saw it to begin with. BiteSizeVegan, yours is the better idea, that education is the way. Gary is a relic from the Dark Ages, a willing participant in a 'Hatfield vs. the McCoys' feud situation, where, "They started it!" justifies the perpetuation- the cycle- of destruction. He speaks of violence, but what he's really talking about is, premeditated warfare. Those who favor war think backward, not forward, and, as with them all, his arguments and justifications are sophistry. He's far too intelligent to believe that violence can ever end animal husbandry. I think his goal is simply to garner publicity for himself and his lecture business. Like Hollywood, he knows violence sells tickets, so he panders to the violent among us. In his way, he's as much a profiteer as those who operate the slaughterhouses. They're all living according to the past. I would not follow him.

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#6 Old 01-27-2015, 02:16 PM
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The thing is I agree that education can only take things so far and yet I am not in favour of violence...Therefore there is a conundrum...How can things ultimately change if education makes such slow progress overall?...Perhaps some kind of financial incentive/ taxation alongside education could help?
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#7 Old 01-27-2015, 06:01 PM
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The stage of consciousness that this planet is at is where it is at. What matters is where our own consciousness is at so as to determine whether we (as individuals) will evolve to a place where less animal abuse occurs. This can require very aggressive hard work toward vegetarian nature. Violence is not necessary for a skilled hard worker. More work can be accomplished by non-violent activism. But the aggressive work that is mentioned above in itself can turn into scrapes with violence. Best to be careful but then good to return with an effective counter move. Which is capable of being very aggressive. Maybe not violent but very harrowing aggression. This is referring to common abuses in our community that most people just avoid. This may involve a defense which is prepared to utilize what can be considered violent defense. It works, it does stop abuses. If you don't know what you are capable of and if you aren't prepared to stand up for what is right, you may end up tending to be an ineffectual conformist.
See, meat-eating behavior has its roots in community mentalities. Gotta fight. No need to get violent, but then a skilled non-violent activist has effect that is worse than violent action.
And if violent defense becomes the best move well, then that unfortunately happens. We didn't stop Hitler by asking him to abide by common rules of decency. We attacked and killed in the name of what rightly needed to be done.
Look at the things that Earth First does, confronting illegal whaling ships, bringing attention to Northern Redwood tree near extinction, by violent defensive actions against loggers.
These activists, including the animal liberation activists aren't out seeking glory, they don't want to risk their lives or freedom but you know some people are not into running away and crying and crying and crying.
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#8 Old 01-27-2015, 06:23 PM
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Originally Posted by Enthios View Post
The stage of consciousness that this planet is at is where it is at. What matters is where our own consciousness is at so as to determine whether we (as individuals) will evolve to a place where less animal abuse occurs. This can require very aggressive hard work toward vegetarian nature. Violence is not necessary for a skilled hard worker. More work can be accomplished by non-violent activism. But the aggressive work that is mentioned above in itself can turn into scrapes with violence. Best to be careful but then good to return with an effective counter move. Which is capable of being very aggressive. Maybe not violent but very harrowing aggression. This is referring to common abuses in our community that most people just avoid. This may involve a defense which is prepared to utilize what can be considered violent defense. It works, it does stop abuses. If you don't know what you are capable of and if you aren't prepared to stand up for what is right, you may end up tending to be an ineffectual conformist.
See, meat-eating behavior has its roots in community mentalities. Gotta fight. No need to get violent, but then a skilled non-violent activist has effect that is worse than violent action.
And if violent defense becomes the best move well, then that unfortunately happens. We didn't stop Hitler by asking him to abide by common rules of decency. We attacked and killed in the name of what rightly needed to be done.
Look at the things that Earth First does, confronting illegal whaling ships, bringing attention to Northern Redwood tree near extinction, by violent defensive actions against loggers.
These activists, including the animal liberation activists aren't out seeking glory, they don't want to risk their lives or freedom but you know some people are not into running away and crying and crying and crying.
Enthios, you seem to be saying on the one hand you agree with a non-violent approach whilst on the other you are in favour of a violent approach if it is a last resort?...
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#9 Old 01-27-2015, 06:40 PM
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How again is violence supposed to turn a sausage-eater into a seitan-eater? "Shocking people to get their attention" usually enters the conversation about now, but I'm just not seeing it land there and benefit animals or make veganism look like an alternative for people looking for a better way. Whether you're inflicting physical injury or destroying property or intimidating with threats, it seems to me any violent tactic would provoke retaliation sooner than it would recruit a single vegan. The many can wreak more havoc on the few than the few can wreak on the many, and guess who's got the numbers on their side. And the laws, and the tradition-borne customs, and the money, and the public support. Violence can turn that around how?
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#10 Old 01-27-2015, 08:18 PM
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It is a fact of life that violence may be required to stop violence.
If you don't understand the art of fighting then don't go there then.
It is not for everybody.
Don't believe in letting evil persist in your surroundings, get tough, get aggressive, work on correcting the wrong-doing and don't let others get away with what they are doing if it is truly wrong. Violence is rarely necessary. But evil often will assault. And if there isn't someone who can stop it then more damage can occur. And yes countering with highly skilled defensive violence does stop such stuff.
How many revolutions to replace truly corrupt violent governments have done so without violence?

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#11 Old 01-27-2015, 08:32 PM
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So you don't think that some other, non-violent, way to force people to change their behaviour - such as financial penalties - has a role?
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#12 Old 01-27-2015, 08:46 PM
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Of course there are tons of non-violent solutions to everything.
Non-violent activism is the most successful and important and preferred.
But be prepared to defend when needed.

Caring about our health is caring about our very state of being and future which is a very good thing to be seriously concerned about making the most of.

 

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#13 Old 01-27-2015, 09:13 PM
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Thanks for clarifying your thoughts on this!
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#14 Old 01-27-2015, 09:50 PM
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We didn't stop Hitler by asking him to abide by common rules of decency. We attacked and killed in the name of what rightly needed to be done.
This is one of Gary's arguments, but if you're going to cite history, you should at least try to understand it. Hitler could never have risen to power, if it were not for the greed of the Allies- the victors of World War One. The Treaty of Versailles condemned a new generation of Germans to hunger, poverty and humiliation with its harsh penalties. When the Great Depression arrived, it hit the Germans hardest of all. It's little wonder, once they grew up, they turned toward a madman to lead them out of their dilemma. Had we treated the people of Germany with humanity and fairness following WWI, World War Two might not have happened. We did it to ourselves. This is the step that's missing in Gary's reasoning. It's why he doesn't see the bigger picture.

The issue isn't violence. The issues are greed, ignorance and anger. These are the things that need to change.

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#15 Old 01-28-2015, 03:49 AM
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Yourofsky epitomizes one of the many problems I have with comparing animal slaughter with the genocidal design of the death camps. If pigs were to stage a revolt on those who would slaughter them, a la the Warsaw Uprising, or take up arms to release their captive fellow pigs, the parallel would begin to work on me. This does not, and piggybacking on the Holocaust to justify the idea of pulling guns on animal farmers just compounds the outrage. And an American like Yourofsky has a particular gall invoking WWII as a parallel example, as "the Allies going into Nazi Germany to save Jews": Franklin Roosevelt was not able to win popular backing to enter World War II on the basis of the mass killings at the death camps. Our country didn't allow enough Jews to enter the US to make any difference while they were still able to leave Europe, and we didn't enter the war until after Pearl Harbor was attacked. That's what it took before our country would sign on: A direct assault on an American installation, sinking American ships, destroying American structures, and killing American sailors. That was the day that would "live in infamy," not the day we first became aware of the death camps and the crematoria.
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#16 Old 01-28-2015, 04:31 AM
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I've always thought groups that included crazy violent people had a special obligation to keep an eye on the ones they were aware of. To prevent incidents such as when the guy shot the security guard at the Holocaust Museum, the couple shot up a mall after spending time with and being rejected by militia-types on Bundy's ranch in Nevada, or when an abortion provider was murdered while attending a church service.

Veganism doesn't seem to attract a lot of crazy violent people, not the way gun causes do, for example, but it's not about how many, it's about how much damage even one can do. Surely Adam Lanza wasn't the only one, nor the last. When loudmouths with an audience claim a necessity for violence, they set off the crazies (no longer talking about Lanza here). Besides the tragedy of the murdered people, the whole group is tagged with the shame of the act. Yourofsky might not be crazy himself (the jury's still out on that one I think), but he certainly has the ability to set off some even-less-stable character who would hear his words as a clarion call. Yourofsky gives me the creeps, like the internet Mullahs calling for their maladjusted loner faithful Internet followers to shower down retribution on the infidels.
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#17 Old 01-28-2015, 05:22 AM
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This is one of Gary's arguments, but if you're going to cite history, you should at least try to understand it. Hitler could never have risen to power, if it were not for the greed of the Allies- the victors of World War One. The Treaty of Versailles condemned a new generation of Germans to hunger, poverty and humiliation with its harsh penalties. When the Great Depression arrived, it hit the Germans hardest of all. It's little wonder, once they grew up, they turned toward a madman to lead them out of their dilemma. Had we treated the people of Germany with humanity and fairness following WWI, World War Two might not have happened. We did it to ourselves. This is the step that's missing in Gary's reasoning. It's why he doesn't see the bigger picture.

The issue isn't violence. The issues are greed, ignorance and anger. These are the things that need to change.
I think that Germany was the main instigator of WW1...For example, the UK only entered the war after Germany invaded Belgium, with a clear intention to take France...So although they were treated harshly in the aftermath, the Kaiser needs to take a fair chunk of the blame...

I agree entirely that geopolitical events occurring at the end of WW1/ following WW1 were vast in scale. The Russian revolution occurred and as you rightly mentioned, the allied splitting up of Europe and the great depression hit Germany hard...

There was speculation that some Jewish Marxists may have contributed to a minor revolution in Germany right at the very end of WW1, which was blamed by some patriots as the cause of losing the war (obviously they had already lost by then but this was a convenient scapegoat)...

Hitler expertly capitalised on these issues and wriggled himself into power even whilst old WW1 veteran leaders distrusted him, such was his sway over the people...

So yes any population under these sorts of duresses would be vulnerable to extremist rhetoric...

I agree that if Germany had fared better following WW1 then the people would not have been as vulnerable to this poisonous rhetoric...

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#18 Old 01-28-2015, 05:36 AM
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If pigs were to stage a revolt on those who would slaughter them, a la the Warsaw Uprising, or take up arms to release their captive fellow pigs, the parallel would begin to work on me.
The lack of uprising doesn't mean that the pigs are happy with the situation though, it just means that they are absolutely not capable of fighting back...It makes the situation even more weighted against them...
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#19 Old 01-28-2015, 05:42 AM
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The lack of uprising doesn't mean that the pigs are happy with the situation though, it just means that they are absolutely not capable of fighting back...It makes the situation even more weighted against them...
Well, obviously. But I wouldn't invoke the Holocaust in describing their plight because of the reasons I took a bit of trouble to lay out. And again, we didn't get into WWII to rescue Jews from Nazis, which is maybe the biggest fatal flaw in the comparison. It's maybe only a slight exaggeration to say we waited until the Jews had nearly all been killed before a single Jew was rescued.
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#20 Old 01-28-2015, 05:45 AM
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Well, obviously. But I wouldn't invoke the Holocaust in describing their plight because of the reasons I took a bit of trouble to lay out. And again, we didn't get into WWII to rescue Jews from Nazis, which is maybe the biggest fatal flaw in the comparison.
Their innocence and suffering is akin to what went on in the human Holocaust though, both are moral outrages...
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#21 Old 01-28-2015, 05:46 AM
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Gary Yourofsky is a charlatan. He presents himself as an "activist" but do remember that he is paid for his lecture engagements. Was he paid for this video? I'm not sure why BiteSizeVegan has chosen to given Yourofsky this additional platform for his insane views.

He shows an extreme lack of empathy toward human animals and has no regard for the lives of those who might unfortunately take his words to heart. We have a name for violence in the name of ideology: terrorism.
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#22 Old 01-28-2015, 05:55 AM
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Their innocence and suffering is akin to what went on in the human Holocaust though, both are moral outrages...
I'm not disputing that there are any similarities. If I were Jewish myself I would profoundly resent the comparison of Jews to pigs, for reasons I can't even begin to explain to you except to say that bringing on those comparisons detracts from the humanity of the people being so compared. I watched the video. I listened to that jackass. What I'm disputing is Yourofsky's invocation of such a parallel as a way to justify violence against humans to benefit animals. I'm particularly disputing his use of the image of "Allies going into Nazi Germany to rescue Jews," for the reasons (and with the alarmed concerns) I've already laid out.
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#23 Old 01-28-2015, 06:08 AM
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I'm not disputing that there are any similarities. If I were Jewish myself I would profoundly resent the comparison of Jews to pigs, for reasons I can't even begin to explain to you except to say that bringing on those comparisons detracts from the humanity of the people being so compared. I watched the video. I listened to that jackass. What I'm disputing is Yourofsky's invocation of such a parallel as a way to justify violence against humans to benefit animals. I'm particularly disputing his use of the image of "Allies going into Nazi Germany to rescue Jews," for the reasons (and with the alarmed concerns) I've already laid out. If you don't get it at this point, it's not gonna happen, I'm afraid.
I understand what you are saying, rest assured it's not tensor calculus.

In the context I am using, in terms of sentience I would compare myself to a pig/ sheep/ cow etc...And so I would compare other humans to these animals too...No bias for any particular group of humans...And no derogatory meaning associated with these comparisons...

I completely understand that in other contexts people use comparisons with non-human animals unfavourably...This is not what I am doing...And I am always clear that this is absolutely not where I am coming from...
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#24 Old 01-28-2015, 06:13 AM
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I don't know how express my concrete concerns more plainly without getting into specifics, which we've (wisely) been asked not to do in this thread. Yourofsky was under no such constraints in the interview. His specifics scare the bejesus out of me. Others might respond to the same stimulus as a call to arms. When I talk about gun groups and anti abortion groups not keeping their crazies in line, I'm aware that in those groups are many who say "Wow, I wish I had the guts to do what that guy did." That is one component of not keeping an eye on those most susceptible to taking speeches, sermons, blogs, interviews as literal instructions: the hope that someone else will actually go out and do that violent thing.
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#25 Old 01-28-2015, 06:18 AM
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I don't know how express my concrete concerns more plainly without getting into specifics, which we've (wisely) been asked not to do in this thread. Yourofsky was under no such constraints in the interview. His specifics scare the bejesus out of me. Others might respond to the same stimulus as a call to arms. When I talk about gun groups and anti abortion groups not keeping their crazies in line, I'm aware that in those groups are many who say "Wow, I wish I had the guts to do what that guy did." That is one component of not keeping an eye on those most susceptible to taking speeches as literal instructions: the hope that someone else will actually go out and do that violent thing.
I agree very much that a non-violent approach is the way to go
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#26 Old 01-28-2015, 07:43 AM
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For the umpteenth time I agree with Gary 100% . And I wish I had his courage and dedication ...possibly one day. Also I wonder if all vegans in the word simultaneously followed his example if that would be the end of animal slavery...?

it takes guts to be gentle and kind
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#27 Old 01-28-2015, 07:52 AM
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For the umpteenth time I agree with Gary 100% . And I wish I had his courage and dedication ...possibly one day. Also I wonder if all vegans in the word simultaneously followed his example if that would be the end of animal slavery...?
That's a good Q! I guess we'd be outnumbered...
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#28 Old 01-28-2015, 07:56 AM
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For the umpteenth time I agree with Gary 100% . And I wish I had his courage and dedication ...possibly one day. Also I wonder if all vegans in the word simultaneously followed his example if that would be the end of animal slavery...?

not at this time, we'd be wiped out. if we were about 1/3 Rd of population? maybe.
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#29 Old 01-28-2015, 07:56 AM
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That's a good Q! I guess we'd be outnumbered...
I'm sure there is a vegan per every slaughterhouse in the world....

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#30 Old 01-28-2015, 08:01 AM
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Wonder if the animals would then step in and use horns teeth hooves and beaks. We wouldn't be outnumbered then. And if that's too laughable for reality then we could sell this as a script to create an alternative version of lord of the rings (animals instead of trees).

But jokes aside for every global change there needs to be a revolution
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