For 25 years, nobody ate more meat than Gary Yourofsky. He wore
leather shoes and even owned a goat fur coat.
But now, at age 36, Yourofsky is a vegan activist. He neither eats nor
wears anything that once had a face, a mother or a bowel movement.
Yourofsky is the founder of the Royal Oak-based animal rights
organization, ADAPTT (Animals Deserve Absolute Protection Today and
Tomorrow). Lean, toned, and just a little bald, he delivers his litany
to college classrooms around the country. Since ADAPTT's 1996
inception, Yourofsky has given nearly 1,000 lectures -- and on Nov. 14,
he spoke at Wayne State University.
Yourofsky shows footage he took himself showing the gruesome inside of
slaughterhouses. Cows are chopped up and baby chicks run through
grinders. He uses "Even God Must Get the Blues" by Jo Dee Messina as
background music, and as the line, "Rain falls down from heaven"
plays, a goat's blood sprays from its wounded neck on to the ground.
As people turned away from the footage, Yourofsky said, "If it's not
good enough for your eyes, then why your stomach?"
According to Yourofsky, 98-99 percent of all animal abuse occurs in
the meat, dairy and egg industry. Also, it is an industry that uses up
70 percent of the U.S.'s crops that could be used to feed humans. Meat
and dairy are subsidized by the government. Water is free to farmers,
and cattle are allowed to graze on public land. It is about supply and
demand. If people stop wanting these products, the cruelty would stop,
"How is soy gross? Blood, flesh, veins, muscles and tendons are
gross," said Yourofsky.
Yet at the heart of his argument, Yourofsky feels animals should be
treated by the golden rule. Animals should be treated as humans are
treated. He quoted clergyman William Inge as saying, "If animals
formed a religion, humans would be depicted as the devil."