Jewish vegan activist Gary Yourofsky has been banned from Canada and Britain as a terrorist for his militant approach to activism. Yet, this December, the YouTube sensation and Israeli vegan celebrity of sorts is planning another controversial visit to Israel and claims he will not tone down his rhetoric.
Yourofsky, who is proud of his Jewish roots, regularly compares the eating of animals to the Holocaust, often offending families impacted by the Holocaust with his claims.
“Jews were being killed because people didn’t do anything,” he said in a recent interview. “Animals are being victimized because people say that’s the law of the land. Nobody wants to be violent for a chicken.”
When asked why he, as a Jew, chooses to make comparisons that many fellow Jews find upsetting to their loved one’s memories, Yourofsky quickly defends his stance.
“I agree that a lot of people make too many Holocaust comparisons,” he admitted. “However, here’s why the comparison is valid. In America today–right now, as we speak?30 million animals are killed by the meat, dairy and eggs industry.”
Born in the United States, Yourofsky turned to vegan activism after seeing the suffering of the chained and caged animals when the circus came to town. Then, while still a student, Yourofsky decided to do something about it, running afoul of the law and ultimately being jailed and deported from Canada after he went on a mission to free 1,500 mink on a Canadian farm.
Today, and 13 arrests later, he regularly uses offensive and violent language to promote veganism and encourages his followers to break the law.
“People don’t think a human should be killed for a chicken,” he stressed. “I disagree, and I think the chickens disagree.”
Although he is on a break from public speaking engagements in the United States, Yourofsky’s Israel tour, funded by donations from his growing number of Israeli followers including many Israeli celebrities, will put the vegan spokesperson once again in the spotlight. While in the Israel, the activist plans uncompromising speeches laced with calls to violence to stop what he deems the “ongoing animal holocaust.”
“You can pass all the anti-animal cruelty laws you want, but until the masses understand why it’s evil to enslave and murder animals, the laws are toothless,” Yourofsky said, pointing to Israel’s recent animal welfare reforms. “Governments are incapable of making the world a better place. The masses, on the other hand, can make this happen.”