Gary is the founder of the ‘abolitionist’ wing of veganism, which is best encapsulated in his quote: “Please wake up to the reality that, if you are not vegan, you are directly participating in animal exploitation.” I recently had the opportunity to chat with Gary about his lifelong activism in this regard.
Phil: The majority of people believe in kindness towards animals, right? And yet, they will turn around and without even considering what they are about to do, they go and have a hamburger. So what is it Gary? For most people, is it just a habit that they’ve grown up with?
Gary: Yes, it’s a habit. [But it’s more than that. Many people have memories] of having Thanksgiving dinner with their grandmother, or Christmas dinner with people they love. And it therefore becomes rather difficult to think about those times as events of violence. It’s hard to think of your grandmother as a bad person because of her dietary choices, you know? And it’s the same with the rest of your family…are they bad people? And so, in a sense, it’s habit… and it’s tradition. But it’s also the relentless meat and dairy industry propaganda that we’ve been exposed to since we were children.
There’s a group of people in the world who just don’t care, and you’re never gonna get them to care. But, most people do care. Most people have had loving relationships with non-human animals in their lives. And the question becomes, why is it that they don’t see the inconsistency between the animals they love and what ends up on their plate? All anyone can do is try to get them to see the inconsistency, and to deeply reflect on their choices in that regard.
Watch the full interview below: