Yesterday I watched this great video of Gary Yourofsky giving a speech about veganism (see my post about it here). I've seen a lot of talks in my 15 years of vegetarianism and this one was by far the best I've seen. He blew me away with his energy, in-depth knowledge on the topic, and ability to reach and connect to the audience.
Being a vegan, he just further renewed my committment to veganism. But for those who are not yet, he has the ability to make a huge impact!
After watching it I passed it on to my husband, who has been vegetarian for 15 years and went vegan about two months ago. He thought the video was great as well! He couldn't believe how well Gary delivered the message.
It is literally a video that I wish everyone I knew would watch. It's that darn good!
After watching it I shot Gary an e-mail to provide feedback about how great I thought it was. He responded almost immediately to say that he has hung up his activist career and will be moving on to a regular 9-5 job. His e-mail explained that for the past nine years he has had a sponsor, which allowed him to make a living as he delivered this message to students around the country, over 200 times per year!
The real kicker here is that for the last three years his sponser has been a meat eater! So while vegan and animal rights groups haven't thought his speeches were worthy of saving, a meat eater did!
He hasn't had luck finding another sponsor to step in, so he has to get a regular job and give up this activism.
Wow! I can't get it out of my mind that this is happening. If you watch the video you will clearly see that this man has a gift for doing this and it is his passion. This movement absolutely needs Gary Yourofsky! The animals need Gary. I want Gary's voice out there telling it like it is and sharing the message to so many young people each year.
What I wonder, is how many other vegetarians and vegans would be willing to help keep Gary on the road? I'm willing to! But I can't do it alone, as I'm not wealthy (wish I were, because I'd fund it myself). But what if... we were to all donate $5-10 per year to keep this type of activism going?
There are some of us sitting around donating money to the Humane Society of the United States or PETA each year. Those groups are not even promoting veganism, and they don't have the individual reach and impact that Gary has. Rather than give HSUS $128 million per year and PETA $30 million per year, couldn't we divert some of that money to Gary, to keep him going and doing what he does so well, and what is making a real grassroots difference? All he needs is a modest $40-50k per year.
If only 5,000 of us each donated $10 per year, it would keep Gary going. And what's donating $10 per year to keep him on the road? It's a drop in the bucket! It's two less Starbuck's drinks throughout the year!
Gary delivers the only all-vegan lecture! How can we let that fade away?
I just can't help but to be sad at that thought of the movement losing such a powerful voice. Anyone have thoughts on a solution? At this point I want to put a Save Gary type of site and start collecting money to send to him so he keeps going!
Please pass this post on to other vegetarians/vegans. Together, I think we can find a way to keep Gary going!
NOTE: See the follow up post to this here.