[Editor's note: Animal Rights Online does not condone or
promote breaking the law, even when fighting to help animals. We believe
that the best course of action is to work within the law to effect
change. There are also serious issues involved in freeing minks into an
environment for which they are not suited. Bearing this in mind, the ARO
staff still felt that the following article was something we wanted to
share with our readers.]
A five minute oration was delivered to Chatham, Ont.,
Judge A. Cusinato on April 27, 1999, after I was found guilty of
committing a random act of kindness and compassion.
Fifteen-hundred-forty-two minks were liberated and given a chance to
flee the murderous grounds of the Eberts Fur Farm in Blenheim, Ont.
Cusinato's myopia was evident after he handed down a six month sentence.
However, a deportation parole was issued, and I was returned to Michigan
after serving 77 days at a maximum security detention center. The speech
was given on behalf of the entire movement. I hope you approve.
(Unfortunately, for several reasons, the 40-day hunger strike lasted
only 10 days.)
I stand before this court without trepidation … without
timidity … because the truth cannot be suppressed today and the truth
will not be compromised. Mohandas Gandhi, one of the most benevolent
people to ever grace this earth, once said, "Even if you are only one
person ... the truth is still the truth."
The dilemma we face today is whether this court chooses
to acknowledge the truth. The following statement is for everyone's
One day every enslaved animal will obtain their freedom
and the animal rights movement will succeed because Gandhi also
proclaimed that "All throughout history the way of truth and love has
always won. There have been murderers and tyrants … and at times they
have seemed invincible … but in the end … they always fall … always."
The true devoted humanitarians who are working towards
the magnanimous goal of achieving freedom for animals cannot be stopped
by unjust laws.
As long as humans are placed on a pedestal above
non-humans … injustice to animals will fester … because without
universal equality … one type of equality will always create another
type of inequality. There will be no compromise here today because the
truth cannot be compromised.
My presence in this courtroom today is paradoxical. I
ask this court ... If it is NOT a crime to torture, enslave and murder
animals … then how can it be a crime to free tortured, enslaved and
Humankind must climb out of its abyss of callousness …
its abyss of apathy … and its abyss of greed. Enslaving and killing
animals for human satisfaction can never be justified. And the fur
industry must understand that the millions of manual neck-breakings …
anal and genital electrocutions … mass gassings … drownings … and toxic
chemical injections … can never be justified. And, the snaring of
millions of free-roaming animals in steel jaw leghold traps … who die
slow, horrific deaths … is unjustifiable, as well.
There will be no compromise ... for the truth cannot be
compromised. The schism that this court has created between the five
co-accused has been sealed.
Now that I have been convicted … through my volition and
in a symbolic protest of the unjust conditions that animals endure ... a
hunger strike will begin tomorrow at 7:30 a.m.
For every mink that ever languished in a tiny cage … and
was savagely murdered at The Eberts Fur Farm ... I will go hungry. And
for the 40 million other animals worldwide that have the skin ripped off
their backs in a disgusting display of barbarity … in the name of vanity
... I will go hungry.
And if this court expects me to experience an apostasy …
meaning an abandoning of my beliefs ... it's sadly mistaken. In April of
'97 ... when I was incarcerated for 10 days in a Chatham jail ... I
briefly experienced ... vicariously ... what a caged animal goes
through. And … thanks to that 10-day bail hearing ... my empathy for
every mistreated animal … intensified.
No matter what I go through … during my incarceration
and hunger strike ... will be nothing compared to the everlasting
torture that innocent animals endure on a daily basis.
And if this court is alarmed by my honesty … let me
close with a quote from slave abolitionist William Lloyd Garrison. "I
will be as harsh as the truth and as uncompromising as justice. On this
subject, I do not wish to think or speak or write with moderation … I am
in earnest. I will not equivocate. I will not excuse. I will not retreat
a single inch. And I will be heard … The apathy of the people is enough
to make every statue leap from its pedestal and hasten the resurrection
of the dead … My influence … shall be felt in coming years … not
perniciously but beneficially … not as a curse, but as a blessing … and
posterity will bear testimony that I was right."
There will be no compromise here today because the truth
cannot be compromised.
Gary Yourofsky, ADAPTT President (810-763-2715 voice
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