Ingrid Newkirk

Founder of PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals)

Since founding PETA, president Ingrid Newkirk has grown the group into the world’s largest animal rights organization. Her passion and dedication to making this world a better place for all living beings has inspired countless others to do what they can to help animals.

Until she was 21, Ingrid had given no thought to animal rights or even vegetarianism. In 1970, however, when she and her husband were living in Maryland and she was studying to become a stockbroker, a neighbor abandoned some kittens and Ingrid decided to take them to an animal shelter. This was a life changing-experience for Ingrid and led to her first job working in behalf of animals—cleaning kennels and investigating cruelty cases. Peter Singer’s book Animal Liberation and Ingrid’s experiences in that job and later on—including finding a fox and a squirrel caught in steel traps, finding a pig left to starve on a farm, and inspecting laboratories and circus acts for the government—made her realize that there needed to be an organization like PETA.

Ingrid has also served as a deputy sheriff, a Maryland state law enforcement officer with the highest success rate in convicting animal abusers, the director of cruelty investigations for the second-oldest humane society in the U.S., and the chief of animal disease control for the Commission on Public Health in Washington, D.C.

Under Ingrid’s leadership, legislation was passed to create the first-ever spay-and-neuter clinic in Washington, D.C. She coordinated the first arrest in U.S. history of a laboratory animal experimenter on cruelty charges and helped achieve the first anti-cruelty law in Taiwan. She spearheaded the closure of a Department of Defense underground “wound laboratory,” and she has initiated many other campaigns against animal abuse, including ending General Motors’ car-crash tests on animals.

Since it was founded, PETA has exposed horrific animal abuse in laboratories, leading to many firsts, including canceled funding, closed facilities, seizure of animals, and charges filed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. PETA has also closed the largest horse-slaughter operation in North America, convinced dozens of major designers and hundreds of companies to stop using fur, ended all car-crash tests on animals, cleaned up wretched animal pounds, helped schools switch to alternatives to dissection, and provided millions of people with information on vegetarianismcompanion animal care, and countless other issues.

Ingrid Newkirk’s biography shows that she is an abolitionist who remains committed to the idea that animals are not ours to eat, wear, experiment on, or use for entertainment.

Show highlights:

Ingrid tells us about her new book, Animalkind

PETA is 40 years old this year

Ingrid used to be an inspector of animal kennels; she tells us of the poor conditions in those facilities

The incredible sense of animals being able to know what’s coming like earthquakes, tsunamis, etc.

Whale songs

So many species mate for life: Geese, pigeons, swans

Pigeons are great parents. Ingrid tells us some interesting and sweet facts

How male birds build and decorate their homes to attract a mate

The super intelligence of dolphins

Patrick shares many of the past accomplishments of PETA

The use of crash test dummies is the result of PETA protesting the use of animals for car crash testing

Ingrid shares horror stories of all the tests done on animals

Making a case for veganism

and so much more!!

Ingrid Newkirk with 40 years of PETA’s work protecting animals, March 23, 2020



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