Ingrid Newkirk is an animal rights activist, an author, and the president of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA). She is best known for the animal rights awareness campaigns she organizes on behalf of PETA, which she cofounded in 1980. As PETA's president, Ingrid has spoken internationally on animal rights issues—from the steps of the Canadian Parliament to the streets of New Delhi, India, and from the drowning tanks of Taiwan to the halls of the U.S. Congress. Newkirk is the author of several books, including Free the Animals, You Can Save the Animals, and 250 Things You can Do To Make Your Cat Adore You.
Question: What should we be doing as individuals?
Ingrid Newkirk: The one thing that we can do which really will change everything is decide how carefully to spend our money; that whenever we put out a nickel, a dime, a dollar, tens of millions of dollars, we are doing it to invest in things that are decent, and right, and compassionate. And that can boil down to even our daily choices of what we buy. Because even if we think we’re being frugal, we’re spending . . . We all brush our teeth hopefully. We all wash our hair.
We all buy shoes. We all use transportation. Anything that we do when we spend money, we should know that our money is going to support something that is right, that we feel comfortable with; not something that is exploitive, violent, harmful, needlessly wrong.
Recorded on: November 12, 2007