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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[…]

It’s simply a matter of opportunity, says Newkirk.

Question: Is American culture inherently wasteful?


Ingrid Newkirk: I think people are people all over the world, and it’s a matter of opportunity. And in the past everybody – and to some great extent today – has wanted to come to America, because America is the land of opportunity and liberty, and you can get things that you can’t get in other parts of the world. This is a great, rich land.

Unfortunately that has translated into the sort of values that human beings tend to go toward, which is not necessarily what’s good for us spiritually, mentally, physically, but what feels good; what tastes good; what . . . You know he who dies with the most choices wins; all of that kind of thinking. So we are all gobbling up like great Pac-Men the world’s resources and making the rest of the world poorer for it in many, many ways when it comes to the core resources like land, and water, and clean air and so on. So yes, I think America is a problem; but it’s only a problem in that it’s a human problem that you’re able to actually live in America and indulge in America.


Recorded on: November 12, 2007