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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 the kindest thing we could do for them, says Newkirk.

Question: Is it fair to ask developing countries to go green?


Ingrid Newkirk: It is absolutely the kindest thing that we could do is to dissuade developing countries from going in the same direction that we have done in the west. We have these rates of diabetes, of heart attack all brought about by our diet. The number one cause of our leading killers like stroke, diabetes, heart attack, cancer is our diet. So when countries that have traditionally – like China – been vegetarian, look to the west and decide to start intensive chicken farming, which is environmentally destructive to the little land and the little water they have, because some big corporation from the U.S., or Germany, or Britain comes there and tries to persuade them to start going down that track – the nicest thing we can do is say, “No, preserve your health. Preserve your water.

Preserve your land. Preserve everything, and don’t get away from your core values.” You know in these countries like Africa and India where starvation is a daily problem – not obesity, starvation – it is a much greater kindness to show people how to grow __________; how to grow beans; how to grow vegetables, which is less energy intensive, less resource intensive, and healthier than to bring in big sheds and show them how to intensively raise poultry, which will only lead them down a very bad road.


Recorded on: November 12, 2007