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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[…]

The need to expand and expand and expand.

Question: What forces have shaped humanity?


Ingrid Newkirk: There are many things that have shaped humanity. I think population of human beings is the key because we have spread out across the globe. And that means that we have had to destroy the natural world for the things that we want. It’s not the things we need, but the things we want – the big houses, the shopping malls, the bowling alleys, the highways; all that sort of stuff. We’ve polluted the world, of course, with our vehicles and our enterprises.

So I think industrialization, overpopulation of humans, not being able to control the size of our family, often having two families; exceeding the recommended limit on one family and then going on and having a second family . . . We tend to be rather greedy, selfish individuals; and rather thoughtless, and rather narrow minded, and rather focused in the present. And I believe that those things have all shaped not only what the world looks like today with the pollution in the cities, the overcrowding, people being rude to each other, wars and what have you; but the future that’s going to come with, again . . . The loss of water I think is going to be the big fight of the future, and I’m not alone in saying that obviously. And the disputes; that we get more wars every year rather than fewer years. There is no peace on earth on our horizon because of this expansion of our territory. And our feeling that we should never deny ourselves anything rather than seeing it as that we should be flexible, and we should change in what we like and what we want.


Recorded on: November 12, 2007