Ingrid E. Newkirk is the cofounder and president of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, the largest animal rights organization in the world. She has spoken internationally on animal rights issues, from the steps of the Canadian Parliament to the streets of New Delhi, India, where she spent her childhood.
A message from the president:
I've read some fine and important books in my time, but one book changed my life, and that is Animal Liberation. I had grown up appalled by cruelty to animals and firmly believed in treating animals kindly, but I still thought it was OK to use them, meaning give them big cages, for example, and, if they "have" to be killed, killing them as painlessly as possible.
When I read Animal Liberation, I realized that in my heart I believed something far deeper than that. I believed what Dr. Singer advocated—that we needed a radical new approach, a new way of viewing animals. Instead of seeing all the other species on Earth as ours to convert into hamburgers, handbags, living burglar alarms, amusements, test tubes with whiskers, and so on, we need to respect them as fellow beings, as other individuals and families and tribes who have the same basic interests in experiencing joy and love and living without needless pain and harassment as we do.
To me, Dr. Singer's logic was impeccable: If we care about animals, shouldn't we care enough about them to leave them in peace? Animal Liberation, more than anything else, gave me the impetus to start PETA. I hope you get as much out of it as I did.
Ingrid E. Newkirk, President
To order a copy of Animal Liberation for yourself or your friends,
please visit PETACatalog.com.
Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights? Read more.