While surfing the web the other day I ran across an interview with Ingrid Newkirk published on an Australian animal liberation site. The interview was originally from the Australian publication Vegan Voice and dates back to 2001.
Anyway, the interviewer asks Newkirk several questions related to accusations from Gary Francione and others that in reaching accommodations with Burger King that People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals had softened its abolitionist stance. Newkirk dismisses such suggestions and adds that the U.S. media do not seem to think PETA has abandoned its radical pose (emphasis added),
We have an abolitionist approach, but I always say that while our heads are in the clouds and we fight for total liberation, our feet are firmly planted on the ground. For example, I don’t think people should ride horses (which has been too radical for even an animal rights feminist publication to print in the U.S., believe it or not), but if I see someone beating a horse I’m going to try and stop them even if I can’t take their horse away from them. I must say, the press doesn’t share this idea that we are namby pamby: They know that if there’s a rat or cockroach involved, PeTA is the group here that will stick up for that poor blighted animal publicly (we are currently defending sharks due to the hysteria over the recent attacks!) and we will always stick up for the A.L.F., so they call us and we do.
Ingrid Newkirk – taking on the critics. Vegan Voice, 2001.