Newkirk: We Oppose All Violence Against Civilians, But Fashion Designers Are Fair Game

Ingrid Newkirk, of all people, gave a speech at a conference addressing violent conflict in the Middle East at which she said,

. . . we call all attacks on civilians, whether against Palestinians in Jenin or Israelis in Tel Aviv, what they are: War crimes.

If we want an end to violence, it means that we must first reject the slaughterhouse, the animal circus, and animal skins and remember that kindness to animals has been a cornerstone of every great religion in the history of the world.

Mohandas Gandhi, one of the icons of the nonviolence movement, taught that how we treat animals shows our ability to empathize with those who are ‘different’ from us, which is the first step toward living in peace with our human neighbors.

Leaving aside the accuracy of her claim about religion and animals, it is interesting that Newkirk declares violence against civilians “war crimes”, but as far as I know neither Newkirk or People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals has ever apologized for Dan Mathews remarks in admiration of serial killer Andrew Cunanan. Cunanan murdered fashion designer Gianni Versace, and in 1999 PETA’s Mathews, asked to name a 20th century man he loves, replied,

Andrew Cunanan, because he got Versace to stop doing fur.


Animal rights group addresses Mideast conflict. Ynetnews.Com, January 4, 2005.

PETA Launches Campaign Comparing Animal Use to Slavery

Since it was so successful with its “Holocaust On Your Plate” campaign, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals has followed that up with a traveling exhibit called “Are Animals the New Slaves?”

Note the oddity of the title — new slaves? Domestication of animals is believed to be about 12,000 years old. There’s nothing new about it — in fact, since animal domestication far predates any historical slavery, the exhibit would have been better called “Were Slaves the New Animals?”
Anyway, PETA special projects director Dawn Carr told WTOC-TV that,

The very same mindset in the mind today when we have animals in circuses, animals in factory farms that are beaten, branded, chained. These animals treasure their lives and want to live every bit as much as you or I do.

You can almost imagine some 19th century animal rights activist being asked if he could free a slave or a chicken which one he’d do, and having the activist reply that he’d free the chicken. Presumably, to Ingrid Newkirk, a rat is a pig is a dog is a slave.


Animal rights group showcases exhibit. Liz Flynn, WTOC TV, August 4, 2005.

Newkirk: Sometimes You Have to Carry a Big Stick

In an interview with the Shanghai Star, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals’ Ingrid Newkirk described her group’s outrageous campaigns and tactics, saying,

Sometimes sadly, you have to look quite scary and carry a big stick.

Of course we’ve seen just how scary looking PETA activists can be, and the “big stick” line is the best explanation yet of that Earth Liberation Front donation.


Fighters for animal welfare. Shanghai Star, July 21, 2005.

Washington State Sen. Wants Bestiality Ban — Don’t Tell Ingrid!

After a man died on July 2 after having sex with a horse at a farm near Enumclaw, Washington, state Sen. Pam Roach introduced a bill that would make bestiality a Class C felony in that state, punishable by up to five years in jail and a $100,000 fine.

Did Roach run this by everyone’s favorite animal rights crusader Ingrid Newkirk? After all, Newkirk’s on record as saying there’s nothing inherently abusive about bestiality,

If a girl gets sexual pleasure from riding a horse, does the horse suffer? If not, who cares? If you French kiss your dog and he or she thinks it’s great, is it wrong? We believe all exploitation and abuse is wrong. If it isn’t exploitation and abuse, it may not be wrong.

So far there’s no evidence that the horse suffered in the Enumclaw incident. It might just meet Newkirk’s criteria for being non-abusive (at least for the horse).

The odd thing is that, according to the Associated Press, bestiality is explicitly illegal in only 30 states. In the Enumclaw case, local police knew of the farm’s reputation for offering animals for sex, but had no authority to do anything about it (besides, they didn’t want to piss off Newkirk).

Given the almost universal revulsion at bestiality, its odd explicit bans aren’t routinely in place as part of other sex crimes packages.


Roach seeks law against bestiality. Associated Press, July 19, 2005.

Missouri Representative Again Introduces Proposed Ban on Photographing Animal Enterprises, Knowingly Introducing Diseases

In March, Missouri State Representative Jim Guest for the third year in a row introduced a bill in that state’s legislature that would make it illegal to take unauthorized photographs of some animal enterprises.

The bill would modify a section of Missouri law making it illegal to,

Without the express written consent of the animal facility, photograph, videotape, or otherwise obtain images from a location within the animal facility that is not legally accessible to the public;

[And/or]Intentionally or knowingly release or introduce any pathogen or disease in or near an animal facility that has the potential to cause disease in any animal at the animal facility or that otherwise threatens human health or biosecurity at the animal facility.

The second provision, on the intentional release of pathogens, is a concern that animal rights activists from People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals helped create when both Bruce Friedrich and Ingrid Newkirk made public statements in 2001 hoping that Great Britain’s foot-and-mouth epidemic would afflict farm animals in the United States as well.

Newkirk said at the time, that,

I openly hope that it [foot and mouth disease] comes here. It will bring economic harm only for those who profit from giving people heart attacks and giving animals a concentration camp-like existence.

While Friedrich wrote in a letter a few weeks later that,

I suppose if it happens [an outbreak of foot-and-mouth in the United States], we’ll write a massive thank you note because it’ll turn a massive amount of people into vegetarians

Though why people would turn to vegetarianism over a disease that, except in very rare instance, effects only non-humans and even then simply causes a mild illness is a mystery (the problem the disease causes is almost exclusively economic for farmers, and is endemic in much of the world without any adverse health risks to human beings other than slightly higher costs for meat).

But why the ban on photography? Guest says it is needed to secure Missouri farms and breeders from animal rights extremists and potential bioterrorists. He told the St. Louis Dispatch,

We’ve been fortunate that we have not had a threat to our food security. We have the safest food supply in the world, and the intent of this legislation is to strengthen those statutes we have and protect that.

Meanwhile, Brenda Kemp, president of the Missouri Pet Breeders Association, said the bill would help deter trespassing on farms and other animal enterprises,

You have no idea where they’ve been or what they’re tracking in. With a kennel you have to be extremely careful with who you let on your property because you can bring in disease so easily.

Frankly, I think the ban on photography makes little sense when what seems to really be needed is simply a strengthening — and perhaps more enforcement effort — of existing trespassing laws. A ban on photographing animal enterprises from publicly accessible areas is simply a bad idea. A better idea is larger fines and other remedies targeted at people who trespass on private property to take pictures that are not obtainable from publicly accessible areas.

The full text of HB 666 can be read here.


Animal protection groups blast farm photograph bill. Jacob Luecke, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, March 29, 2005.

PETA Once Again Targets Children

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals’ policy about targeting children with its materials is about as consistent and accurate as anything else the group does — its policy appears to be to tell reporters and others what PETA thinks the reporter wants to hear at the time.

So, Ingrid Newkirk went on Crossfire in 2002 and told Tucker Carlson that PETA doesn’t target children saying that “everything we do is based at adults.” That was a transparent lie, and PETA hacks have lately taken to refining it a bit with PETA’s Ray Hinkle saying earlier this year that, “[PETA] never hands out things to children under the age of 13 without parents’ permission.”

That, of course, is also a transparent lie, since PETA has been sending activists to hand out materials to children near middle schools in the United States, where many of the children are under the age of 13. How do they verify age or obtain parental consent?

Now, PETA is apparently doing this internationally — in March it angered officials at a South African primary school when PETA activists showed up to hand out anti-chicken propaganda.

According to a report in the Cape Times, PETA activists showed up near Golden Grove Primary school in Rondebosch and handed out posters and trading cards putting forth PETA’s case against teaching chicken. Now in South Africa, a primary school usually consists of grades 1-6, so the vast majority of students at Golden Grove Primary are under the age of 13.

James Bailey, principal of the Golden Grove Primary school, told The Cape Times,

We are not taking sides on the chicken issue, but we at least wanted to be notified. They are targeting small, impressionable children and the wording on the cards is very emotive and aggressive.

It seriously undermines the school’s ongoing efforts to educate children not to take things from, or trust strangers. Children can become very susceptible to influence from strangers who want to sell them drugs or hurt them.

Oddly enough, PETA’s Andrew Butler breaks with Newkirk and Hinkle in admitting the truth — that PETA actively targets children, and that the organization considers this to be legitimate (emphasis added),

Chicken is the most consumed meat in South Africa and conglomerates only care about how much money they make. People are not made aware of the appalling conditions at chicken factories. We think children should get the chance to make an informed and compassionate decision about what they eat.

And here I thought it was parent’s responsibility to make decisions about what their children eat.


Activists ruffle feathers with campaign. Karen Breytenbach, Cape Times, March 16, 2005.

Education in South Africa. Philippa Garson, Undated.