Need Help Explaining Animal Rights?

Published by PETA.

We’ve all been there—we know that cruelty to animals is wrong, and we’re confident that the choices we make about what to eat, wear, and buy are necessary to stop it. But when we’re trying to explain our values to our friends and family and answer their questions, we can’t always find the right words. One hour with PETA President Ingrid E. Newkirk will help. Ingrid recently gave a talk to employees at Google’s headquarters to explain the animal rights philosophy and why it matters—and she doesn’t mind your taking the words right out of her mouth.

“If you don’t want something done to you, then please don’t do it to somebody else who has feelings like yours,” she told the audience. “It’s the golden rule, really. That’s all it is. Just extended, as I think it should be, to every other living being.”

At Google, Ingrid discussed the major ways in which we abuse animals, including eating them, wearing them, experimenting on them, and using them for entertainment, and why we need to stop. “We have a compartmentalized view of animals,” she says. “Some we love dearly and we would defend as we would defend our child. Then there are others ….”

“Kindness is a virtue that must be a virtue in principal and in practice,” says Ingrid. “The package an individual comes in should be absolutely irrelevant. They’re all individuals and that, I believe, is the heart of what we have to remember in our treatment of others.”

Written by Michelle Sherrow

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 Ingrid E. Newkirk

“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

— Ingrid E. Newkirk, PETA President and co-author of Animalkind