Oprah, Your Open Heart Will Mean Their Life

Published by Ingrid Newkirk.
Ingrid Newkirk as a child, with Lucky.

Ingrid Newkirk as a child, with Lucky.

Dear Oprah,

You have done a lot of good for animals, shown great kindness and understanding of how important their own fur is to them and how cruel puppy mills are, exposing factory farming practices to your audiences, as well as treating everyone on your show to vegan meals. Please do not stop there.

Recently, you asked a guest, Wayne Pacelle, if he thought it was OK to eat animals, and you seemed comforted to receive an answer that made the misery of their slaughter and attendant suffering seem somehow acceptable. You cannot believe that, not in your heart, your big heart. I beg you to think more deeply about the pain and suffering, total disregard, and disrespect shown to animals who are treated as living edibles: the mother cows pining for their daughters and sons who have been taken away from them; the chicks whose beaks are cut off; the calves whose horns are burned out of their heads; the millions upon millions of individual animals whose journeys to the slaughterhouse are journeys of abject fear and whose immense, almost unimaginable pain is shrugged off by otherwise decent people—all for the sake of nothing more than a sandwich. Please show your heart, your willpower, your strength of character, your decency, your kindness, and your sense of justice and reject such cruelty. Please sit down before fact as a little child, a child whose eyes can see the beauty and value of animals for themselves. You can have almost anything you want to eat, and today certainly every taste you could possibly want is available without inflicting countless horrors on animals whose eyes you have looked into, whose love you have enjoyed, whose intelligence you have often acknowledged.

Please do not settle for the continuation of animal subjugation. Please, use your capacity for empathy to stop the killing and the theft of these dear souls’ skins and flesh. Please do not settle for less.

With great hope,

Ingrid Newkirk,

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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