PETA President Bequeaths Skin to Hermès in Updated Will

For Immediate Release:
June 5, 2023

Moira Colley 202-483-7382


A bag or a belt crafted out of her cured skin to Hermès and one of her feet to The North Face to give the company a kick in the behind for selling down and wool: These are among the bequests in PETA President Ingrid Newkirk’s newly updated last will and testament to ensure that she continues drawing attention to animal abuse and exploitation even after her death.

Newkirk’s original will was drafted 20 years ago after a flying scare, and because PETA has won so many victories for animals since then, it needed an overhaul. For instance, Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus, which she had left her pointer finger to serve as the “Greatest Accusation on Earth,” will now receive a thumbs-up in thanks for leaving animal acts behind.

With the updated will, Newkirk is challenging Hermès on its continued abuse and slaughter of animals—many of whom are packed into barren concrete pits and dank pools—and The North Face on its two-faced strategy of selling cruelly derived materials that hurt the planet while claiming to be committed to making environmentally friendly clothing. Multiple PETA investigations have revealed that workers pull fistfuls of feathers out of live birds for down and that workers kick, beat, stomp, and shear sheep until they’re bloody for wool.

“On his deathbed, they asked Bob Hope where he wanted to be buried and he replied, ‘Surprise me,’” says Newkirk. “In my case, when I die, I will hope to keep right on surprising those who harm animals for puffy jackets and overpriced bags, provoking conversation about speciesism, and campaigning against the fashion industry’s planetary destruction.”

Newkirk’s updated will, filed with her attorney executor, includes bequests to Elon Musk, Donald Trump Jr., and the American Kennel Club (see the full list here). Other directions from her original will remain, including frying up her flesh (with onions) for a human barbecue and sawing off her other foot for an umbrella stand, like the elephant-foot stands she saw when she was growing up in India. Also included are burying a piece of her heart at Germany’s Hockenheim racetrack (Newkirk is a lifelong Formula 1 fan) and sending Bruno and Rupert, the teddy bears she’s had since she was a baby, to an orphanage in India.

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to wear”—opposes speciesism, a human-supremacist worldview. For more information, please visit, listen to The PETA Podcast, or follow the group on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram.

Stay up to date on the latest vegan trends and get breaking animal rights news delivered straight to your inbox!

By submitting this form, you’re acknowledging that you have read and agree to our privacy policy and agree to receive e-mails from us.

Get the Latest Tips—Right in Your Inbox
We’ll e-mail you weekly with the latest in vegan recipes, fashion, and more!

By submitting this form, you’re acknowledging that you have read and agree to our privacy policy and agree to receive e-mails from us.