PETA Spotlight: Angela Davis and Other Female Icons You Never Knew Were Veg!

For Immediate Release:
March 2, 2021

David Perle 202-483-7382

Birmingham, Ala. – In honor of Women’s History Month (March), PETA (an organization founded by a woman and led by women) has chosen Birmingham’s own Angela Davis as one of five female trailblazers to celebrate—and the millions who look up to them as role models may be surprised to learn that their work for social justice includes animal protection.

An educator, an activist, and a prison reform advocate, Davis was quick to recognize the link between the oppression of humans and that of other animals. As she has said, “I think there is a connection between … the way we treat animals and the way we treat people who are at the bottom of the hierarchy”—and she chose to challenge the terrible treatment of animals raised and killed for their flesh by going vegan.

“Avoiding meat and dairy is the right thing to do for anyone who cares about equality, nonviolence, or the plight of others—whatever skin they’re in and whether they have fur, fins, or feathers,” says PETA President Ingrid Newkirk. “PETA encourages everyone to join Angela Davis in showing solidarity across species and condemning the oppression of any living being.”

PETA notes that sexual exploitation is rampant in the meat, egg, and dairy industries, in which female cows are artificially inseminated (that is, raped by inserting an arm into the rectum and a metal rod into the vagina), hens are shipped to slaughter once their bodies wear out, and mother pigs spend their entire adult lives confined to cramped metal crates. Slaughterhouses are also a nightmare for workers—many of them people of color—who face some of the most dangerous working conditions in America, including the nearly unchecked spread of COVID-19.

PETA’s other honorees are Hollywood trailblazer Cicely Tyson, labor activist Dolores Huerta, feminist icon Gloria Steinem, and racial justice leader Coretta Scott King—all vegetarians or vegans.

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to eat”—opposes speciesism, the human-supremacist worldview that justifies violence against other animals. For more information, please visit or follow the group on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram.

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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