Video: Why Animal Rights Isn’t a ‘White Thing’

For Immediate Release:
October 2, 2018

Moira Colley 202-483-7382

Atlanta – When PETA’s Nikki Ford first started attending animal rights events, she was struck by how few people of color joined her. But as the Atlanta chef and pro bodybuilder reveals in a new PETA video, she soon discovered a powerful Black vegan movement and a new way to talk about animal rights, which, she says, “isn’t a ‘white thing.’ It’s a caring thing.”

Her video is part of a new series in which 10 individuals share their “Clark Kent moments”—times when some kind of life-changing experience or personal revelation awakened their sense of social justice and triggered their evolution into activists. For Ford, that moment came when she realized that, as a kid, she’d never connected the cute piglets on her aunt’s North Carolina farm to the bacon that she ate for breakfast—so as an adult, she needed to take a judgment-free approach to helping others in her community make that same connection.

“I understand it can be difficult for communities like mine who live in oppressive environments to see past our own suffering enough to recognize the suffering of other animals,” says Ford. “I get it. But it doesn’t have to be one or the other .… To me, going vegan is the best of both worlds …. I want to get my people to see that we’re being exploited by these food companies [that] do not have our best interest at heart. And our lack of knowledge about going vegan is literally killing us.”

Other videos in this series of personal stories from PETA activists touch on issues including the long-term mental health effects of undercover work and why it’s impossible to be a cheese-eating feminist. The full series from PETA—whose motto is “Animals are not ours to eat, wear, experiment on, use for entertainment, or abuse in any other way”—is available here.

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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