Thursday, June 11, 2009

Happy Birthday Ingrid Newkirk

Sixty years ago, on this day, Ingrid Newkirk was born in Surrey, England.

As PETA president and cofounder, Newkirk has led the world's largest animal rights organization for more than 25 years. Her passion and dedication to making this world a better place for all living beings has inspired countless others to do what they can to help animals.

Newkirk and PETA believe that animals deserve the most basic rights — in particular, consideration of their own best interests regardless of whether they are useful to humans. Like humans, they are capable of suffering and have interests in living their own lives. Therefore, they are not ours to use — for food, clothing, entertainment, experimentation, or for any other reason.

You can learn more about Newkirk's ongoing legacy here.

I may not agree with a lot of PETA's tactics and antics, but Newkirk is a personal hero of mine, because of her tireless drive and passion in making sure that animals are treated with respect and with compassion.

Because of Newkirk, animals are now treated as God intended they should be.

Because of Newkirk, laws now exist to hold accountable those who abuse and mistreat animals.

Because of Newkirk, laws now exist to protect animals and give them rights that any other sentient being rightfully deserves.

To celebrate her birthday, PETA has set up an electronic group card for everyone to send Newkirk well wishes. (I signed it on page #1209!)

In addition, people can also make a donation to Newkirk's beloved project, Animal Rahat. Newkirk is especially passionate about Animal Rahat because she personally witnessed the sad conditions of working animals in India during her childhood there and even intervened to try to stop the abuse.

As an Indian, I am particularly fond of this cause as well. I have, unfortunately, personally witnessed the hardships that many animals endure on the streets, in my visits to family back in India. It's heart-wrenching and I'm ashamed that my own people are so cruel and heartless. So, I have done my part in making sure I will not condone what my people are doing to donkeys, bullocks and other animals that are regularly seen to be worked to death, malnourished, severely dehydrated and routinely beaten.

If you too would like to make a difference, you can also
make a donation to Animal Rahat either here or here.

Whether you love her or hate her, agree or disagree with her organization, one thing's for sure...

Sixty years ago, if Ingrid Newkirk hadn't been born, this world would've been a very, very different place for animals.

A very dark place.

But because she least animals have some hope...and a voice...Ingrid's voice.

Because she was born, an angel of mercy is here on earth, watching over animals.

God bless you Ingrid.

God bless you.

And thank you.

Thanks for all that you do for animals.

"The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated."

- Mahatma Gandhi

"'...I tell you the truth...whatever you do unto the least of my brothers, you do it unto me.'"

- Matthew 25:40


Birthday well-wishers donated more than $12,000 to Animal Rahat!

The folks at Animal Rahat were tickled to be the recipients of such generous gifts, so they made a birthday cake and gave out celebratory fresh grass (a big treat for the animals) and vital nutrition packs along the village roadways.

Click here to see pics of the shindig!

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