For the last week HBO has been airing I Am An Animal: Ingrid Newkirk which is about the co-founder and president of PETA. I hate to sound harsh, but lady speak for yourself. I believe that
all lies, religions and ideologies have roots in Truth, and that often explains their appeal to the masses and to otherwise
intelligent people. You mix in just enough truth and people will buy just about anything including the underlying lies and
delusions beneath it all.
In this case Ms. Newkirk and the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) sell themselves
as a ‘we love animals’ organization with the mission to expose and kindle awareness about animal cruelty. What
a great ploy. Who doesn’t like animals? But at the same time they are aggressively making the case that animals and
humans are equivalent in all respects. It brings a whole new twist to the slogan “Hamsters have rights too” but,
all joking aside, their twisted view of ‘animal rights’ is a dangerously seductive philosophy that equates even
the lowest of disease spreading vermin with the sanctity and value of human life. And, in many ways, would elevate animal’s
rights above the rights of humans.
It must be exhausting, and nutritionally challenging, to be a PETA follower. No
eggs, no milk, no meat, living on collard greens and cucumbers, no pets, no leather, no fur, no Thanksgiving turkey and just
another burden of guilt for Western man to carry around with him on a daily basis.
I always look for the sociological and psychological reasons why people turn out the way they do. One’s
childhood shapes some people so completely that nearly all that they have become can be traced back, with virtually no ambiguity,
to the events, traumas and people that shaped them during their formative years. Obviously, that affects us all, but some
people embrace what they should reject while some reject what they embrace. And hopefully a well balanced person can retain
the good that shaped their lives and overcome the bad while recognizing the impulses and compulsions one has and where it
originated from. That is what separates us from the animals to begin with. We have the ability to use our intellect, common
sense and will power to shape our lives instead of merely being driven by impulses, wants and desires that may or may not
be wise and healthy for us.
According to Ingrid Newkirk herself, her childhood was far from ideal. She had a hot tempered, absent
father and a distant, unaffectionate mother. With no siblings her sole companion and friend was her dog. She had herself sterilized
at the young age of 22, was temporarily married but “didn’t have time for it”, thinks it is selfish and
wrong to have the urge to have children of your own (one should adopt), owns no pets and thinks that is wrong (but how does
that reconcile with her childhood experiences with her dog?), and is an avowed atheist. Just that little bit of background
was enough for me to smile and think to myself ‘so that’s what’s wrong with her’ and helps explain
much of her apparent estrangement from the human species and her lifelong identification with, and championing of, animals.
I saw no apparent strong bonds with other humans through family, marriage, friends, or children.
Humans are a social ‘animal’ and when that is absent it can cause severe damage to a personality.
I’m afraid that may have happened in Ingrid’s case. Sociology and psychology are not exact sciences but this one
is a classic study in many ways, especially in its outcome. Estrangement from one’s own species and intense identification
with others seems to have been the result.
The best part of the show, and my wife’s favorite by far, was when a PETA infiltrator at a Butterball
slaughterhouse was able to ‘liberate’ a domesticated turkey that had escaped in the parking lot. The undercover
PETA operative excitedly radioed his ‘find’ ahead to headquarters and when the turkey arrived he was packed off
to a special, straw lined room to rest. Ingrid turned on some soft music for the bird and quietly closed the door while whispering
“rest sweetie” to the bewildered bird. He was eventually crated off to some PETA rescue farm to live out his life
far from the threat of the Thanksgiving table.
We were cracking up for nearly ten minutes over that one. It was something you really had to see. If
you get a chance to watch this documentary I would encourage you to do so. I am a firm believer in understanding the “how’s
and why’s” of ideologies and theologies and this was a great look into the mindset of the animal liberation movement.
It is also a great example of how the West has become so spoiled, wealthy and secure in its luxury that people have the time,
money, energy, and distracted idleness to participate in such causes. Only the most leisurely and well fed societies produce
the pseudo philosophers who ponder the ethics of wearing leather belts or fur coats and it takes a full belly and a lot of
consistent calories to contemplate the horrendous nature of serving burgers at an eating establishment. Try to feed that spoonful
of crap to those who know the pangs of true hunger in the belly and what it is like to survive outside the modern, successful,
and productive First World.
In some ways it is a form of selfishness and elitism to describe the eating of meat as cruel, the keeping
of animals as slavery or the use of stock to pull a plow as bondage. Only the most spoiled and privileged can wring their
hands over such trivialities and with sweeping gestures condemn the necessities that have allowed humans to rise to the position
we now enjoy as civilized human beings. Human’s were designed to be omnivores, not vegetarians and the use of animals
as both food and laborer allowed humans to rise above merely being scavenging cave dwellers.
Miss Newkirk probably wouldn’t think to much of me. I raise and breed Shelties (I own two), have
dared to reproduce (I have three daughters), and own a number of animals including a turtle, snake, african millipede, toads,
scorpions, tarantulas, and a variety of exotic insects that I breed for profit (exploitation and confinement of other sentient
species). The chasm between us is probably too large to be bridged.
Unfortunately, Ingrid Newkirk seems to be a driven, but disturbed individual who is glorified and idolized
by many while receiving far more publicity than she and PETA deserve. The ‘animal rights’ agenda is one of the
most distorted and manipulating of the various fringe movements that abound on the far Left. Shamelessly playing upon the
public’s love of animals and our civilization’s natural inclination as a caring and humane people, they weave
an elaborate web of fact and fantasy that seeks to radically alter the face of Western Civilization and man’s role in
regards to nature.
“As someone said to me the other day—they had seen the HBO special—and they said,
‘Are you really a sad obsessed person?’ And I thought, ‘No, I’m not really a sad person, except when
I lie awake at night in winter thinking about all the animals out without shelter, and then I’m sad!’ Who wouldn’t
be? Wouldn’t anybody be sad if they have a heart? It’s just that I’ve seen so much.” - Ingrid