123: "Let's make a world with less suffering today!" Ingrid Newkirk - PETA founder and president - Sentientism


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Ingrid is an animal activist and the president of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), the world’s largest animal rights organization. She is the author of several books, including "The PETA Practical Guide to Animal Rights", "Animalkind" and the 30th anniversary new edition of "Freeing The Animals". Ingrid has worked for the animal-protection movement since 1972. She has been given the following awards: Washingtonian of the Year, 1980; Courage of Conscience Award, 1995; Shining World Compassion Award, 2007; Ahimsa Award, 2014 and the Peter Singer Prize for Strategies to Reduce the Suffering of Animals, 2016.

In Sentientist Conversations we talk about the two most important questions: “what’s real?” & “what matters?”

Sentientism is "evidence, reason & compassion for all sentient beings." The video of our conversation is here on YouTube.

We discuss:

00:00 Welcome

01:24 Ingrid's Intro

- Building PETA, the world's largest animal advocacy organisation

- Writing 14 books including "Free The Animals" about the Animal Liberation Front

03:39 What's Real?

- "We are all creatures of our upbringing"

- A strict, "victorian" father & a very kind mother

- "I was shipped out to boarding school & raised by some disciplinarian nuns"

- Nuns took out their bitterness on the "little rich girls" in their care

- Rejecting the nuns' oppression helped motivate Ingrid to be rebellious, to fight for the powerless & seek justice

- Earliest memory: Family dog "was like my brother"

- Church on Sunday, but "it never really stuck with me"

- Being lured into religiosity, but "it was a passing phase"

- "I rejected what the nuns said because they were so ghastly"

- Roman Catholicism. Praying at 6am every morning, "a lot of silence"

- "We didn't respect the nuns... they were barbaric... even of the little kids... 5 & 6 year olds who would cry themselves to sleep"

- A visiting Jesuit priest got one of the school-girls pregnant

- "For a while I would cross the road if I saw a nun coming the other direction"

- Later re-engaging with Christianity (bible, church)... "ultimately I completely rejected it... it made no sense at all... if there is a god it's... a cruel god or a powerless god"

- Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster

- "I'm not afraid to say I'm an atheist"

- "Ricky Gervais & Bill Maher... are not kowtowing... are not intimidated"

- The imperative to speak out (where others can't)

- Being told to accept "mystery" on face value, "absurd" stories & blind faith

- Lisa Kemmerer's views on religious compassion for non-human animals

...and much more. Full show notes at Sentientism.info.

Sentientism is “Evidence, reason & compassion for all sentient beings.” More at Sentientism.info. Join our "I'm a Sentientist" wall via this simple form.

Everyone, Sentientist or not, is welcome in our groups. The biggest so far is here on FaceBook. Come join us there!

Thanks Graham.

149 episodes