Ingrid Newkirk, co-founder & president of PETA

by | Jan 29, 2020

Ingrid Newkirk—the co-founder and president of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), and co-author (with Gene Stone) of “animalkind: Remarkable Discoveries about Animals and Revolutionary New Ways to Show Them Compassion”—recalls how she decided on the book’s format. Newkirk outlines some of the things she learned over the course of working on “animalkind. Noting the publishing of “animalkind” is tied to PETA’s 40th anniversary, and that anniversaries are often a time for reflection, I ask her to reflect on what she considers PETA’s three accomplishments of which Newkirk is most proud, and looking across the

organization’s 40-year timeline, what might be some things she wishes PETA had done differently amidst campaigns, policy positions, media statements. Pointing out that PETA has “stayed true” over its four decades, she responds to the observation that organizations, like people, evolve and grow–doing things or taking positions that in a later period they simply wouldn’t–acknowledging they’ve often done or said deliberately provocative things, in large part to generate media attention. Newkirk replies to a listener question about PETA’s perspective on pit bulls, which leads to her responding to my questions about the animal shelter that PETA operates, including some 2018 statistics for the facility (2019 stats have not yet been made available), which reflect that of 2,512 that entered the shelter, 1,798 were euthanized, among other figures. (,

ALSO: I spoke with Carole Baskin, founder of Big Cat Rescue—the Tampa sanctuary housing more than 100 big cats—about the sentence handed down a week ago to her longtime rival: Joseph Allen Maldonado-Passage, the Oklahoma zoo keeper often referred to as “Joe Exotic.” Maldonado-Passage was convicted in the murder-for-hire plot he hatched to take out Baskin, and she recounted in this interview their history and how he had hired someone to kill her. When that arrangement failed, Baskin explained, Maldonado-Passage hired a second killer, who turned out to be an undercover FBI agent—and the 22 year sentence Maldonado-Passage received has provided considerable comfort to Baskin and her family. (

COMEDY CORNER: John Mulaney’s “Horse In A Hospital” (

MUSIC: Rebekah Pulley’s “Talking Animals Theme,” instrumentals

NAME THAT ANIMAL TUNE: We didn’t play “Name That Animal Tune” today.


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