Bethlehem (Palestine) — Today the Center for Consumer Freedom, a nonprofit American NGO, criticized the International Nonviolence Conference for including U.S. animal-rights leader Ingrid Newkirk among its honored speakers on December 29 in Bethlehem. Newkirk has spent much of her career advocating violence against people who use animals for food, clothing, entertainment, and vital medical research.
“Newkirk has always advocated violence against people with whom she disagrees,” said Center for Consumer Freedom Director of Research David Martosko. “Her appearance at a conference promoting nonviolent solutions threatens to cheapen the entire event.”
Today the Center for Consumer Freedom sent organizers of the International Nonviolence Conference a list of things they should have known about Newkirk before inviting her to participate, including:
- In 2002, Newkirk told U.S. News & World Report magazine that her organization, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), embraces a philosophy that is not limited to nonviolent campaigning. “Our nonviolent tactics are not as effective,” she said. “Someone makes a threat, and it works.”
- Papers released this month by the U.S. government confirm that Newkirk’s PETA organization has been the subject of a long-running “domestic terrorism” probe. U.S. authorities are investigating PETA’s cash donations to activists within the Earth Liberation Front and Animal Liberation Front, two terrorist groups that use death threats, explosives, and arson — rather than peaceful means — to campaign for animals and the environment.
- In 1997, Newkirk told a U.S. animal-rights convention that she wanted to end all lifesaving medical research that requires the use of animals: “I wish we all would get up and go into the labs and take the animals out or burn them down.”
- Ingrid Newkirk’s first published book, Free the Animals!, is missing from her biography on the International Nonviolence Conference website. In it, she wrote a glowing defense of the terrorist Animal Liberation Front (ALF). Newkirk subsequently assured the New York Daily News that she would be “the last person to condemn [the] ALF … Would I rather the research lab that tests on animals is reduced to a bunch of cinders? Yes.”
- In 1999, after criminals mailed 87 razor blade-laced letters to U.S. medical researchers who were testing new cancer drugs on animals, Newkirk told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution: “I find it small wonder that the laboratories aren’t all burning to the ground. If I had more guts, I’d light a match.”
- In February 2003, shortly after a bomb-laden donkey was detonated near the West Bank settlement of Gush Etzion, Newkirk faxed then-Palestinian Authority President Yasser Arafat a misguided plea on behalf of war-zone donkeys (while showing indifference toward war-torn humans). When The Washington Post asked Newkirk if she considered asking Arafat to persuade his followers to stop blowing up people as well, she replied: “It’s not my business to inject myself into human wars.”
“Ingrid Newkirk has earned her reputation as one of America’s foremost promoters of animal-rights violence,” Martosko added. “Americans are tired of the violent wing of Newkirk’s movement. She has no business speaking at a conference on peace.”