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Economic Challenges

The Power of Kindness: A Conversation with Ingrid Newkirk

In this inspiring episode of The Joy of Living Podcast, your host Barry Shore welcomes the extraordinary Ingrid Newkirk, founder of PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals). Join us as Ingrid shares her profound journey and the pivotal moments that led her to become a pioneering advocate for animal rights.

Ingrid delves into the golden rule of treating all beings with compassion and kindness, extending the same consideration to animals as we do to humans. She recounts a touching story about rescuing an abandoned pig, which profoundly changed her perspective on consuming animal products.

Barry and Ingrid explore the power of one person to make a difference, emphasizing how each of us can contribute to creating a more compassionate and harmonious world. Ingrid’s insights on living a purpose-driven life and her heartfelt stories will leave you inspired and motivated to make a positive impact.

Don’t miss this heartfelt conversation packed with wisdom, personal anecdotes, and a powerful message of compassion. Tune in and discover how you, too, can help build bridges of harmony and spread joy, happiness, peace, and love in the world.

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Show Notes:

[10.01] The Power of Kindness and Compassion with Ingrid Newkirk

  • The importance of saying “thank you” three times a day.
  • “THANKS” stands for “To Harmonize And Network Kindness.”
  • Everyone is fighting their own battles; always be kind.
  • “KIND” stands for “Keep Inspiring Noble Deeds.”
  • Introduction to Ingrid Newkirk, founder of PETA.
  • Ingrid shares stories from her book “One Can Make a Difference.”
  • PETA’s mission: promoting compassion and ethical treatment of animals.
  • Ingrid’s background: helping Mother Teresa in India and founding PETA in 1980.
  • PETA’s role in guiding people to make kind choices in everyday life.

[22.33] Embracing Veganism and Ethical Choices

  • Ingrid shares her long-term commitment to veganism, spanning nearly six decades, and reflects on the significant changes in the world during this time.
  • Ingrid emphasizes the importance of being conscious and conscientious about food choices, encouraging awareness of alternatives to avoid consuming what one does not want.
  • Ingrid highlights the availability of vegan fish alternatives like garden fish fillet and good catch fish, expressing her delight as an English person for whom fish and chips hold sentimental value.
  • She urges people to look for vegan labels when purchasing items like shoes, belts, bags, or coats, mentioning innovative materials such as mushroom leather, apple leather, and pineapple leather.
  • Ingrid points out that fabrics like cotton, corduroy, and satin have always been available, but stresses the importance of choosing materials that do not come from animals.
  • She advocates for making peaceful, non-violent choices that do not involve taking anything from animals.
  • Ingrid advises against participating in activities that exploit animals, such as riding ponies on carousels or taking photos with captive animals, and encourages finding harmless, fun alternatives.
  • The discussion touches on the biblical principle of not causing harm to animals, aligning with the ethos of PETA and encouraging a gracious, compassionate lifestyle.

[24.01] The Golden Rule: Extending Kindness to All

  • Embrace the golden rule: “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you,” extending it to all beings, including animals.
  • Animals deserve to be treated with kindness and respect, ensuring their involvement is voluntary.
  • Compassion and kindness not only benefit others but also enhance our own well-being and energy.
  • Ingrid Newkirk, founder of PETA in 1980, embodies the principle of kindness as a journey of personal growth and joy.
  • PETA’s mission aligns with a biblical principle: causing no harm to animals, reflecting a divine spirit of compassion.
  • Her realization: true love for animals means not participating in their exploitation, whether for food, clothing, or entertainment.
  • Small personal choices, like abstaining from animal products, significantly impact animal welfare and align with humane values.
  • Supporting humane societies and animal rights groups is crucial, but personal lifestyle choices can make an even greater difference.

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About Ingrid Newkirk

Ingrid Newkirk was born in Surrey, England, and moved with her family to New Delhi, India, when she was 7 years old. There, she assisted her mother in volunteering for Mother Teresa and various charities, and those early experiences—rolling bandages for people with leprosy, stuffing toys for orphans, and rescuing stray animals—informed her view that it doesn’t matter who is suffering, only whether you can help them.

In 1970, Ingrid took a litter of abandoned kittens to an animal shelter—and that soon led to her resignation from the brokerage where she had worked. She then took her first job working in behalf of animals (cleaning kennels and investigating cruelty cases), which led to leading roles in humane law enforcement. Her experiences along the way—including finding a fox and a squirrel caught in steel traps, discovering a pig left to starve on a farm, and inspecting laboratories and circuses for the government—inspired her to launch PETA in 1980.