Animal Rights Leader Wants to Be Barbecued
Fri April 25, 2003 09:15 AM ET
By Francois Murphy
LONDON (Reuters) - The leader of a prominent U.S.-based animal rights group said she had drawn up a will directing that her flesh be barbecued and her skin used to make leather products in protest at man's ill-treatment of animals.
Ingrid Newkirk, 53, president of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), said on Thursday she had chosen to donate her body to her organization for use in a variety of startling protests.
Newkirk also suggested her feet be removed and made into umbrella stands similar to those made from elephant feet that she had seen as a child.
"I want to find ways to have my work live on when I'm gone and this has been my first idea. I will make a stir when I am long in the ground," Newkirk told Reuters.
A PETA spokesman said Newkirk held British and U.S. citizenship and a copy of her will would be kept in both countries.
In the document she also suggests her liver be vacuum-packed and sent to France to be used in a campaign to persuade shoppers not to buy foie gras, made from the livers of force-fed ducks and geese.
"We are in the business of getting people to think about what happens to animals," she said.
"When they go to the grocery store and buy foie gras in a tin, there is absolutely no thought of the geese. If my liver makes people talk about the issues then some good will come of it."
Newkirk said she had not heard of anyone making similar arrangements in their will.
"We hope it will start a trend," she said, adding that she had received a letter from a person interested in using their remains to promote vegetarianism.
But one body part listed in the will is not protest or animal related. It says a small part of her heart should be buried near the Hockenheim Formula One racing circuit in Germany, preferably near the Ferrari pits.
"I love Formula One. I love Michael Schumacher, and I thought I would have a little bit of personal indulgence there," she said. "But it's not without a connection to animals because he actually signed a letter for us against experiments on monkeys in Germany."
I think most people know my disdain for PETA. However I think this might be a good thing. The sooner she gets out of PETA the better. Hopefully a reasonable leader will rise among the ranks of PETA and actually change PETA's image as a bunch of whack jobs and actually do something useful and win global/public praise and respect instead of incurring general dismissal. There's got to be someone in that organization with some good ideas and leadership to send them in the right direction and become a catalyst of reform. Then they just need to market those achievements and then they can win more public support.
If they do that's great. I'll still eat a hamburger and scarf down a steak at Outback but still...good for them if they could change tactics.