"This day in history Today is Monday, June 11, the 162nd day of 2018. There are 203 days left in the year. Birthdays:....Animal rights activist Ingrid Newkirk is 69...." Yes, today is People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, PETA founder and president, I'm honoured to say, my friend, Ingrid Newkirk's birthday! Over 38 years ago, Ingrid founded PETA. It's always such an honour for me to have Ingrid on BrainFood from the Heartland. Realizing that her birthday was coming up, and knowing that 'where in the world is Ingrid' was always a consideration, I reached out to her last Friday,coyly asking: 'Ingrid, might you be able to do the gig w/me, Monday?'.., not telling her, but hoping to sing happy birthday to her, live on air. My mind was boggled with her itinerary for this week, but, when she said "I could do something with you at 2 pm today(Friday), I rushed back to the studio, set up quickly and had another wonderful chat with the president/founder of "the world's largest animal rights organization." I have always been in awe of Ingrid's tenacity. I think back 38 years ago to a much different world, a world without social media, without the ability to expose cruelty with immediacy, to rally people immediately, to expose cruelty without relying on media, which is all to often controlled by advertisers. I wonder that without Ingrid's fearless, selfless impetus..well, I needn't wonder, as Ingrid Newkirk's courageous, loving, compassionate heart has led and propelled animal rights movement for over 38 years. Today, on Ingrid Newkirk's 69th birthday, my friends at PETA released a wondrous video: Celebrating 69 Years of Never Being Silent: 10 of the Coolest, Craziest Things Ingrid Newkirk Has Done for Animals. I recall a few years ago, Ingrid telling me on-air: " Louie, I'm hiring young people, these days, who DON'T know what it's like to go into a supermarket and NOT see plant-based milks, etc! Ingrid, I understand, as we remember needing to beg the owners of Chinese restaurants to sell tofu to us!
I think about just how many millions and millions of animals have been spared a miserable, life of suffering only to have a cruel, painful death perpetrated upon them...I think about how many millions of animals, around the world, live a loving life today, all because of Ingrid Newkirk, 'making a difference'.
Ten years ago, a decade ago, Ingrid Newkirk's: 'One Can Make a Difference: How Simple Actions Can Change the World'..yes, ONE certainly can, and today 11 June, we honour ONE who's made a difference to an innumerable number of living, feeling loving beings, an innumerable number of animals,and humans. Happy Birthday Ingrid Newkirk...you make me proud to be human!