#6: Ingrid Newkirk
Alright children, here's your obligatory entry from the far-left. You know, the one that most political commentators only include in a list like this as part of a feeble effort to keep the Tea Party and other far-right lunatics from declaring war on them.
But boy is this one ever warranted.
Ingrid Newkirk doesn't just instigate and cry out for attention. She's made a career out of it that has spanned thirty years and counting.
Newkirk is the co-founder and president of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, better known as PETA, and better known for conducting blatant publicity stunts which, more often than not, attacked high-profile targets over trivialities instead of actual practitioners of animal cruelty.
Some of PETA's recent forays into controversy include:
- Jan. 2008: Purchased a plot of land in the same cemetery Colonel Sanders is buried and erected a fake headstone with an inscribed poem that secretly spells out “KFC Tortures Birds“
- Sept. 2008: Penned a letter to Ben & Jerry's asking them to replace the cow's milk in their ice cream with human milk.
- Sept. 2009: Petitioned the San Jose "FurCon" furry convention (a subculture so obscure that even web trolls don't bother with it anymore) to stop using fur products in furry cosplay costumes (a practice that, as far as anyone knows, never existed to begin with).
- Dec. 2010: Released a parody game to protest Super Meat Boy.
- Sept. 2011: Announced the launch of an animal cruelty awareness and pornography website.
- Oct. 2011: Sued Sea World for slavery.
- Jan. 2012: Announced plans to purchase the O.J. Simpson house and turn it into a "Meat is Murder" museum.
- Oct. 2012: Released a parody game to protest Pokemon.
- Nov. 2012: Petitioned Barack Obama to suspend the practice of turkey pardoning.
In the last instance, Newkirk asked that the practice be suspended because, in her opinion, turkeys are innocent and don't need to be pardoned. But she lost any chance of ever being taken seriously ever again when she followed it up with the following:
"You understand so well that African-Americans, women, and members of the LGBT community have been poorly served throughout history and now I am asking you to consider other living beings who are ridiculed, belittled, and treated as if their sentience, feelings, and very natures count for nothing."
Ingrid Newkirk actually equated, without hesitation, Thanksgiving dinners with hate crimes, as if she genuinely expected people to believe that turkey is the tradition because people hates turkeys (or that blacks and gays are juicy and delicious).
Though frankly, this was completely unsurprising for Newkirk. She had already crossed her moral event horizon in 2003.
At the same time PETA was running their "Holocaust on your plate" campaign (joining Bill O'Reilly and Ben Stein at the "Nazi Tourette's" table), Newkirk penned a letter to Yasser Arafat to condemn the use of a donkey as a suicide bomber.
Newkirk responded to criticism of her apparent disregard for human life by saying "There are plenty of other groups that worry about the humans."
There are also plenty of groups that worry about the ethical treatment of animals, which Ingrid Newkirk and PETA have proven, time and time again, to not really care about at all.