Unstoppable at 75! Celebrating 75 Years of PETA India Founder Ingrid Newkirk’s Fearless Advocacy for Animals

Posted on by Erika Goyal

As PETA India founder Ingrid Newkirk turns 75 this week, we celebrate not just a milestone, but a lifetime of dedication towards improving the rights and welfare of animals. Ingrid’s journey – from growing up in India and joining her mother in helping children and animals in need to becoming a global animal rights icon – is a testament to her unyielding passion and commitment. Her innovative and often provocative demonstrations have not only raised awareness but also sparked significant change in how animals are treated worldwide. Below, we look back at some of Ingrid’s most impactful demonstrations with PETA India and honour her tireless efforts to create a more compassionate world

Protesting the Cruelty of Horse-Drawn Carriages

In Mumbai, Ingrid hitched herself to a victoria carriage to demonstrate the cruelty of forcing horses to pull heavy loads. Holding a sign reading, “Horses Worked to Death – Ban Victorias,” Ingrid highlighted the physical abuse horses endure and the danger carriages pose to both animals and the public. Since then, Mumbai has switched to beautiful heritage-style battery-operated carriages to ferry tourists.

Showering to Highlight the Huge Environmental Toll of Meat and Dairy

In another striking demonstration, Ingrid took a public shower at Horniman Circle in Mumbai to highlight the immense water waste involved in meat and dairy production. Her message was stark: choosing to eat vegan is one of the most effective ways to conserve water and combat the climate catastrophe. The slogan “1 Chicken Meal = 30 Showers,” underscored the environmental impact of our dietary choices.

Getting ‘Barbecued’ for Animals


In a powerful, thought-provoking demonstration marking World Vegan Month, Ingrid shocked the public by “barbecuing” herself, drawing a stark comparison between the flesh of humans and that of other animals and emphasising that all living, feeling beings, regardless of species, feel pain and fear. Her message was clear: choosing to eat vegan is a direct way to stop needless violence and show true compassion.

Showing We Are All Sisters Under the Skin

On the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, Ingrid staged a demonstration in Mumbai, highlighting the parallels between gender-based violence and speciesism. By wearing a “skinned suit” and lying alongside various female animal props, she condemned the exploitation of female animals for dairy, eggs, and more. Her subsequent talk at Shreemati Nathibai Damodar Thackersey Women’s University reinforced the importance of female unity in challenging all forms of exploitation.

Urging the Public to Relate to a Fish’s Fate

Ahead of International Animal Rights Day (10 December), Ingrid wore a realistic fish costume and lay between two fish props in Mumbai. This eye-catching demonstration highlighted the plight of fish who are killed for food, and Ingrid urged the public to consider the suffering of all sentient beings and adopt a vegan lifestyle.

Advocating Against Elephant Rides

In response to the cruelty inflicted on elephants used for tourism, Ingrid delivered thousands of signatures to the central government calling for a ban on elephant rides. Her efforts were visually reinforced by a demonstration in Jaipur in which she dressed as an elephant being chained and beaten, symbolising the harsh realities these majestic animals face.

Calling For Vegan Eating Outside KFC

In a protest intended to provide the public with food for thought, Ingrid caged herself, surrounded by props of chickens, outside a KFC outlet. This demonstration aimed to shed light on the horrific conditions chickens are forced to endure. Ingrid’s message was potent: these intelligent, social animals deserve better than a life of suffering.

Ingrid Newkirk: A Beacon of Hope for Animals

Ingrid Newkirk’s legacy is one of relentless advocacy and fearless action. Her work with PETA India and PETA entities around the world has led to groundbreaking changes, from ending car-crash tests on animals and encouraging vegan living to rescuing animals from circuses and ending cruel practices worldwide. As we celebrate her 75th birthday, we honour not only her past achievements but also her ongoing commitment to creating a kinder world for all living, feeling beings. Ingrid’s life and work inspire us to continue advocating for animal rights with the same passion and determination. Happy Birthday, Ingrid! Your legacy of compassion continues to change the world.

Inspired? Do your part for animals by joining PETA India’s Activist Network. Together, we can make a difference.

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