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Ingrid Newkirk

Ingrid Newkirk is a prominent animal activist who co-founded the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA)—the world's largest animal rights organization. An outspoken woman, she is best known for creating awareness about various issues related to animal rights all over the world. Her organization has so far exposed the atrocities meted out on innocent animals in laboratories, forced the closure of the largest horse-slaughter operation in North America, and has helped to put a stop to all car-crash tests on animals among several other achievements. As a young girl she was not much interested in animals—she was not even a vegetarian and really loved to eat meat. It was when she began witnessing the horrible cruelties animals are often subjected to that her stance on animals began to change. During the 1970s she became the District of Columbia's first female poundmaster and plunged in wholeheartedly into the animal rights movement. Her meeting with the animal rights activist Alex Pacheco was a turning point in her life. Alex made her realize the purpose of her existence—to protect animals from abuse and fight for their wellbeing. The pair launched the animal rights organization, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) in the U.S. at a time when awareness about animal abuse was at its early stages.

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