The People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) organization recently announced that its president and founder, Ingrid Newkirk, rewrote her will, 20 years after the original version, and made some very unusual requests, instructing that “my body be used in a manner that draws attention to needless animal suffering and exploitation.”
Ingrid Newkirk (Photo via Wikipedia)
Her first request was that the executors “Carve out and sear some of her flesh to fry up with onions for a human barbecue.”
“As cows, pigs, chickens, and other animals continue to be treated badly, and killed for meat, eggs, and bovine mammary secretions, the thought of carving up human flesh for steaks might be just the thing to jolt diners into kindness.” wrote Newkirk. “Flesh is flesh, and mine is given, not taken.”
In a similar act of identification with animals, Newkirk requested that a portion of her skin be peeled off, cured, and fashioned into a leather belt and purse. Some of this is intended for the fashion company Hermès while the rest is to be delivered to the prime minister of India.
She also requested that one of her legs be removed and violently broken, the foot be detached and sent to horse-racing venues.
One of her eyes should be extracted and sent to the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to remind them that PETA is “watching” their animal experiments.
Her intestines are to be salted and used for sausage casings. These special sausages are to be sent to Nusret Gökçe (aka “Salt Bae”), who has become famous for serving meat. One of her ears is slated to be used as a doggy treat.
Her lips are slated to be the new centerpiece in the Oval Office for the presidential sin of “kissing up to the Turkey industry” at the traditional Thanksgiving Turkey Pardon.
A part of her heart will be sent to Elon Musk “as he seems ruled by greed and sex and lacks empathy and a heart”. His sin is attempting to develop ultra-high-bandwidth brain-machine interfaces to connect the human brain to computers and experimenting on animals to achieve this goal.
Other requests include sending her liver to the president of France for the sin of allowing his country to produce foie gras, her lungs to the governor of Alaska for permitting the Iditarod dog sled race, and her scalp to DOnald Trump Jr. for sport hunting.
Not all of the requests were intended as rebukes. If Newkirk has her way, at some point in the future, someone at Ringling Brothers’ Circus will unwrap a grisly package containing her thumb in a post-mortem ‘thumbs up’ for reopening with only human performers.
“Newkirk’s bodily bequests will inspire animal advocates while also encouraging everyone still slumbering in speciesism to wake up,” PETA stated. Speciesism is the belief that all other animal species are inferior to humans.
Newkirk has espoused this belief wholeheartedly.
“There’s no rational basis for saying that a human being has special rights,” she said in 2013. “A rat is a pig is a dog is a boy.”
This belief may be based in her atheism.
“I’m an atheist,” she declared in a 2007 documentary. “I don’t believe in God. I believe that the horrors in this world could not ever have been created by a loving God. I believe in kindness, I believe in personal responsibility, and I believe in being decent to people.”
Indeed, a belief in the Bible would preclude speciesism as the differences between Man and animals are described in several places in the Bible. In Genesis, Man is described as being formed by God Himself, in His image, rather than being spoken into existence as is the case with animals.
If Newkirk’s belief in speciesism is absolute, the implications would be horrifying. PETA has been criticized for hypocrisy in the practice of euthanizing animals for which it has neither the space nor resources to shelter.
Newkirk explained on PETA’s website, “As long as animals are still purposely bred and people aren’t spaying and neutering their companions, open-admission animal shelters and organizations like PETA must do society’s dirty work. Euthanasia is not a solution to overpopulation but rather a tragic necessity given the present crisis.”
The same principle applied to human overpopulation would be horrific.
While cruelty to animals is explicitly forbidden (Deuteronomy 12:23, Exodus 23:5, the eating of animals is permitted and even sanctified when done in the Temple.
The prophets foresaw cannibalism as a sign of the imminent Messiah. The spiritual implications were described by the Prophet Ezekiel, who prophesied that one of the horrors that will appear at the end of days will be men eating each other:
Assuredly, parents shall eat their children in your midst, and children shall eat their parents. I will execute judgments against you, and I will scatter all your survivors in every direction. Ezekiel 5:10
Rabbi Moshe Avraham Halperin of the Machon Mada’i Technology Al Pi Halacha (the Institute for Science and Technology According to Jewish Law) explained that cannibalism was expressly forbidden in the Bible.
“On a moral or humanitarian level, eating human flesh is one of the worst curses that a man can bring upon himself; to eat from Man who was created in the image of God,” Rabbi Halperin said. “This lowers man to the level of animals, removing his aspect that was created in the image of God.”
“Eating human flesh in any form, even eating your own flesh, is entirely forbidden by the Torah, Rabbi Halperin said. “It is, essentially, the same as eating the meat from any forbidden animal that does not have the required Biblical signs of cloven hooves and chewing its cud, or an animal that has not been properly slaughtered. On a technical Biblical level, they are all expressly forbidden to the same degree.”
The rabbi noted that unrestricted eating is actually a curse.
“Adam, who was personally created in the image of God, could only eat plants,” Rabbi Halperin noted. “After men became debased in the generation of Noah, they were permitted to eat meat. Adam and Eve were blessed by being prohibited from eating meat or from the tree of knowledge. The snake, the most hated animal in God’s eyes, was cursed with being able to even eat the dust.”