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Triumph of Compassion - Ingrid Newkirk & PETA or People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals

By Award News Group (Originally in English) 2007.10.09

PETA or People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, the largest non-profit animal rights organization in the world, was established in 1980 based on the idea that it is the right of all beings—human and nonhuman alike—to be free from harm. While promoting a healthy vegan diet, they focus on the four major areas where animals suffer the most—namely factory farms, the clothing trade, laboratories, and the entertainment industry—and through public education, investigations, research, animal rescue, legislation and campaigns, PETA has achieved a great deal in promoting kind treatment and in establishing and defending the rights of animals.

In 1981, PETA won the first U.S. Supreme Court victory for animals in a laboratory, the Silver Spring Monkey case, which led to the arrest and criminal conviction of an animal experimenter on a charge of cruelty to animals, and the first confiscation of abused laboratory animals. Since then, PETA has never stopped fighting. Following an undercover investigation in 1998, three workers at Belcross Farm, a pig-breeding factory farm in North Carolina, were handed down the first-ever felony indictments for cruelty.

In 2007, PETA convinced a Christian monastery in South Carolina to close its inhumane egg factory farm, and got the organizer of a dog weight-pulling contest, where canines are made to pull huge amounts of weight, to cancel the cruel event. PETA also provided a generous grant of US$120,000 to the non-profit International QSAR Foundation to develop computer tools that provide alternatives to the horrendous practice of animal testing.  

In recognition of their outstanding and compassionate animal welfare efforts worldwide, that same year, Supreme Master Ching Hai honored the group and Ms. Newkirk, founder and President of PETA, with the Shining World Compassion Award. Master expressed these words in the Award letter, “We wholeheartedly thank you for your kind and unyielding dedication to the protection and improvement of animal lives. Our society is enriched and uplifted immeasurably by your noble endeavors. May heaven bless your inspirational and noble work. Your efforts are truly a loving gift to our world, and to all who enjoy the warmth and companionship of our animal friends and the beauty of our world enhanced by their gentle, graceful and peaceful presence.”

In one of its more recent accomplishments, PETA’s nine-month, courageous, undercover investigation into the work of Professional Laboratory and Research Services, Inc., resulted in the shutdown of the pharmaceutical funded animal test lab and the freeing of all 195 dogs and 54 cats captive there. With timely support and efforts of many other animal advocates, these fortunate beings finally will receive the care and assistance they need to regain their health. Eventually, when they are well enough, permanent homes will be found for them at last where they will be caressed by the warm and loving hands all dogs and cats find irresistible.

Upon learning of this victory, Master shed tears of joy and gratitude, and sent a heartfelt salute letter together with US$15,000 in support of this compassionate endeavor. On receiving the acknowledgement and cheque on October 27, Golden Year 7 (2010), Ms. Ingrid Newkirk thanked Master for Her recognition and support, while welcoming Her to the PETA Vanguard Society in the company of their most dedicated members and closest friends. She lovingly enclosed a picture of Rosie the dog playing with her best pal Rani Jane the donkey; both are rescued animals during her recent trip to India.

Directly following another victory in which NASA halted plans to perform radiation on 30 squirrel monkeys, PETA held a fundraising event on February 5 to celebrate its achievements while announcing new goals in stopping the cruel and unnecessary practice of using animals for chemical toxicity testing. Master was invited as a special guest for the event. Although unable to come personally due to Her busy schedule, Master sent representatives to convey Her best wishes and another US$50,000 with the following message:

With all my best wishes, gratitude, admiration, and love. I’m with you in spirit and prayers. My thanks to you, Ms. Ingrid and Amanda. You are angels manifested on Earth to protect defenceless beings and I pray God bless you all the time.

                                                        ♥ ♥ Ching Hai

Deeply touched by Master’s generous gift, Ms. Newkirk said, “I want to thank Supreme Master Ching Hai from the bottom of my heart. I think that she is one of the most wonderful, kind people because her message is one of compassion. . . . It’s a wonderful blessing to have Supreme Master's benevolence for animals. Thank you so much on behalf of everybody at PETA who works hard with the same message: Compassion, compassion, compassion.”

Our deepest gratitude and respect to PETA and Ms. Newkirk for their invaluable work and determined dedication in pursuing ethical treatment for our animal friends as well as for inspiring more and more people to share and to work towards the same noble ideal. May humanity progress further and faster along the path to a world in which all lives are valued and cherished as God’s creation.