Saturday, January 19, 2008
PETA President Ingrid Newkirk has been in India for the past couple of weeks on a tour for the Indian version of her book “50 Awesome Ways Kids Can Help Animals.” We’ve been getting daily updates about the demonstrations, rallies, and educational events she’s been attending to fight animal abuse in India, and it’s all been pretty amazing stuff. But this morning’s news was the most interesting yet:
According to India’s national newspaper, The Hindu, Ingrid was arrested last night in Coimbatore for blindfolding the statue of Mahatma Gandhi at Gandhi Park to protest the Indian Supreme Court’s decision to legalize a stupid macho ritual called jalikkattu, in which a crowd of men take turns taunting and abusing a terrified bull, who is forced to drink alcohol and deliberately agitated by having chili peppers rubbed in his eyes before being released into the crowd.
According to the news reports, Ingrid urged children to speak out against jallikattu, arguing that the cruel blood sport was a direct violation of Gandhi’s principles of non-violence. Ingrid described the protest as a symbolic action to close Gandhi’s eyes “towards the horror meted out to animals in the name of jallikattu.”
After detaining her for some hours, Indian police eventually allowed Ingrid to leave the city, and her Indian visit is going ahead as scheduled. I’ll keep you posted …