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Honour passing of Peta hero with an act of kindness

Animals have lost a stalwart ally with the passing of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (Peta) honorary director and The Simpsons co-creator Sam Simon.

Immediately Sam was diagnosed with terminal cancer, he summoned me to his hospital room to help him draw up his unique "bucket list".

Sam didn't want to climb Mount Everest, or go skydiving. He wanted to save animals' lives - even as his own life was slipping away.

Sam said that the last two years of his life - in which he worked with Peta to close bear-pits, rescue an abused elephant in India, send lone roadside zoo chimpanzees to a sanctuary and find a home for Benjy, the bull condemned to death in Ireland for being "gay" - were the happiest of his life.

He took boyish delight in throwing open cages and letting animals run and jump and climb and swim for the first time in years - or the first time ever.

I'll bet, following Ringling's Circus' announcement that it will be retiring all its elephants, that Sam died with a smile on his face, knowing that elephants were on their way out of the circus, something that, together with the closure of SeaWorld, he dreamed of and talked about all the time.

The world could learn all about kindness from Sam's example and I hope everyone will do something kind and generous in his honour - even eating one meal that does not involve animal suffering.

INGRID NEWKIRK

President, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals

Belfast Telegraph

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