I am Kathleen Marquardt, born in Kalispell, Montana. I enjoy scuba diving, skiing, fiber arts, and reading.
I became involved in animal rights issues when my younger daughter, in junior high, came home from school (in a suburb of Washington, D.C.) one day. Her Science class had an animal rights guest speaker, who had asked the children how many of them had fathers who hunted. No one raised a hand (not unexpected in such an urban area) except for my daughter, who said that her mother hunted. The speaker then told my daughter that her mother was a murderer. My daughter came home in tears, not wanting to ever go back to school again (who would, if her mother was the equivalent of Jeffrey Dahmer!).
I was livid. This woman had pushed her radical values onto vulnerable children. Who was she and what was PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals), her organization? Seeking the answers was what got me into the fight. Before that I was not a joiner, I had belonged to no organizations. My philosophy of life was to live and let live.
The two issues that I work on the most are the strong-arm tactics of animal rights groups and the religious basis of animal rights.