Friday, December 19, 2008

Winograd: Taking Back Our Movement

Another excellent posting from Nathan Winograd, a no-kill advocate from California, who has unbelievable had to fight tooth and nail with the likes of PETA to establish no-kill shelters - as PETA has the backwards idea that 'animal rights' for cats and dogs is the right to be systematically murdered by humans.

According to this blog entry, a whopping 17 out of 1,997 cats and dogs were adopted out in 2008. That's a 0.8% success rate. Less than one percent. I think a dog has a great chance of surviving multiple lightening strikes than getting adopted out by PETA.

Enough from me, read on - by the end, join me in telling PETA and their supporters these famous words: I'm mad as hell, and I'm not going to take it any more!

Taking Back Our Movement

PETA is once again on the attack against ending the killing of dogs and cats in shelters and pounds. PETA functionaries like Daphna Nachminovitch and Teresa Chagrin continue to give voice to Ingrid Newkirk’s dark impulses by writing letters to the editors of newspapers, asking supporters to call their city councils, and putting out misleading and false propaganda in communities that have announced plans to lower shelter death rates by hiring compassionate animal control directors, passing shelter reform legislation, seeking No Kill goals, or implementing programs like TNR for feral cats.

Every time a community questions its shelter rate of killing and makes a decision to do something to reduce it in a manner consistent with the No Kill philosophy and the programs which make it possible, PETA goes on the offensive. In Pittsburgh, they called for the City to continue killing feral cats, rather than neutering and releasing them. In King County (WA), they sent robo-calls to supporters asking them to condemn the effort to save 85% of animals in the shelter. In Indianapolis, they questioned the hiring of an animal control director who wants to reduce the death rate by 75%. In Houston, they condemned a review of shelter operations with an eye to increasing lifesaving. In Tompkins County (NY), they attacked innovative strategies to save lives during peak intake periods. And in Charlottesville, they sided with fired employees (who killed animals that rescue groups were willing to save and one of which had a history of cruelty to animals) against a director who pledged to end unnecessary killing. And this is just the tip of the iceberg. If a public official so much as questions whether there is something to learn from the No Kill philosophy and whether it might help reduce staggering levels of killing in their community, PETA goes on the offensive chanting kill, kill, kill.

Not surprisingly, PETA itself continues to put to death over 90% of animals they take in (in 2007, they adopted out a paltry 12 of 3,043 animals and in 2008, only 17 of 1,997 were placed in homes). But not content with passively killing animals brought to them as most shelters do, PETA maintains death squads of functionaries who actively seek animals out in order to kill them, as they did in Virginia and North Carolina, which resulted in police involvement for illegally dumping dead animals in supermarket trash bins. (As a "shelter" with the authority to kill, PETA staff was acquitted of animal cruelty charges.)

And what does our movement and our movement’s "leaders" do about it?

Instead of shunning them, the Humane Society of the United States invites PETA to speak at their national conference in a workshop equating No Kill with hoarding.

Instead of condemning them, the Animal Rights Conference inducts Ingrid Newkirk—the architect of its kill policies, and a killer of dogs and cats herself—into the Animal Rights Hall of Fame.

In fact, few national animal welfare or animal rights groups have stood up for the animals by opposing Newkirk or PETA, with notable and rare exceptions—Animal People, Friends of Animals, Alley Cat Allies, and the No Kill Advocacy Center.

How can animal rights/welfare groups expect the public to embrace their goals when the actions of their so-called "leaders" act in ways which are in direct violation of the principles they claim to espouse?

It is time for all animal welfare and animal rights organizations to stand up against PETA's hypocritical, unethical, pernicious, and abhorrent actions. It is time to publicly condemn PETA's policies that allow animals like that poor sweet dog above, to be given an overdose of poison from a bottle marked "Fatal-plus" and then dumped into a garbage bin like nothing more than yesterday's trash—killed despite readily available, proven, life-saving alternatives they simply REFUSE to implement.

PETA's actions are not compassionate. They are not kind. They do not promote the welfare of animals. This isn't a position consistent with a belief in animal rights.

What kind of movement tolerates the serial killing of those they are supposed to protect by the movement's very leaders and groups?

What kind of movement doesn't declare that those they are pledged to protect have a right to live?

What kind of movement inducts unapologetic killers and promoters of a view antithetical to their own core values into their hall of fame?

What kind of movement invites workshops which undermine its goals at their national conferences?

We must not let cowardice keep us from standing up to those who harm animals and hold back progress—just because they claim (falsely) to be part of our movement. We must not let complicity through silence continue to cost innocent animals their lives. And we must certainly not reward them through speaking engagements at national conferences or induction into a hall of fame.

It is time to take our movement back. Back from PETA which defends, promotes and even practices the antithesis of what they are supposed to represent. Which keeps our movement shrouded in the worst kind of darkness. And which kills animals unapologetically, opposes lifesaving alternatives, and does both with a fervor that can only be described one way. It is time to call evil by its name.