Nathan Winograd is the leader of the No Kill movement, a genuine revolution in animal welfare. Over three million healthy and adoptable pets will be killed next year in America's shelters. Not, however, if Winograd and his growing army have any say. I caught up with him a few weeks after the No Kill Advocacy Centre's annual conference in Washington D.C.
People naturally assume that the animal rights movement is simply an extension of the human rights movement. People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), however, is a political movement primarily focused on the right to determine when and how an animal should die. Those who donate to PETA are almost never aware of this.
Why is a so-called animal rights group willing to go to war over its right to kill healthy pets unnecessarily? "No Kill" -- defined as a euthanasia rate of not more than 10 per cent of a given shelter's pets -- has been achieved wherever it has been strictly implemented. Perhaps the most sickening aspect of PETA's assault on the No Kill movement is that it blocks groups from rescuing animals in high-kill shelters.
PETA may soon lose the right to kill healthy pets. Currently, the headquarters of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals in Norfolk, Virginia kills 97 per cent of the animals delivered into its care. Norfolk, however, may soon pass legislation to make the city a "No Kill" zone.
Bill Maher is pretty much the last person you'd expect to get sucked in by PETA, Ingrid Newkirk's cult of euthanasia. For Maher to uncritically cheerlead for one of the ugliest cults in America is truly disheartening. And, unlike most of the celebrity cults, PETA does real damage, on a gruesome scale.