Launching a website attacking the credibility of an animal
rights organization is something people might expect a front group that protects
the financial interests of the food, beverage, and tobacco industries to do.
People might expect an ambitious public relations operative and corporate
attorney, such as
Richard Berman, to fund such an endeavor by soliciting millions of dollars
in contributions from tobacco giant
Phillip Morris, and additional financial support from major players within
the food and beverage industries, like
They might expect Richard Berman to convince
Hormel Foods Corp.,
Standard Meat Co., and
Covance Laboratories--one of the largest animal breeding and testing
facilities in the world, of which Phillip Morris is a longstanding client, to
sign-on financially to his bold new project.
They might also expect someone like
Richard Berman to approach such an enterprise with a clever strategy. Rather
than taking on the growing negativity surrounding the issues of smoking,
drinking, and meat-eating directly, Berman's front group would target what it
wanted the public to believe was "excessive government regulation" and a growing
threat to "free-will," springing up from the private sector by way of
environmental advocacy organizations, health and wellness advocates, and animal
rights groups like People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals.
In 1996, Berman's front group became the incorporated "charitable" entity known
as the "Center for Consumer Freedom," and began digging into its mission of
"protecting the rights of consumers" as they pertained to the financial
interests of the tobacco, food, and beverage industries.
In this realm of opinion molding, Berman is a pioneer. He maintains one of the
longest-running and most influential enterprises in the field. His attacks
typically are carefully worded so that each sentence can be defended as narrowly
accurate. But his critics say many are constructed in a way that distorts the
overall picture"--Michael Kranish,
The Boston Globe
So when the Center for Consumer Freedom stumbled upon
PETA's Virginia Department of
Agriculture and Consumer Services
animal reporting summary numbers, people might expect that the front group
would spin the dull straw of PETA's shelter statistics into a currency that
would keep the CCF's anti-animal campaign afloat, and they might expect it to
take liberties with the truth towards those interests.
May of 2005, the Center for Consumer Freedom launched the "petakillsanimals.com"
website, a composite of PETA's 2004 VDACS animal reporting summaries and and
array of intentionally stark, red, and uncomfortable graphics claiming that the
animal rights group was "killing" most of the animals it received into its
With regards to mitigating PETA's impact on food and beverage industry bottom
lines, the Center for Consumer Freedom was generating a working limb. If
PETA--the world's largest animal rights organization could kill animals, then
the CCF's tobacco, food, and beverage industry donors could certainly confine,
deprive, and violently disassemble animals for their lucrative parts, and do it
in good conscience.
Reeling from the CCF's disquieting new website, PETA immediately issued a
statement explaining that most of the animals entering its Norfolk facility were
"broken beings," and that the organization referred every healthy, cute, young
animal it could to traditional animal shelters. But the Center for Consumer
Freedom wasn't about to pass up the opportunity to exploit the apparent
hypocrisy of the animal rights group ending the lives of animals, not based on
the technicality that PETA might be acting in the animals' best interests.
But things would soon get even worse for PETA. Just one month after the Center
for Consumer Freedom's anti-PETA website made its debut, two of PETA's Community
Animal Project volunteers were arrested in North Carolina, after they were
caught putting animal remains in a private grocery store dumpster.
The public was generally unaware of PETA's Community Animal Project's
work in North Carolina, and why they were there: in 2000, a law enforcement
officer witnessed these
events at the Bertie County, North Carolina animal shelter, and contacted
PETA with photographs--a starving dog eating the remains of a dead kitten, a dog
lying near death in his flooded enclosure, and rotting puppies lying on the
floor outside the shelter's dilapidated gas chamber. And more.
Outraged by the photos depicting the disturbing conditions at the Bertie County
animal shelter, PETA galvanized and dispatched a team to North Carolina. PETA
staff and volunteers went to work immediately to improve the conditions at the
shelter, and PETA sent experts to talk to county officials about ending their
use of gas chamber and firearm euthanasia.
Under enormous pressure from PETA and its supporters, four North Carolina pounds
and shelters entered into agreements with the animal rights organization to
improve pound conditions for animals, but county officials refused to budge on
the gas chamber issue.
PETA began working closely with the shelters that year, pouring over $300,000
into bringing the shelters up to code--even building safe animal housing from
the ground up. PETA contracted the services of local a veterinarian who would
humanely euthanize animals who would otherwise be suffocated to death in a gas
chamber at the Hertford County pound.
The animal rights organization tried to persuade the remaining three counties to
allow local vets to humanely euthanize their animals as well--on PETA's
dime--but for whatever reason the shelters' officials refused. They would allow
PETA to remove and euthanize the animals themselves and at their own expense
however, and transport their remains back to Virginia for cremation.
Every week, sometimes several times a week, PETA staff and volunteers would make
the hours-long trek to North Carolina to clean kennels, feed animals, save as
many adoptable animals as they could, and humanely euthanize the ones they would
not be able to find homes for. Sick and injured animals on stray holds, who
would typically be left to languish in cages, were transported by PETA staff to
local veterinarians for treatment.
In the words of Daphna Nachminovitch, the head of PETA's cruelty investigation
department, the Community Animal Project volunteers, "broke a matter of trust,"
when they acted well outside of PETA's stated protocol and disposed of the North
Carolina pound animals they had euthanized that day, in a private grocery store
Not surprisingly, Richard Berman would take full advantage of the confusion
surrounding the incident to forward his fresh new campaign to discredit the
animal rights organization, taking liberties with the truth to create a
disturbing and enduring storm of disinformation that would haunt PETA for a very
Nothing Richard Berman says or does should surprise anyone. Industries do battle
this way every day. Companies that profit from the production of gas-guzzling
luxury cars, wage wars against activists and scientists who are getting the
message out there that the Earth is heating up fast, and that consumers' choices
factor heavily into it. Corporations that profit from the confinement,
concentration, deprivation, and violent disassembly of animals, develop
strategies to mitigate threats that health advocates, environmental groups, and
animal rights organizations pose to their bottom lines.
What may be surprising, what should be surprising, however, is that the head of
the No Kill Advocacy Center
recently launched his own
website targeting PETA's credibility--using the Center for Consumer
Freedom's "PETA Kills Animals" template of attacks.
Animal protection organizations don't always agree on what's best for animals,
but generally speaking, when a line is drawn in the sand, entities involved in
factory farming, animal research, and other forms of animal exploitation, tend
to be on the other side of the line. Applying the proverb "the enemy of my enemy
is my friend" to Nathan
Winograd's scenario, introduces an intriguing cast of characters.
While I do not embrace or support the Center for Consumer Freedom or what it
stands for, that doesn't change the fact that when it comes to their criticism
of HSUS and PETA's support for shelter killing and in the case of PETA, their
own killing of thousands of animals every year, the CCF is correct in their
criticism. While the motivations may be entirely base, what they are saying is
in fact true, even though on everything else they are entirely wrong: we should
ban the Canadian seal slaughter, we should close down puppy mills, we should
eliminate the killing of animals for food, and we should ban hunting. To borrow
an old saying, even a broken clock is right twice a day."--Nathan Winograd
The Center for Consumer Freedom couldn't ask for a more glowing endorsement than
having someone within the animal protection community claim that its scathing
"criticisms" of PETA are "true," however.
For example, the following allegation against PETA appears on the Center for
Consumer Freedom's "PETA Kills Animals" website: "PETA killed 89.4% of the
Adoptable Dogs and Cats in Its Care During 2012." This allegation certainly
supplies all the raw materials needed to develop a sufficient inventory of
outrage, but it's not completely truthful:
"That is correct," Virginia State Veterinarian, Dr. Dan Kovich, DVM, MPH,
explained during our interview this month, when I noted that there doesn't
appear to be any data on the VDACS animal reporting summaries regarding the
adoptability of the animals euthanized in either private or municipal animal
It turns out, with regards to animal shelters, the state of Virginia
considers each of the three methods of "disposition"--adoption, transfer, and
euthanasia--to be equal under the law, meaning, Virginia animal releasing
agencies are not asked by the state to justify one means of disposition over
Furthermore, there is no statewide legal criteria for determining
"adoptability," so animal releasing agencies are not asked to record and report
such determinations to the state. The State Veterinarian simply doesn't collect
that data. And if the State Veterinarian doesn't know how many adoptable animals
are euthanized in any given Virginia animal shelter, no one does, not even the
Center for Consumer Freedom.
But Nathan Winograd doesn't just claim that the Center for Consumer Freedom's
allegations against PETA are "true," he dedicates his own anti-PETA website to
"proving" that the animal rights organization euthanizes healthy, adoptable
animals in their Norfolk shelter. Nathan Winograd publishes the following
statement on his "PETA Kills Animals" website:
PETA claims that all of the animals they kill are 'unadoptable.' But this claim
is a lie for numerous reasons. It is a lie because rescue groups, individuals,
and veterinarians have come forward stating that the animals they gave PETA were
healthy and adoptable and PETA insiders have admitted as much, one former intern
reporting that he quit in disgust after witnessing perfectly healthy puppies and
kittens in the kill room. It is a lie because PETA refuses to provide its
criteria for making the determination as to whether or not an animal is
"unadoptable." It is a lie because according to a state inspector, the PETA
facility where the animals are impounded was designed to house animals for no
more than 24 hours. It is a lie because Newkirk herself admitted as much during
a television interview: when asked whether or not PETA kills healthy animals,
she responded, 'Absolutely.' It is a lie because PETA staff have described the
animals they have killed as 'healthy,' 'adorable' and 'perfect.' It is a lie
because PETA itself admits it does not believe in 'right to life for animals.'
And it is a lie because when asked what sort of effort PETA routinely makes to
find adoptive homes for animals in its care, PETA had no comment."
Nearly every allegation Nathan Winograd makes in this blistering statement has
been previously made by the Center for Consumer Freedom, in one form or another,
starting with the allegation that the animals PETA euthanizes in its shelter are
largely adoptable. In fact, both the CCF's and Winograd's respective anti-PETA
campaigns hinge heavily on being able to sell that notion to the public.
Numbers, by themselves are rarely ever alarming, so people generally won't know
if numbers are "good" or "bad" without the use of strong verbal or visual cues.
In this case, "the numbers" are representative of animal-individuals, but
otherwise, the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services
reporting summary data reveals virtually no other details about those animals.
According to PETA's VDACS animal reporting data, the animal rights group
euthanizes between four and five animals in any given 24-hour period, and nearly
all of those animals are
brought to PETA by their guardians--but that's about the extent of what can
be learned about them, just by looking at the records.
From other sources, it can be determined that the Hampton Roads area of Virginia
has a population of about 1.6 million residents, and that more and more of them
fall below the poverty line every year. Factoring in that PETA is the
organization in the Hampton Roads region that offers no-cost,
veterinarian-supervised emergency medical euthanasia to any animal who requires
it, and that this emergency on-call service is available to animals 24 hours a
day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year, it's not a stretch that PETA would receive
and euthanize between four and five sick and injured animals in any given
But that's clearly not the picture that the Center for Consumer Freedom and
Nathan Winograd want to paint, so they each couch the numbers in other terms,
adding strong verbal prompts that tell the recipients of the message that they
should think that these modest numbers are very high, and somehow very bad.
The strategy was a classic effort for Berman: the headline-grabbing fact is
correct, and PETA says the number of killed animals is accurate. But PETA said
the broader implication is misleading. PETA says it 'euthanizes' only the most
'broken' animals brought to its 'shelter of last resort.' PETA senior vice
president Jeff Kerr said Berman's charges are 'like complaining that a hospice
has a high mortality rate. It's entirely misleading.' Kerr said that the real
aim of the attack is to undermine PETA because the group's promotion of a vegan
diet cuts into the profits of Berman's backers."--Michael Kranish, The Boston
Importantly, the Center for Consumer Freedom's and Nathan Winograd's sensational
allegations that "rescue groups" and "individuals" have come forward stating
that the animals they gave PETA were "healthy" and "adoptable," and that PETA
euthanized them anyway, have never been substantiated. When I interviewed
Virginia's State Veterinarian, Dr. Dan Kovich, DVM, MPH, back in February of
2012, I asked him if he had any reason to believe that PETA misrepresents its
services to the public, he replied:
To the best of my recollection, the State Veterinarian's office has never
received a complaint from a anyone who felt that PETA had misrepresented their
services in any way."--Dr. Dan Kovich, DVM, MPH
When I touched base with Dr. Kovich earlier this month, he stated that his
office has received a small number of complaints regarding PETA since I
contacted him previously, but that none have been determined by his office to be
The small euthanasia room at PETA's Norfolk headquarters is very well attended
by the public: both Richard Berman and Nathan Winograd keep tally of the number
of animals who have been euthanized there, stating that "in the last eleven
years, PETA has 'killed' 29,426 companion animals" at their Norfolk facility.
Inadvertently, they each illustrate just how unlikely it is that PETA euthanizes
animals against their guardians' wishes.
Over the span of eleven years, literally tens of thousands of Hampton Roads'
residents have contacted PETA to access their no-cost euthanasia
services--thousands of whom have personally entered PETA's Norfolk euthanasia
room to attend the procedure--yet there have been virtually no complaints made
against the animal rights group. And of the small number of complaints that do
exist, none have been determined by the state to be credible.
To put it another way, if every 1,000 euthanasia procedures performed at PETA's
headquarters generated a complaint against the animal rights group, there would
have been approximately 30 complaints submitted to the Office of the State
Veterinarian over the years.
It is noteworthy that here have been only three--or an average of one complaint
per 10,000 euthanasia procedures, and that none of the claims have been
substantiated by the state. Additionally, there was no indication from Dr.
Kovich during our interview that the complaints were directly related to PETA's
Just as importantly, there is no indication that
anecdotes such as "PETA promised to find a home for a man's bunny, but
killed it instead," and others, are based in truth. Last month when I
interviewed the head of PETA's Cruelty Investigations department, we spoke of
PETA's policy regarding making promises:
We never make promises that animals will be adopted. Never. But we do keep the
promises we make. If we promise an animal will be transferred to the Virginia
Beach SPCA, then we transfer that animal to the Virginia Beach SPCA."--Daphna
And, of course, no one can guarantee that a particular companion animal will be
adopted, despite his having been labeled "adoptable" by a shelter. This is an
excerpt from the
euthanasia policy of a no kill shelter that
Nathan Winograd praises on
his personal website. It illustrates the sliding scale nature of "adoptability"
in the shelter setting, and how labeling an animal "adoptable" isn't a guarantee
that a forever home awaits him:
In extreme overcrowding situations, we may also be forced to euthanize due to
space. In this case, the adoptability of each animal is evaluated carefully and
difficult decisions are made. If a healthy animal has been in our care for a
long period of time, but has some characteristic that has made adoptability
unlikely, we feel it is also inhumane to require the animal to spend their life
living in our shelter, despite our best efforts to provide the best care while
in our facility."--Joshua Cromer, Director of the Humane Society of Henderson
Interestingly, the shelter PETA refers and transfers its adoptable animals to,
the Virginia Beach SPCA, is an open-admission shelter that accepts animals from
all jurisdictions and never euthanizes animals for space. During our recent
interview, Sharon Q. Adams, the shelter's director stated that the VBSPCA has
been able to find homes and foster homes for 90% of the animals they've received
so far this year. Because the shelter focuses more on serving the community's
animals appropriately than maintaining a low euthanasia rate, the Virginia Beach
SPCA does not consider itself to be a "no kill" shelter.
Other allegations the Center for Consumer Freedom and Nathan Winograd make
against PETA collapse under close scrutiny as well:
Winograd alleges: "PETA refuses to provide its criteria for making the
determination as to whether or not an animal is "unadoptable."
Refuses to provide its criteria to whom? The State Veterinarian doesn't ask
Virginia shelters to record and report the determinations they make regarding
adoptability to the state.
Winograd alleges: "Ingrid Newkirk herself admitted as much during a television
interview: when asked whether or not PETA kills healthy animals, she responded,
This is what Ingrid Newkirk actually said during the
Actually, for us, we are usually picking up the worst of the worst, the
unsocialized, the ones who have been on a chain their whole lives, they're not
even able to think about going into a home. Nobody wants them. So yes, in one
way, it would be great if every broken animal, it would be lovely if there was
someone who said yes, I'll put in the time and effort, but there are wonderful,
cute, fluffy small ones that you can't find homes for, but we don't take in
adoptable animals usually, unless we have to, we let them go to shelters where
people come through and can choose.
If we get them and we can't find a home, absolutely. It's the dilemma. It's
why I'm so against breeding, and why I say to everybody 'spay and neuter,' and
'don't go to the pet shop, go to the pound.' Save lives, don't take them."
Winograd alleges: "When asked what sort of effort PETA routinely makes to find
adoptive homes for animals in its care, PETA had no comment."
In truth, PETA openly discusses its shelter and its adoption hours and policies.
This is an excerpt from an
online discussion hosted by the Virginia Pilot, on August 12, 2013:
In a recent article on
HuffPo, Ingrid Newkirk claimed that you operate a shelter with regular
adoption hours. Where can we find out what those hours are and what are your
adoption policies?"-- Commenter identified as "Damifino"
Our shelter is located at 501 Front ST., the Sam Simon Center, and it is open
during regular office hours (9-5:30) though we are always happy to make
arrangements to meet people after-hours and on weekends if that's what's best
for an animal. People who wish to adopt should email us at
[email protected] for available animals or can
call 757 622 7382 and ask. We have several dogs for adoption at the moment.
Adoption policies are available if you email us (time is limited so bear with
me) but generally, spay/neuter/microchip before release, $75 adoption fee,
application, contract and home visit required. If you are looking to adopt
please email us!"--Daphna Nachminovitch in response to the question
But perhaps this is Nathan Winograd's most disturbing allegation of all:
Winograd alleges that: "Ingrid Newkirk admitting she would go to work early to
kill animals – 'I must have killed a thousand of them, sometimes dozens per
Accessing the exact quote from the
Nathan Winograd provides isn't easy, even for an experienced researcher, but
according to the document that he uses to bolster this disturbing claim, this is
how Ingrid Newkirk describes her early work in a municipal animal shelter:
I went to the front office all the time, and I would say, 'John is kicking the
dogs and putting them into freezers.' Or I would say, 'They are stepping on the
animals, crushing them like grapes, and they don't care.' In the end, I would go
to work early, before anyone got there, and I would just kill the animals
myself. Because I couldn't stand to let them go through that. I must have killed
a thousand of them, sometimes dozens every day. Some of those people would take
pleasure in making them suffer. Driving home every night, I would cry just
thinking about it. And I just felt, to my bones, this cannot be right."--Ingrid
The bulk of Richard Berman's and Nathan Winograd's remaining allegations against
PETA stem from the North Carolina incident, though PETA's work in North Carolina
in the early 1990's is unrelated to their Norfolk shelter practices.
When PETA became involved with North Carolina animals back in 2000, the animal
rights group quickly and dishearteningly realized that its capacity to impact
the lives of animals in pounds and shelters would be extremely limited. While
improving the living conditions at these North Carolina shelters and pounds was
critical for the animals residing there, PETA had hoped that its massive
campaign against the use of gas chambers in North Carolina would result in the
cessation of their use.
When it didn't, PETA was faced with either walking away from the problem
altogether, or taking personal responsibility that the animals in those four
North Carolina pounds and shelters wouldn't be shoved into a box soaked with the
feces, urine, vomit, and blood of all the animals who were tortured to death
before them. History proves that PETA didn't allow that to happen.
Nathan Winograd has even more to say about the Center for Consumer Freedom's
anti-PETA attack campaign:
Moreover, it is not the Center for Consumer Freedom which is thwarting our
effort to achieve a No Kill nation or build a better world for companion
animals; rather, it is the leaders of organizations who are supposed to protect
animals but instead betray them. It is also the legions of gullible grassroots
activists who mindlessly come to their defense and eagerly dismiss all criticism
of these organizations as a vast conspiracy of animal exploiters, thus allowing
those betrayals to continue."--Nathan Winograd
A curious statement considering the Center for Consumer Freedom's clients list.
It's well-established that the CCF protects the interests of the factory farming
industry, but the truth is, the CCF isn't doing companion animals any favors
either. The Center for Consumer Freedom runs interference for a lot of different
types of animal enterprises, and over the years, a lot of dogs and cats have
been lost in the bargain.
In 1966, nearly a decade after the US Surgeon General declared a link between
cancer and tobacco smoking, Phillip Morris began "Project
6900," a series of physiological studies designed to privately "advise
Phillip Morris as related to smoking and smoking products" in "the production
and development of a new cigarette product." Using several sets of skin painting
and inhalation studies on animals of almost every stripe, Phillip Morris'
researchers set out to build the foundation for what would become the tobacco
industry's ongoing full-frontal assault on claims that smoking was causing
cancer and other diseases in humans.
A decade later it was discovered that Covance Laboratories was conducting
horrendous forced smoking experiments on
beagles--on the tobacco
industry's behalf. And later, during the 1990's, simultaneously to the US
Surgeon General reporting that exposure to secondhand smoke substantially
increases the risks for lung cancer and heart disease in humans, Covance was
generating tobacco-industry sponsored research claiming that even extreme
amounts of secondhand cigarette smoke were safe, and they were torturing a lot
of defenseless animals to accomplish it.
Which would explain why a tobacco company might be motivated to purchase $2.3
million dollars-worth of interest in an industry front group that seemingly
targets "anti-meat" activist organizations on behalf of the food and beverage
industry. Phillip Morris tests its tobacco products on animals, lots of animals,
and over the span of several decades, the largest producer of tobacco products
has cultivated a close relationship with the largest producer of dogs exploited
for biomedical research--Covance Laboratories. A lot of smokers were dying from
cancer, and Phillip Morris needed to produce scientific "proof" that cigarettes
weren't killing them. Their exploitation of animals to forward "product
development" would put the tobacco company squarely in PETA's cross-hairs.
Interestingly, the Center for Consumer Freedom's riding shotgun for corporations
that breed, confine, concentrate, deprive, and violently disassemble beagles for
research hasn't landed the industry front group in Nathan Winograd's
Additionally, the Center for Consumer Freedom's assault on PETA actually does
appear to be "a vast
conspiracy of animal exploiters." The CCF certainly doesn't come at PETA
from a perspective of wanting to protect animals:
For the uninitiated, animal 'welfare' is the position that says we should be
concerned about animals' well being, and protect them from needless pain and
suffering. At the same time, it's perfectly acceptable to use animals for food,
clothing, research, entertainment, recreation, and such. But animals are not
people. And when the needs of our species clash with those of another, humans
Martosko, Former Director of Research for the Center for Consumer Freedom
(From David Martosko Biography, as it formerly appeared on the CCF's website)
The Center for Consumer Freedom comes at PETA because the animal rights group
threatens the financial interests of its stakeholders. In 2001, claiming
ownership of 114 shares of Altria (owners of Phillip Morris) common stock, PETA
filed a shareholder resolution demanding that the tobacco company cease its use
of animals in its barbaric product testing.
From April 26, 2004, to March 11, 2005, an undercover investigator for PETA
videotaped systematic abuse and neglect of animals at Covance Laboratories'
facility in Vienna, Virginia. The resolution failed to pass, but the tactic was
effective in providing a new
forum in which to present the animals rights group's research to company
executives, their shareholders, and to the public.
The number fluctuates, but PETA holds stock in as many as 100 companies at any
one given time, providing the animal rights group with internal access to
corporations that exploit animals, many of whom are on the Center for Consumer
Freedom's donor list. Clearly Richard Berman's clients consider PETA to be a
While there is no available evidence linking the Center for Consumer Freedom and
financially, it's impossible to ignore the stark similarities in their
respective "PETA Kills Animals" campaigns. In fact, in 2007, the Center for
Consumer Freedom and Nathan Winograd
got together to discuss their respective anti-PETA endeavors, and to promote
Winograd's new book "Redemption."
It's possible that when the interview occurred, Nathan Winograd wasn't aware of
the Center for Consumer Freedom's affiliation with Covance Laboratories, or that
at the time of this 2007 interview, that the CCF's client was proposing to build
new facility in Maricopa County that would produce approximately 170,000
animals every year, most of whom would be killed in experiments.
It's also conceivable that Nathan Winograd might not have known that in 2007,
the going rate for a "purpose bred" Covance "Class A" beagle was $575, and that
University of Illinois at Chicago had purchased several hundred beagles from
Covance to use in deadly experiments, just one of the universities and research
programs Covance sold beagles to that year. It would be hard to argue that he
hasn't become familiar with the Center for Consumer Freedom's "work" since the
2007 interview, however.
The Center for Consumer Freedom's attack on PETA may be marginally "accurate,"
but it's not especially truthful in its portrayal of the facts. Which begs the
question: why would an entity within the animal protection community side with
an industry front group that protects the interests of enterprises that
collectively kill tens of billions of animals annually, some of whom are
companion animals--in its attack on an animal rights group?
The answer may lie in a question that the Center for Consumer Freedom posed to
Nathan Winograd during their 2007 interview:
What's beneath the surface of PETA's apparent hypocrisy here? Why do you think
the group doesn't endorse a 'No Kill' philosophy?"
Over the years, PETA has been an
outspoken opponent of the no kill sheltering movement, stating that:
Some people are suggesting that the solution to dog and cat overpopulation lies
with so-called 'no-kill' animal shelters. If this were true, PETA would be their
strongest proponent. But people engaged in real sheltering work know that
'no-kill' creates even more problems for animals and 'no birth' is where our
attention must be focused."
And that's clearly where PETA's community work is focused. So far, the animal
rights group has spayed and neutered almost 100,000 Hampton Roads animals, in
free and low cost clinics.
This is what the animal rights group had to say about the disinformation
campaigns targeting its shelter practices:
They have also focused on PETA's euthanasia statistics in a truly perverted way
to try to make people angry at what is actually a dignified, merciful release
from suffering. They use inflammatory language and labels such as 'puppies' and
'kittens' even if the animal was a 17-year-old dog who was unable to walk and
gasping for breath because of a heart condition. PETA openly publishes its
euthanasia figures each year and simultaneously calls on the government and
citizens to implement sterilization programs and laws to reduce the
homeless-animal crisis. We'd love for the 'no-kill' people to join us in working
for such a real solution."
As long as the No Kill Advocacy Center considers PETA to be the biggest threat
with regards to "thwarting" its "effort to achieve a No Kill nation or build a
better world for companion animals," even more so than the Center for Consumer
Freedom and its list of donors, that just doesn't seem likely to happen.