Among the conflicts between animal rights and animal welfare is the issue of euthanasia.
Nonhuman animals are killed by the millions in shelters every year. Although this is called mercy killing in some cases, or a necessary evil, the means of execution can be far removed from anyone’s concept of compassion.
Often the “right to life” is not even considered applicable when it comes to non humans, the main dispute is the method in which the killing is carried out and how to deal with the failure to apply proper care and diligence in doing so.
This disagreement extends to the systemic exploitation of non humans in industry, and in recent decades the traditional vegetarian philosophy of seeking to avoid unnecessary killing has competed for ground with a welfare-oriented view that suggests the wrongs of the meat industry has less to do with whether one needs to eat meat at all but more to do with how it is conducted. “Compassionate killing” is deemed the answer, not eliminating an unnecessary, unethical, and destructive dietary choice. Thus the development of “Happy meat” and “Humane farming” campaigns have resulted in an odd situation where some animal advocates advise people to purchase meat from small farms instead of going vegan and inadvertently help exploitation industries to score PR points for addressing auxiliary cruelties and injustices that they should have dealt with on their own if they were so interested in nonhuman welfare. One may point a disapproving finger at Peter Singer, the so-called father of Animal Rights by the uninformed media for encouraging this welfarist perspective in recent decades. Many unnecessary disputes and confusing debates have resulted because welfare ideology dominates, often aided surreptitiously by the exploitation industries themselves.
The main philosophical point in animal rights is the false belief in human superiority to other lifeforms, and this central issue is the basis to counter all objections and construct the most logical, practical, common sense, and fair ethical policy for dealing with others (human and nonhuman). This has been repeatedly addressed in previous articles at: https://animalargument.wordpress.com/
The systemic mass killing in shelters of nonhuman animals, the victims of domestication, is a moral catastrophe, however it should be criticized and dealt with by those who have sincere interest in compassion and justice, not by those who use the issue for slandering animal rights activism and supporting the exploitation industries that create and perpetuate the problem.
The No Kill shelter movement as it may be called has been aggressive in attacking groups like Peta for what it alleges is a conspiracy of deliberate and callous killing of non human animals who they suggest could be housed alive indefinitely, using the donations the group receives. Nathan Winograd is the poster boy for this movement and the most vehement critic of Peta. He claims to be a vegan animal activist who successfully converted shelters to a no kill policy, over the objections of Peta.
His allegations must be regarded with derision for a few reasons.
The “Peta hates animals” line of attack has been used by vivisectors and others to divert from their exploitation practices for at least two decades.
If a vivisector is capable of torturing and maiming innocent lives one can surely expect them to be as willing to mutilate the truth for their own agenda.
While a charity organization can become bureaucratically rigid, incompetent, or corrupt, Winograd’s worst allegations against Peta require that one believe their principle motivation is not sincere concern for nonhumans, but making money while conducting torture and killing in secret.
In other words being exactly like vivisection labs and the meat and dairy industry.
Regardless of whether or not a shelter could save an animal from death or works hard enough to prevent it from occurring, it is not the same moral obscenity as a vivisection laboratory or cattle ranch that tortures and kills animals by design and intention.
It may be flattering that exploitation industry representatives assume that animal rights activists are capable of moral perfection, but they must contend with day to day reality and their own capacity for mistakes and misjudgment as human rights advocates do. Just as daily homicides and wars don’t mean we shouldn’t endeavor to manage and solve human rights issues, accidental or negligent nonhuman animal deaths do not justify vivisection torture chambers and farms.
Winograd has claimed that there is no overpopulation epidemic and that groups like Peta are deliberately and maliciously denying this truth for nefarious reasons. Thus he apparently has no venom for animal breeders and pet stores, and is so comfortable with vivisection and the meat and dairy industry that he does book interviews with the Center for Consumer Freedom, a propaganda front group for exploitation businesses. A so-called vegan animal activist who is more hostile towards an animal rights charity than exploitation industry proponents is either stupid, mentally disturbed, or a liar–or a combination case, which as we know isn’t an uncommon personality profile among exploitation apologists.
Also, the term No Kill shelter is a misnomer, for either they will euthanize animals that they consider too sick or aggressive for adoption, or they turn them away—which means the animals end up at another shelter where they are killed. Just because they do not do the killing themselves does not mean they do not make life or death decisions for them. They pass on the problem.
Or they are indiscriminate in who they give adoptable animals to, including vivisection labs. The No Kill shelter faction cannot and should not deny the reality of error and abuse in their own solution to unwanted victims of domestication.
Winograd’s deception is further exposed by his failure to demand that businesses that service companion animal interests, such as pet stores and food conglomerates, help foot the bill to house these shelter animals permanently. Only animal rights charities are expected to provide money. Only animal rights charities are to blame. There is no problem but the animal rights charity. A vivisector could not have said it any better.
Winograd and his corporate handlers use the shelter animals as fodder for their propaganda games against animal rights activism. They do not care what happens to the animals—they are merely pawns in the effort to discredit the most visible groups in advocacy and distract from efforts to curb cruelty and injustice.
But there is a silver lining in the existence of such a calculated and long term strategy by exploitation industry PR apologists, for it shows clearly that no matter how well paid, they are not able to make persuasive arguments and must resort to lies and tricks to sway public opinion.
It is important to scrutinize and critique any large or small animal charity when justified, but one must separate legitimate grievances from dishonest, childish, and pathetic distraction tactics by those who have no sincere interest in nonhuman rights or welfare.
Note: Some who claim to know him personally have characterized Winograd, a former prosecutor and corporate lawyer, as an egomaniac. While it is possible, that would suggest that his claims are sincere. In weighing the evidence one must decide between two conspiracy theories, either Peta hates nonhuman animals and seeks to destroy them any way they can while doing anti-vivisection and other campaigns as a ruse to draw in money, or, that Winograd the animal activist who does interviews with pro-vivisection organizations and has no criticism of anyone but animal charities, is actually funded by exploitation industries to push a disinformation campaign as a PR distraction since they are unable to defend their practices. One is more far-fetched than the other.