I am an All American Vegan! That’s me on the right, holding the spatula. I have a simple philosophy: killing an animal is not an act of love. It is an act of violence.

My name is Nathan Winograd and I have worked in the animal protection movement for 30 years. I am also a graduate of Stanford Law School, an attorney and former criminal prosecutor, and have held a variety of leadership positions including director of operations for the San Francisco SPCA and executive director of the Tompkins County SPCA, two of the most successful shelters in the nation. Under my leadership, Tompkins County, New York, became the first No Kill community in the U.S. I have also spoken nationally and internationally on animal sheltering issues, have written animal protection legislation at the state and national level, have created successful No Kill programs in both urban and rural communities, and have consulted with a wide range of animal protection groups, including some of the largest and best known in the nation. I am the author of seven books and a number of news/magazine articles. My journalistic work has been widely featured in the Huffington Post, the Atlantic, Newsweek, and elsewhere. Moreover, Redemption won five national book awards and redefined the animal protection movement in the United States. (I am also the director of the No Kill Advocacy Center.)

I have been an ethical vegan for over 30 years. I’ve written two vegan cookbooks. I’ve raised two vegan kids and I have a vegan dog. And I am a former PETA volunteer, until I learned the truth. Click here to read about my efforts to end shelter killing, promote veganism, stop vivisection, and more.


Do you believe that animals should be adopted from shelters, rather than purchased from commercial sources like breeders and pet stores?

Yes, I believe that rescue and adoption are ethical imperatives and I’ve dedicated my life to that. Not only did I oversee two of the most successful shelters in the nation, I’ve helped shelters all over the country end the killing of animals. I’ve written and succeeded in getting legislation passed to save more lives. I’ve written books about saving animals in shelters. I hold a national conference that brings together shelter directors, trainers, lawyers, veterinarians, and other professionals to promote adoptions and end killing. I’ve written guides to adopting your way out of killing. And I run a non-profit organization dedicated to saving the lives of animals. Regardless of why animals are being killed, they are being killed, and people should adopt from a shelter or rescue. But how can people adopt from PETA when they kill the animals within minutes in the back of a van—a donor-funded slaughterhouse on wheels—without ever making them available for adoption? How can people adopt animals when they have no adoption hours, do no adoption promotion, do not show animals for adoption and never market animals for adoption, choosing to kill them without doing so?

Do you promote breeding?

No, I do not. Nor have I ever bred an animal or promoted the breeding of animals. I support laws banning the sale of purposely bred animals from pet stores. I’ve written articles about it. I’ve developed workshops on passing those laws. I’ve assisted in drafting such laws. I do not care about perpetuation of “breed standards” and never have. If all dogs become all mutt, that would be fine by me. I also have held workshops on closing down puppy mills. See, for example, “Ethical Consistency for the True Dog Lover.” In fact, it is PETA’s policies that benefit puppy mills.

And while I do NOT support mandatory spay/neuter laws, my objection is not philosophical. I oppose them because they empower animal control agencies that kill to impound animals, who then face death in their shelters. Given that the number one cause of death for healthy dogs and cats in the U.S. is the local animal shelter, we need to reform shelters, keep animals from entering them, and get animals out of there when they do, not pass laws which empower those who kill them to impound even more. While mandatory spay/neuter laws sound like a good idea, the reality is that in practice, in those communities which have passed such laws—and there are many of them—killing has not decreased, but rather increased. If they worked, I would support them. In fact, even the ASPCA had to admit they do not work.

Moreover, though the evidence proves that pet overpopulation is a myth, that doesn’t mean I do not believe that rescue and adoption are not ethical imperatives. They are and I do. Regardless of why animals are being killed, they are being killed, and therefore people should adopt from a shelter or rescue.

Do you have breeders in your organization? Isn’t there a photo of someone who was claimed to be your treasurer who has bred dogs?

No. The suggestion is an attempt by those who defend PETA to shoot the messenger. I founded a non-profit called the No Kill Advocacy Center. Our singular goal is to end the systematic killing of animals in shelters, through advocacy, conferences, tools for advocates, legislation and litigation. You can learn more at www.nokilladvocacycenter.org. Since our founding, several Facebook pages modeled on our efforts have been created, including No Kill Nation and No Kill Revolution. There are many others. But those are not my pages and they are not my groups and I am not responsible for who is involved with them or what they believe. The photograph in question belongs to a Facebook page that is not mine or my organization’s.

Are you supported by industries who harm animals?

No. I have not received money from individuals or groups who exploit animals, including groups like the Center for Consumer Freedom. They did email me questions about sheltering when my first book Redemption was published and I answered them. You can read the questions and answers in their entirety by clicking here. Sadly, the fact I truthfully answered questions about how better to save animals in shelters from this group has been used to misrepresent who I am. That does not mean they support me (they do not) and it does not mean I support them (I do not). Indeed, because I am an ethical vegan and promote animal rights issues, you will find no mention of All American Vegan, my vegan cookbook by them or even Friendly Fire, which exposes PETA killing from an animal rights perspective.

Moreover, for speaking the truth about neglect, abuse and needless killing in shelters and for PETA’s systematic slaughter of thousands of animals every year, the same people who have made these allegations have called me a “piece of shit,” threatened violence against me (one of them wrote an article called “Nathan Winograd Should be Beheaded) and threatened to kill my dog.

Where can I learn more about you?