The Cat is Out of the Bag: No Kill Pretenders Signs of No Kill Progress
Reflecting back on my 20 or so years of No Kill advocacy, one thing keeps coming to mind: Shortly after the movement began gaining steam, when impromptu No Kill groups began popping up around the USA, and when more communities began achieving No Kill success, a friend and coworker made an interesting prediction. That prediction came from Beth Nelson, co-host and producer of the Animal Wise Radio program. She suggested that the people involved in the No Kill Movement should be prepared for a wave of "pretenders" who would likely swoop in to try to claim it for their own, or take it off in a different direction. She turned out to be absolutely right about that. Many people I know are frustrated by that fact. Yet, I find it interesting, and oddly inspiring.
Let me explain...
When any movement is formed, it is formed from a small, tightly knit group who are in nearly 100% agreement about practically everything. As the movement grows and evolves, a broader range of voices come to the table. And, ultimately, folks from the sidelines begin offering their own commentary, even though they may not really understand what they are talking about.
From that perspective, the pretenders and the sidelines commentators, though arguably frustrating at times, are also a sign of how far the movement has come and how much progress we have made. I say, celebrate the fact that they are here. The fact is, there have been pretenders in the field all along. It is certainly now getting easier to identify who they are.