To make his point even stronger, Cesar uses a saying that is attributed to Gandhi: “The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.” I don't know how accurate it is. (Fyodor Dostoevsky said something similar about judging a nation by the way it treats its prisoners, and I would add the weakest members of society--the unborn, the sick, and the elderly.)
During the same time as Cesar's walk on Capitol Hill, pro-euthanasia advocates were blasting their deadly message across airwaves, asking people to legalize human euthanasia in Maryland and Massachusetts. Add to that, we've been bombarded with right-to-die (and duty-to-die) messages across the nation. The New York Times has run several euthanasia articles (examples are here, here, and here); there have been shows and movies about euthanasia and suicide, like "Wristcutters: A Love Story."
How we resolve this debate will speak volumes about the people we have become. Meanwhile, Cesar's a good man, but I think he's a little off on the issue of animal euthanasia. I think euthanizing aggressive or sick animals is appropriate because while they are beautiful and sentient beings, they have no souls. I do agree with him, though, that puppy mills are evil because it misuses the animal.
Among the 10,000 people who marched with their doggies and Cesar, I wonder how many of them were pro-choice. I am sure more than a few. The tragic fact is, as David Brooks points out, "There are now more American houses with dogs than with children.”