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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm not 100% sure this is the right forum for this, but I wanted to post this for everyone to see, and perhaps even respond to. It's a fantastic commentary in today's L.A. Times that everyone here should read.<br><br><br><br><a href="http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/commentary/la-oe-dujack21apr21,1,12976.story" target="_blank">http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/...,1,12976.story</a>
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
It's a bit of a copyright violation, and it's long, but I guess no one's going to profit off of it here, right?<br><br><br><br><a href="http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/commentary/la-oe-dujack21apr21,1,12976.story" target="_blank">http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/...,1,12976.story</a><br><br><br><br>
COMMENTARY<br><br><b>Animals Suffer a Perpetual 'Holocaust'</b><br><br>
By Stephen R. Dujack<br><br><i>Stephen R. Dujack is the editor of an environmental magazine in Washington and a writer.</i><br><br><br><br>
April 21, 2003<br><br><br><br>
Isaac Bashevis Singer fled Nazi Europe in 1935 and came to this country. He married my grandmother, who had escaped from Hitler's Germany in 1940. He went on to become a lauded author and won the Nobel Prize for literature in 1978. His family -- those who stayed behind -- were killed in the concentration camps.<br><br><br><br>
My grandfather was also a principled vegetarian. He was one of the first to equate the wholesale slaughter of humans to what we perpetrate against animals every day in slaughterhouses. He realized that the systems of oppression and murder that had been used in the Holocaust were the systems being used to confine, oppress and slaughter animals. He attributed to a character in one of his books something he believed in himself: "In relation to [animals], all people are Nazis. For [them], it is an eternal Treblinka."<br><br><br><br>
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, or PETA, has come under fire from the Anti-Defamation League for a campaign highlighting my grandfather's ideas as well as writings from others -- including German Jewish philosopher Theodor Adorno, who was forced into exile by the Nazis, and Edgar Kupfer-Koberwitz, who was imprisoned in Dachau -- that compare the suffering of Holocaust victims with that of farmed animals.<br><br><br><br>
The ADL claims that PETA is exploiting the Holocaust for publicity. The campaign has sparked debate and controversy in the Jewish community, but my grandfather would have been proud of PETA's bold campaign.<br><br><br><br>
The Holocaust happened because ordinary people chose to ignore the extraordinary oppression and abuse being inflicted on innocents by the Nazis. Millions of people went about their daily lives, knowingly turning a blind eye to the suffering of those they didn't relate to, those who were deemed "unworthy of life."<br><br><br><br>
My grandfather often said that this mind-set, whether it manifested itself as the oppression of animals or of people, exemplified the most hideous and dangerous of all racist principles. As Adorno said, "Auschwitz begins wherever someone looks at a slaughterhouse and thinks: They're only animals."<br><br><br><br>
My grandfather was a gentle man who always extended a compassionate hand to those who could not speak for themselves. He had birds as pets, but he always left their cages open because he couldn't bear to see any being behind bars. They used to fly out one window and in another of his apartment. When asked why he was a vegetarian, he'd reply, "I'm a vegetarian for health reasons: the health of the chickens." Because of him, I am also now a vegetarian.<br><br><br><br>
Because of my family's history and the gentle guiding force of my grandfather, I learned the sad lessons of prejudice and ignorance and the ways to fight them. I learned that to remember the horrors of the past is not enough -- we must apply what we've learned and say with conviction, "Never again." But when we say it, we must mean never again shall we allow this to happen to anyone, for any reason.<br><br><br><br>
Like the victims of the Holocaust, animals are rounded up, trucked hundreds of miles to the kill floor and slaughtered. Comparisons to the Holocaust are not only appropriate but inescapable because, whether we wish to admit it or not, cows, chickens, pigs and turkeys are as capable of feeling loneliness, fear, pain, joy and affection as we are. To those who defend the modern-day holocaust on animals by saying that animals are slaughtered for food and give us sustenance, I ask: If the victims of the Holocaust had been eaten, would that have justified the abuse and murder? Did the fact that lampshades, soaps and other "useful" products were made from their bodies excuse the Holocaust? No. Pain is pain.<br><br><br><br>
My grandfather wrote, "[A]s long as human beings will go on shedding the blood of animals, there will never be any peace. There is only one little step from killing animals to creating gas chambers a la Hitler.... There will be no justice as long as man will stand with a knife or with a gun and destroy those who are weaker than he is."<br><br><br><br>
We all have the power to stop suffering and misery every time we sit down to eat.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block"><i>Originally posted by kpickell</i><br><br><b>Can someone copy and paste the story here?</b></div>
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BTW, can you not access the site yourself?
 

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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block"><i>Originally posted by epski</i><br><br><b>BTW, can you not access the site yourself?</b></div>
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Thank you! No, it said only registered members.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Oh. I guess I'm registered and forgot! It's free, just so you know (for future stories).
 

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I've not really supported PETA's holocaust campaign. There are some similarities, but I guess that using the holocaust as a way to promote an agenda in the public sphere isn't entirely appropriate. If PETA's campaign was limited to a book, it would be more appropriate, because it wouldn't have the same captive audience.<br><br><br><br>
I visited Auschwitz myself a couple of months ago, and I can draw up similarities. Jews were treated in the same manner that we treat animals, but what makes the holocaust even worse is that it was about humans mistreating other humans, and some of the things that happened in Aushwitz and Birkenau are worse than anything that happens in slaughterhouses, although there are common principles. In Aushwitz, prisoners were tattooed for identification, much like in animal agriculture, and each prisoner was considered to be worth a small amount that they could produce in terms of labour or from using their hair, or their gold teeth. However, there are things in the holocaust that were truly awful, such as the fact that many prisoners were forced to do the killing themselves. Prisoners were forced to drop Zyklon B into the gas chambers. The alternative was a bullet to the skull. I believe that PETA's campaign detracts from the suffering that happened at the hand of the third reich. I just don't think that a full media campaign is the best forum for expressing this view.
 

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Thanks for the article.<br><br><br><br>
I support this campaign.<br><br><br><br>
> I learned that to remember the horrors of the<br><br>
> past is not enough -- we must apply what we've<br><br>
> learned and say with conviction, "Never again."<br><br>
> But when we say it, we must mean never again shall<br><br>
> we allow this to happen to anyone, for any reason.<br><br><br><br>
Truer words have never been spoken. I don't think that there can be anything that makes us forget the Holocaust.<br><br><br><br>
But, our duty IMO is not necessarily to just oooh and aaah about the latest Holocaust movie and ruefully give the topic another Oscar, but to actively seek out the Treblinkas of our time and work on ending them. Animal farming falls clearly in this category and is amongst the most horrific thing of our time.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Agreed, Oatmeal. (and you're welcome)<br><br><br><br>
I don't think it trivializes the Holocaust to draw a comparison. No comparison is 100% apt, but few are this close.
 

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I agree with PETA's campaign. No reservations whatsoever. It is quite appropriate, IMHO. The article simply eludicates my reasoning.<br><br><br><br>
First stomp an insect. Then catch, hook, and skin a fish. Move on to shooting and skinning a deer. It is only a short step to killing a human being without remorse.
 

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My first thought is that people would only think this comparison trivializes the Holocaust if they think the suffering of animals is trivial. Unfortunately, that describes the people PETA is trying to convert. Anyone who agrees with this campaign is likely to already agree with PETA's cause anyway.<br><br><br><br>
I think this campaign is misguided, not because the comparison is wrong, but because it just won't work. If you offend people, they aren't going to be open-minded about your message.
 

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I can tell you this much, every single one of my Jewish friends, and their parents, are absolutely offended by the ad campaign. Several are vegetarian already and 2 are vegan. Three used to support PeTA... and now they swear they'll never send them another nickel.<br><br><br><br>
Lenore, your wrong if you believe that this only offends people who believe the suffering of animals is trivial. I bet a lot of the folks that PeTA is trying to convert thinks even less of PeTA now than they probably already did. I know I do.
 

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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block"><i>Originally posted by Rushabh</i><br><br><b><br><br>
First stomp an insect. Then catch, hook, and skin a fish. Move on to shooting and skinning a deer. It is only a short step to killing a human being without remorse.</b></div>
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Nonsense. I see this connection made constantly, with no supporting evidence.<br><br><br><br>
Ever bother to compare murder/violent crime rates in rural areas with a large number of hunters to an urban area with virtually zero hunters?
 
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