Letter writer: Pick your analogy — holocaust or animal slavery

Graphic by Lori Deaton

There has been a heavy-duty sequence of letters on these pages (and lively online discussion!) over the previous four weeks prompted by the prospect of a slaughterhouse being built in Asheville. Included was an earlier letter by yours truly [“Why Invite a Slaughterhouse to Asheville?” Sept. 28, Xpress].

All but one of the writers in some way referenced the “holocaust of the animals,” likening the mass brutalization and slaughter of farmed animals in this country to Hitler’s Holocaust against Jews, Gypsies and other minorities.

The various letter writers attribute the use of this term to contemporary Israeli Jewish animal rights activists or to Charles Patterson, Holocaust educator and author of Eternal Treblinka: Our Treatment of Animals and the Holocaust(2002). Letter writer Robbie Coleman [“The Continuing Holocaust of Animals,” Oct. 19, Xpress] notes that Patterson, in turn, dedicates Eternal Treblinkato Isaac Bashevis Singer, who lost immediate family members to the Holocaust. Singer stated that for animals, “All people are Nazis; for the animals it is an eternal Treblinka.”

One letter writer, Raymond Capelouto, however, objected to this analogy as offensive to Jews [“Holocaust Comparison Is Disturbing,” Oct. 15, Xpress]. That prompts me to wonder whether Mr. Capelouto might find a more appropriate term to be “slavery” — one that brings the matter right home to our own country’s dismal history.

Writes author Charles Horn (http://avl.mx/33a): “Even though animal slavery is different than human slavery in a number of ways, how is animal slavery not a form of slavery? Are not animals legal property — literally? Are not animals literally bought and sold? Is not farmed and captive animal reproduction forcefully controlled through breeding? If I have taken an animal as my property and taken its very liberty and life as my own to create products out of its carcass, how is that not a form of slavery?”

Further on he continues: “Whenever animal advocates make comparisons to human racism, sexism, slavery, other prejudices and oppressions, and yes, even the Holocaust, it seems inevitable that some people get offended. Such people are often quick to assume that animal advocates are equating animals with able-minded humans in every single respect, when that is not the case at all, and they are simply talking about perfectly valid comparisons of prejudicial thought processes and perfectly valid comparisons of the qualities we still have in common.”

Pick your analogy! There is so much more that could be said here — on the holocaust of the animals, animal slavery, and the list goes on.

For now, I’d like to end on a less scholarly note and circle back to how we live our daily lives by quoting Edgar’s Mission Farm Sanctuary in Australia: “If we could live happy and healthy lives without harming others, why wouldn’t we?”

— Cynthia Sampson


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18 thoughts on “Letter writer: Pick your analogy — holocaust or animal slavery

  1. boatrocker

    For vege types against omnivores, please adopt one or more of the hundreds of the recently displaced pets from Hurricane Matthew from down east.
    Give them love and compassion as only a vege can.
    Following vege ‘logic’, would not all animals deserve a good life? I do believe the Mtn X recently ran an article about this very subject and strangely enough, I don’t see the usual wrecking crew of ‘meat is murder/show compassion for animals’ in print for comments.

    Apparently their key word search for burgers, BBQ, meat and animal based protein did not yield them a chance to fly the ‘my farts don’t smell’ flag.

    Oh, I forgot- animal compassion only exists for when they could potentially end up on a dinner plate. For when they are alive and suffering anywhere other than a slaughterhouse, who cares? Ship them to PETA headquarters, where the real holocaust happens for euthanasia being the alternative to adoption.

    Mmmmm, I love the taste of sanctimonious vege hypocrisy. It tastes like…victory.

      • boatrocker

        Of course it’s not a straw man- that would imply an argument being made as opposed to me making an observation about all the waah, meat/holocaust LTEs and making a challenge to some to do something good for society like adopting an animal.

        Wicker Man was a great movie, I’ll give you that.

        • Huhsure

          Ok, you weren’t making an argument. Whatever, man, I’m so over you moving the goalposts when you’re called out.

          Learn to argue.

          • boatrocker

            Trust me, there are mentors aplenty for that here.

  2. Snowflake (Social Justice Worrier)

    The word slavery has no relevance in regards to domesticated animals. Slavery signifies being held against one’s will. Wild animals typically don’t like being held captive, but domesticated animals dig it because they know they are being protected and taken care of.

    • Lulz

      LOL, these people are well fed fools. Let them starve a little and I betcha they’d eat the leftover burger they find in the trash can in a heartbeat. Point is that this nation is still relatively fat and happy. But that’s built on fake money and morons running the show. Let it burst one day and then let’s see these snowflakes walk the walk.

    • boatrocker

      Honestly, do domesticated animals actually have one opinion or the other about being kept in a pasture? In a tiny cage, yea, they probably hate it but I doubt animals ‘dig’ it. Who knows though ?

    • Cynthia Sampson

      Allow me to inform you that there are almost a billion animals a month in the US alone who are neither animals in the wild nor domesticated animals (meaning our cherished companion cats and dogs), but rather animals horrendously “farmed” and brutally transported and slaughtered for people’s dining pleasure.

      • boatrocker

        Bingo! We have a winner! The key word being ‘dining’, as in food, and not a holocaust like when you eradicate an entire race for blaming their religion for your problems!

    • Snowflake (Social Justice Worrier)

      Judge: You are charged with slapping Bessie on the butt. How do you plead?
      Farmer: But your honor, Bessie’s just a cow.
      Judge: Nonsense! Cows have their rights!

      • boatrocker

        Chuck Barris is rooting through the attic to find his gong for that one.

        • Snowflake (Social Justice Worrier)

          Keep your seats, folks, keep your seats. We don’t want you tripping over each other in the dark.

  3. Deplorable Infidel

    ;) so Comey sez: ‘that’s right Ms Clinton, we are reopening this investigation’

    then Crooked sez: ‘you mean like with a can opener?’

    • boatrocker

      So here’s how you do humor, dilletante-

      So a Repugnikkkan goes to the doctor, and complains of:
      an excess of mean spirited bile,
      blurry eyesight for not being able to read scientific facts about our one and only planet,
      inner ear problems for ‘hearing things’,
      sore knuckles for sucker punching folks on the sidewalk who don’t agree with him outside of political rallies,
      the smell of cordite on his fingertips for shooting unarmed people of color for breathing,
      headaches for trying to understand on a deeper level the ideas of not spending the country’s entire GDP on illegal unconstitutional oil fueled no WMDs found wars that take the debt up to the trillions and send over 4,000 Muricans home in a bag,
      a tingling sensation the fingertip regions from grabbing non-consensual pu&*y,
      a strange smell for brown nosing Putin’s organized crime empire,
      a sore back for having to groom his own lawn once his illegal yard care staff is deported,
      papercuts for having to look up anything past the Second Amendment,
      and a strange taste in the mouth that reminds him of Tic Tacs.

      The doc says ” I see you’re ready to vote on Nov 8- bring your guns as the election is rigged and Hillary kidnapped the Lindbergh baby, shot JFK and
      faked the moon landing- go get em, you informed voter you”.

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