Letter writer: Reconsider the holocaust on your plate

Graphic by Lori Deaton

In “Holocaust Comparison Is Disturbing” [Oct. 5, Xpress], Raymond Capelouto states that Miriam Hard owes an apology to Jewish people for comparing the treatment of animals raised for food to the Nazi Holocaust [“Slaughterhouse Blues is Shocking,” Sept. 21, Xpress]. I would like to respectfully offer another perspective.

I am a Jewish boomer who grew up in a neighborhood populated by many Nazi Holocaust survivors, and Ms. Hard does not owe me an apology. Society has desensitized most of us to the mass killing of animals, and I hope the analogy will awaken some folks to the gross injustices inflicted upon these innocent creatures. Just because something is legal and considered to be normal doesn’t make it right. Slavery was widely accepted once, too.

Before others express similar criticisms, I suggest they read Eternal Treblinka: Our Treatment of Animals and the Holocaust by Jewish historian Dr. Charles Patterson (see www.powerfulbook.com). This enlightening book, which has been translated into 15 languages, gets its title from a quote by Nobel laureate and Holocaust survivor Isaac Bashevis Singer. He said, “In relation to them, all people are Nazis: for the animals, it is an Eternal Treblinka.”

Yes, of course, the Nazi Holocaust was egregious, to say the least. But what else should you call the killing of tens of billions of animals raised and killed for food every year? It seems counterproductive to argue which injustice is greater than the next. In fact, it is exactly this attitude — that some lives are more important than others — that perpetuates most injustices.

Violence is violence, and if you believe in social justice, how can you support the abuse of animals simply because they cannot defend themselves? Isn’t that the basis of most discrimination? Unless you believe that might makes right, please reconsider the holocaust on your plate. It has never been easier to switch to a healthy, humane, environmentally friendly, plant-based diet!

— Stewart David
Venice, Fla.


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16 thoughts on “Letter writer: Reconsider the holocaust on your plate

  1. Snowflake (Social Justice Worrier)

    When vegans start being concerned as much about HUMANS being killed on a mass scale everyday in wars, and the HUMANS in Yemen who are NOW being starved to death by Saudi bombing, then their words might mean something.

    • huhsure

      When animals can speak for themselves, people like Special Snowflake may have a point.

      Nevermind; no they won’t.

    • think critically

      Hi Snowflake,

      I am a vegan because I believe in nonviolence, and I am just as concerned about humans being killed in wars, etc., as I am about animals being tortured and killed. I am politically active and have worked in the anti war movement, the civil rights movement, etc. There was a time I wasn’t vegan, but I made the connection a while back. The thing about being vegan is that is is a way to respect others and do the compassionate thing every time you sit down to eat. There is so much suffering in the world, why not do the easy things, like making nonviolent food choices, while you work to attain the much more difficult goals, like world peace? Being vegan does not get in the way of other social justice work.

      • Snowflake (Social Justice Worrier)

        Glad to hear that you’re anti-war. Curious to know your opinion of Hillary Clinton in this regard? Her foreign policy is in the tradition of Bush.

  2. boatrocker

    And once again, I ask a question that is not answered, like an elephant in the room- if it were conclusively answered, maybe I’d re-examine my beliefs as a
    sentient omnivore:

    Why is there a comparison between the Holocaust, arguably one of the darkest periods in human history and eating meat?
    Did Nazi Germany raise Jews for meat and eat them?
    Do modern day factory farms kill animals and incinerate them without even eating them?

    • think critically

      I suppose you won’t take the time, but the book recommended in the letter would answer your question in detail.

      • boatrocker

        Yea, actually I’d like to peruse the book in question to find the passage about Jews being raised for meat and consumption during WWII.
        I must have slept through that part in my history classes.

        Maybe it would explain the millions or billions of animals slaughtered for food that you know, aren’t eaten but merely just slaughtered as some sort of beef, fowl and pork Final Solution too.

        • think critically

          The book is available at the library, and I am posting the first and last paragraph of the forward to the book. I hope you can get beyond your sarcasm and at least understand the different perspective that some of us have.

          From the Forward:
          In Eternal Treblinka, not only are we shown the
          common roots of Nazi genocide and modern society’s
          enslavement and slaughter of non-human animals in
          unprecedented detail, but for the first time we are
          presented with extensive evidence of the profoundly
          troubling connections between animal exploitation in the
          United States and Hitler’s Final Solution. Dr. Patterson
          does not let us forget, moreover, that the practices of
          the quintessentially American institution of the
          slaughterhouse that served as a model for the slaughter
          of human beings during the Nazi Holocaust flourish to
          this day.

          All who are not afraid to understand that the
          suffering that humans have so relentlessly inflicted on
          animals over the course of our species’ history is one
          and the same with the suffering that humans often
          inflict on each other, must read and re-read this book.


          • boatrocker

            It’s not sarcasm I wield, it’s called asking pertinent questions.

            Find me one Jew who was raised on a factory farm for human consumption during WWII, and then we may have some common ground.

            Was not the Jew Jesus a shepherd, by the way who by definition raised livestock for wool and meat, or is there a lost old Testament book claiming he was a vegan too? Did Jesus not multiply the fish for the hungry, or do fish not count?

          • think critically

            You say “Find me one Jew who was raised on a factory farm for human consumption during WWII, and then we may have some common ground.” If that isn’t sarcasm, I guess it is just plain closed-mindedness to the analogy and disinterest in actually discussing the issue.

            Regarding what Jesus ate, you can see what the Christian Vegetarian Society has to say. Below is a small excerpt from their website.

            Didn’t Jesus eat meat?
            Luke 24:43 describes Jesus eating fish after the Resurrection. However, Jesus’ diet 2,000 years ago in a Mediterranean fishing community, where many people struggled to get adequate nutrition, does not tell us what Christians should eat today. Similarly, we do not need to dress just as Jesus did. We are blessed with a wide range of healthful, tasty, convenient plant foods, much like in Eden. Meanwhile, we believe that the way animals are treated today makes a mockery of God’s love for them.

          • Snowflake (Social Justice Worrier)

            FWIW, Jesus wasn’t hung up on food. He said that there’s nothing that a person can eat that can defile him/her. Which means that spirituality and godliness are not about food, but about having a good conscience in faith. If you can’t eat meat without feeling condemned, then you shouldn’t eat meat. And those who don’t self-condemn for eating meat shouldn’t be condemned..

  3. NFB

    Chicken sandwich = Auschwitz.

    And to think, some people accuse vegans of being self righteous.

    • boatrocker

      I as an omnivore make veggie chili in the summer that would make even Stewart David from FLA crawl on his knees to try some.

      Too bad Mtn X does not have the scratch and sniff app for smelling it from their computer screen.

  4. boatrocker

    How do you spot a vegan at a dinner party?
    By the smell of their smug sanctimonius double standards.
    Jesus ate fish, buuuuut, conveniently ignore that.

    Much like religion in general. cherry pick the verses, then cast the first stone.

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