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