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PETA Cheapens the Holocaust By: Joseph J. Sabia
JoeSabia.com | Thursday, October 16, 2003

The Cornell Coalition for Animal Defense (CCAD) — the campus chapter of People for the Ethical Treatment for Animals (PETA) — recently sponsored a student-funded event in which victims of the Holocaust were compared to starving cows and chickens. The event, called “Holocaust on Your Plate,” is part of PETA’s nationwide attempt to gain sympathy for the animal rights movement. CNN first reported on PETA’s insanity in February 2003, when the fringe group’s anti-Semitic campaign commenced.

Holocaust Cow

The CCAD demonstration, which took place in front of Cornell’s student union, was highlighted by the presence of several 60-square-foot panels with photos of concentration camp prisoners alongside pigs, chickens, and cows. One such placard explained the group’s moniker:

"During the seven years between 1938 and 1945, 12 million people perished in the Holocaust. The same number of animals is killed every four hours for food in the U.S. alone. The Holocaust is on Your Plate."

Holocaust Pig

During the rally, Matt Prescott, a PETA representative, gestured to the panels and yelled to onlookers, “Suffering is suffering!” In a statement released to the press and reported by CNN, Prescott offered his rationale for comparing concentration camps to American farms:

"The very same mind-set that made the Holocaust possible — that we can do anything we want to those we decide are 'different or inferior' — is what allows us to commit atrocities against animals every single day."

Holocaust Chicken

Prescott went on to tell the Ithaca Journal:

"[During the Holocaust] people were beaten, abused, and herded to death. Today, 28 billion animals a year in the United States are subjected to similar treatment."

CCAD members Racheal Wechsler and Amy Icodae handed out literature containing such lovely sentiments as:

“Decades from now, what will you tell your grandchildren when they ask whose side you were on during the ‘animals’ holocaust’? Will you be able to say that you stood up against oppression?”

Holocaust Pig2

Their pamphlets also quoted German Jewish “philosopher” Theodor Adorno:

“Auschwitz begins whenever someone looks at a slughterhouse and thinks: they’re only animals.”

The day after the Holocaust event, the Cornell Daily Sun published a column by Alex Bomstein, a student at Cornell and a member of the local Green Party, in which he wrote:

“The difference between you and a lizard is just a massive exaggeration of the difference between you and me... So let us not judge others by the base pairs of their DNA, but by the content of their beings. By something that really matters.”

Mr. Bomstein may be quite a bit closer to the lizard than the rest of us. Would he — or any of the individuals associated with PETA — have considered a comparison between slavery and animal captivity? Would they have supported bringing giant posters to Cornell that compared black slaves to caged hampsters? Never. But Jews are a group that is easily targeted because anti-Semitism is en vogue on America’s college campuses.

Holocaust Cow2

While many Cornell students expressed shock and dismay at the CCAD’s demonstration, they really should not be too surprised. When the rights of animals are equated with the rights of man, man is diminished. The animal rights coalition’s equating of the Holocaust with the killing of farm animals is a logical conclusion for a movement that has no belief in God or in the moral superiority of man. In the animal rights universe, a cockroach exterminator is just an updated version of Heinrich Himmler. There is no reasoning with these people because they are kooks.

Still, a number of Jewish students tried to get into sophisticated arguments with CCAD members. These discussions generally devolved into debates over the similarities between the respective digestive tracts of cows and humans. A few enraged students even started screaming, “Jews are not pigs!”

While their outrage is understandable, these students did not do themselves any favors. When kooks are making jackasses of themselves in public, the best strategy is to get out of the way and let them destroy themselves. Laughing at, shunning, or ostracizing these people are all fine strategies. But when a sane person gets into a public shouting match with a lunatic, passersby can’t tell who is who.

The CCAD’s “Holocaust on Your Plate” rally achieved three major goals. First, the event demonstrated how morally bankrupt the animal rights movement is. Second, it showed that some young people have no conception of what the Holocaust was. And third, it revealed that in the absence of God, evil reigns. PETA’s evil placards serve as an important reminder of the inevitable conclusions of moral relativism.

Joseph J. Sabia is a Ph.D. candidate in economics at Cornell University.

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