“This is a sickening trivialization of the suffering of Holocaust victims,” said an elderly Holocaust survivor. “It is disgusting that people would stoop so low as to use the Holocaust as an advertising gimmick.” Such is the reaction to People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals taking their “Holocaust on Your Plate” campaign — which equates Jewish Holocaust victims with barnyard animals in an attempt to shame people toward vegetarianism — to Germany, of all places.
The ad campaign has sparked disgust and anger from many in Germany. That nation’s Central Council of Jews announced plans this week to sue PETA in order to have the offensive display removed. Council President Paul Spiegel calls PETA’s traveling exhibition, depicting images of Nazi death camps side-by-side with pictures of livestock, an “anti-Semitic provocation.”
In his book The Nazi War on Cancer, respected Penn State historian Robert Proctor writes that the world’s most infamous anti-Semites were also animal rights extremists radically opposed to meat eating. Proctor writes:
Gestapo chief Heinrich Himmler, himself a failed chicken farmer, “urged his Waffen-SS men to be nonsmoking nondrinking vegetarians” and “longed for the time when all Germans would be vegetarians.”
“Several reports attest to the disgust Hitler felt about flesh-eaters … for example, on a romantic date, [he] scolded his female companion for having ordered Wienerschnitzel.”
The Nazi government “threatened to commit to concentration camps ‘those who still think they can treat animals as inanimate property’.”
“Nazi nutritionists mounted a frontal attack” on Germans’ meat consumption “and argued for a return to ‘more natural’ foods such as cereals, fresh fruit, and vegetables.”
The Nazi War on Cancer quotes one prominent German official who, in describing the roots of Hitler’s animal rights mentality, says: “Both [Judaism and Christianity] have no point of contact to the animal element, and thus, in the end, they will be destroyed. The Fuhrer is a convinced vegetarian, on principle.” Proctor’s book also includes a reprinted Nazi propaganda poster depicting “lab animals of Germany saluting [top Nazi official] Hermann Goering” for his order outlawing animal use in medical experiments.
Of course, PETA doesn’t reserve its callous activism for Jews. The group has also offended Muslims with claims about “Fatwas on Vegetarianism,” and has outraged Christians with an Easter-week billboard depicting a pig and the words “He Died for Your Sins.”