One of the most repulsive examples of the shameful behavior of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) is its “Holocaust on your plate” campaign that compares livestock farming with one of the worst genocides in human history. It’s something when that’s only “one of” the repulsive examples; however, PETA’s record of killing over 27,000 pets since 1998 and of providing support to violent extremists necessitates the qualifier.
In a typical display of the group’s absolute contempt for human decency and good sense, PETA took the campaign to Germany in 2004. As part of atonement for its national sins and to prevent any chance of reviving sentiments that led to Hitler’s evil regime, Germany forbids trivializing the Holocaust. So, when PETA brought the “Holocaust on your plate” campaign to Germany, the Central Council of Jews in Germany filed for an injunction to stop PETA’s campaign. It was granted.
PETA appealed to Germany’s highest court, losing there in 2009. Not content to let German law and respect for the victims take precedence over its disgusting campaign, PETA appealed again to the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR). Deustche Welle reports that an ECHR panel has now ruled against PETA. Score one for human dignity, and none for the self-described “press sluts.”
Or at least, score none for PETA itself, because one of the campaign directors managed to “fail upwards” in the perverse world of the animal rights movement. Matt Prescott, then a “youth outreach coordinator” for PETA, directed the campaign when it debuted in the United States nine years ago.
Prescott’s campaign earned him wide-ranging rebukes. A United States Holocaust Memorial Museum spokesman said that “Prescott was not honest with us about how he would be using the images. He did not say that it had anything to do with animals […] we would not have given permission for that.” The Boston Globe called PETA’s display “a disgrace.”
So, where does the brain behind such a repulsive exhibit and dubious tactics end up? Why, at the mother-ship of the animal rights movement, the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) — not to be confused with any local pet shelter — where Prescott is the Food Policy Director. There, Prescott directs corporate campaigns that pressure food retailers into offering more vegetarian options and expensively produced animal products (as he also did for PETA).
That’s right: Despite all HSUS’s “moderate” positioning, it hired a man who said to a newspaper that “Anybody who eats meat is guilty of holding the same mindset that allowed the Holocaust to happen.” He’s not alone among HSUS types in making the demeaning connection of the ultimate human suffering with food production: Holly Cheever, part of HSUS’s veterinary arm and a longtime animal rights activist, reportedly said that “slaughterhouses are a kind of Auschwitz” at an animal rights conference. “Moderates” these radicals are not.