“Outrageous, Offensive and Insensitive” Comments Put the Vegan Celebrity in Company With Other Leading Animal Rights Fanatics

NY_Post_Horse_Carriage_AdWashington, DC—Following vegan celebrity Russell Simmons’ recent comments likening New York City’s horse-drawn carriages to the Holocaust, HumaneWatch.org, a project of the non-profit Center for Consumer Freedom, ran an ad today in The New York Post highlighting the fact that Simmons’ line of thinking is commonplace among other animal rights fanatics. It includes statements of a similar nature made by leaders of the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS).

Referring to the carriages, Simmons said, “It’s a Holocuast,” “There were people for slavery, remember? Slavery was fine,” and “There were people who put people in ovens. There are all kinds of ethnic cleansing, people for it,” according to the Wall Street Journal.

The ad also highlights animal liberationists’ history of using similar comparisons of human oppression to the use of animals, focusing on the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS).

“While some may find Russell Simmons’ comparison of horse-drawn carriages to slavery and the Holocaust outrageous, this kind of thinking is emblematic of the animal liberationists at PETA and the Humane Society of the United States,” Will Coggin, director of research for HumaneWatch.org, said. “They seek to impose their radical agenda on the rest of us by shutting down the use of animals in agriculture, circuses, marine parks, and medical research and will use disgraceful comparisons to further their goals.”

Like Simmons, HSUS CEO Wayne Pacelle has also compared the treatment of animals to enslaved humans saying, “[For 3,000 years] virtually every major statesman, philosopher, theologian, writer, and critic accepted the existence and legitimacy of slavery… The same can be said of animals.”

HSUS food policy director Matthew Prescott devised a “Holocaust on Your Plate” campaign equating animal-farming to the systematic killing of 6 million Jews and 4 million other victims of Nazism including homosexuals, people with disabilities and other religious and racial minorities. Prescott’s display toured the country in 2003. Prescott, like a number of other HSUS employees, previously worked for People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA). The group also frequently equates animal cruelty to slavery and genocide. Its founder Ingrid Newkirk infamously said, “A rat is a pig is a dog is a boy.”

“The comparison of animal suffering to that of human suffering in the Holocaust and in slavery is outrageous, offensive and insensitive,” Abraham H. Foxman, National Director of the Anti-Defamation League and himself a Holocaust survivor, said in a statement about Russell Simmons’ remarks. “I believe he owes an apology to the Jewish and African-American communities. The murder of six million Jews and millions of others who perished in the Holocaust, and the many millions who suffered under slavery, should never be used to make a political point.”

Simmons, who said, “F**k no, I’m not apologizing” for the offensive remark, later claimed he wasn’t talking about “the” Holocaust and has done more than “most blacks” when it comes to fighting anti-Semitism.