|By Robert Cohen Executive Director|
Animal Rights Nazis
The title of today's column will infuriate some people. To compare any person to a Nazi is to hurl an unfathomable insult. Yet, I will do that today, but from a unique perspective. Many Nazis were brutal inhumane fiends. Many animal rights activists are saintly in their altruistic devotion to animals. In the name of machine-like efficiency, the Third Reich produced a killing machine that processed human lives much the same way that today's modern day slaughterhouses process millions of animals each day. Had the Nazi killing been random and chaotic, it would never have been as efficiently abominable. To the Nazis, compassionate mass murder meant killing victims who did not know their final fate until the very final moment of their lives. Was the final act of death in Nazi slaughterhouses any different than today's slaughterhouse? This is a most difficult column for me to write. As an American Jew, the roots of my family tree include relatives who were gassed and incinerated in Hitler's crematoriums. Each day of mankind's history includes examples of the horrors of hostilities and death. Every issue of the New York Times contains stories of war and conflict and murder by terror. In 1915, the Turkish government sanctioned the slaughter of millions of Armenians. Many people were raped, tortured, viciously beaten for the amusement of those with the power to commit crimes against man. In the Armenian Genocide, murder was committed in the streets, and killers laughed and took pleasure in their crimes. Similar events recently took place in Serbia and Croatia, rationalized by nationalistic policies that the world came to know as "ethnic cleansing." Each century contains examples of horror committed by man against man. No animal would do the same. Nature does not allow for such aberrant behavior. Jews were "processed," in Nazi slaughterhouses, and the killing was made efficient. Such slaughterhouses were staffed by Hitler's regime with workers hired from animal slaughterhouses. Hitler was influenced by and adapted the assembly-line efficiency of Henry Ford's car factories. Hitler also recognized that compassionate slaughter of Jews would translate into an orderly and expedient final solution. If farm animals sensed the details of their final solution, they would stampede long before being loaded onto trucks. Jews were transported to trains. They were then sent to slaughterhouses, and had no reason to believe that something other than water would come out of shower spigots. Instead, doors were locked and they were gassed to death. Efficient murder. Those analyzing the problem (To Nazis, the existence of the Jewish race was a problem) also created their version of a compassionate solution. Kill Jews by generating as little fear as possible. Lead them to their final deaths calmly, so as not to evoke fear and chaos, and to make slaughter an efficient process. Today, many people who are active in the animal rights movement act no differently than the Nazi planners. In order to reduce the final pain of death, measures were taken to reduce the stress of one or more of the stages before slaughter. Compassionate human slaughter was a crime against humanity. Nazis in slaughterhouses showed compassion as a matter of policy, in the name of efficiency, but their crimes were no less horrible than the rapes and cruelty by the Turks to the Armenians. Compassionate animal slaughter is no less a crime than the child who tortures a cat or dog. Each act results in death. Treating a chicken "humanely" by giving it ten percent more living space is no different than slicing its throat while the bird feels pain and thrashes, resonating death squawks in blood. Each chicken dies, and compassionate measures merely provide efficiency in a series of stages leading to slaughter. Many animal rights activists devote their lives to raising money to promote compassionate animal slaughter laws. Many of these same people make a very healthy living by skimming much of that money for their needs, and calling that blood money "salary." Slaughterhouse workers live lives of violence, and soon become immune to the horrors of their daily jobs. Occasionally, these workers capture a moment. A glance from a dying animal asking for help. A look of fear, asking "Why are you doing this to me?" The screams of dying animals are not thank you messages for those who devote their energies to making life before death tolerable. The animal rights Nazis must look carefully in the mirror. Those supporting compassionate slaughter should devote their energies to "zero slaughter" campaigns. Nazi Germany tried hard to keep secret their holocaust. People standing along train routes knew the fate of the Jews. The secret was not much of a secret to these people, who participated in a nationwide effort to keep truth from the victims. Today's slaughterhouse secrets are kept from the public. Animal rights Nazis are part of the problem. Each new compassionate slaughter law is a victory to them, allowing for celebrations that result in more funding. The vicious slaughter continues, and the secret photos of slaughterhouses remain known to just a select few. In 1996, Paul and Linda McCartney issued this joint statement: "If slaughterhouses had glass walls, everyone would be vegetarian." Compassionate slaughter laws exist to keep those images of horror secret. All people must see truth, for that is the last chance for animals. If the animals who were fated to die had human qualities, such as gallantry, valor, ethics, and courage, they would seek to get slaughter photos into the hands of all meat eaters. To these imaginary freedom-fighting farm animals, the animal rights Nazis who promote compassionate animal slaughter are one and the same with those who clench the knives. To those who thrust the killing weapon. To those who cut the flesh. Animal rights Nazis stand in the way of truth and justice. Followup Yesterday, I was not very well versed on the debate between animal rights welfarists and animal rights abolitionists. Today, I have a better understanding and respect for the issues through the work of a courageous law professor from New Jersey, Gary Francione. Five of Francione's comments: "There is no animal rights movement in the United States. There is only an animal welfare movement that seeks to promote the "humane" exploitation of animals." "To disagree is not to be 'divisive.' I disagree with the welfarists. I regard welfarism as ineffective and counterproductive. I think that the empirical evidence is absolutely clear that welfarism does not work. Despite all of the welfarist campaigns of the last century, we are using more animals now in more horrific ways than ever before in human history." "The most important form of incremental change is educating the public about the need for abolition. We have not yet had that, for the U.S. movement has always been embarrassed about being 'radical.' We do not want to alienate the 'mainstream.' The problem is that the 'mainstream' is polluted and we ought to stay far away from the mainstream." "The 19th century reformers argued that it was better for a slave's owner to beat his slave four times a week rather than five...Putting a string quartet on the way to the gas chambers -- as the Nazis did during the Holocaust -- may make things more "humane" in some sense, but that misses the point, doesn't it?" "Nonhumans will continue to be exploited until there is a revolution of the human spirit, and that will not happen without visionaries trying to change the paradigm that has become accustomed to and tolerant of patriarchal violence."
Robert Cohen, author of: MILK A-Z
Executive Director (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Dairy Education Board
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