Boycott Watch
Vegetarians Vs. PETA
Follow-up BW Report: Vegetarians Protests PETA's
'Holocaust On Your Plate' By Eating Meat
In Part 1, Boycott Watch reported how PETA has upset its own vegetarian base with it's 'The Holocaust On Your Plate' campaign. The following is an email exchange between PETA and Zev Lenchus, a vegetarian who is unhappy with PETA.
Email sent to Boycott Watch:
    The PETA saga continues... here is their response to my letter, and my latest response:    


Thank you for taking the time out to respond with your form letter. As I am sure your quotes of "prominent" Jewish figures and facts of animal cruelty are enough to pacify most; please understand that it doesn't change anything for me and how I view your organization's "Holocaust on your Plate." Apparently, you glanced over my previous letter to determine if I was for or against your campaign, noticed I was against, and shot me off the form letter to help bring your madness into some shred on reasonable light. It did not work.    

As stated in my letter, I was on your disgusting website and read every ridiculous statement (my favorite is the one you used from the Holocaust Museum in Washington - completely out of context). The point your failed to see, and I'll highlight it this time so you don't miss it when glancing over my letter is: IT IS WRONG TO TORTURE ANIMALS, BUT THEY DO NOT REMOTELY COMPARE TO THE MILLIONS OF HUMAN VICTIMS OF THE HOLOCAUST. The mental torture of the Jews all over the world continues to exist today for survivors and their families, not to mention anyone who really learned about the atrocities. HUMANS ARE DIFFERENT THAN ANIMALS. Yes, animals are treated unfairly. Yes, the methods of killing them are cruel. Frankly, the laws of Kashrut seem the most "humane way of killing" animals for food, but that's beside the point.    

Matt, you need to realize the obvious here. You have a good cause going. Protecting those without a voice can be very rewarding, but your method is asinine. And for reasons like "Holocaust on your Plate", people view your fanatical organization as one that should not be taken serious.    

Please feel free to respond with another form letter. I challange you though, to write one they haven't written for you already.    

Zev Lenchus    

---Original Message-----
From: info []
Sent: Tuesday, March 11, 2003 3:51 PM
To: Zev Lenchus Subject: RE: Holocaust on your Plate    

Thank you for offering your thoughts on our "Holocaust on Your Plate" Campaign. I want to explain further why we decided to do this campaign and why we think it's so important.    

As a Jew, and on behalf of the Jewish people in the PETA office, some of whom came up with the idea for the creation of this project, please let me assure you that the intention of the display is to decrease the amount of cruelty in the world, not to minimize the human suffering that occurred during the Holocaust.    

It might help for you to know that this project is funded by a Jewish philanthropist who has spent the last 25 years working with prominent Jewish organizations that highlight the atrocities that took place during the Holocaust. This donor is one of many compassionate people who recognize the moral and ethical imperative of making the public aware of the parallels between what was done to Jews and others in World War II and what is being done to animals kept in intensive confinement systems and slaughtered for food today.    

The concept of our campaign originated with Nobel Prize-winning Yiddish author and vegetarian Isaac Bashevis Singer, who said, "In relation to [animals], all people are Nazis; for [them], it is an eternal Treblinka." As you may know, Singer fled Europe as the Nazis were coming into power and lost most of his family in the Holocaust. He became a vegetarian as a result of what he lived through and what he saw. He spoke out in favor of vegetarianism until his death in 1991. His argument was that it doesn't matter who the victims are-we must speak out against all atrocities and cruelties and help to stop them.    

While the exhibit is shocking and very hard to look at, please consider visiting our Web site, where you'll read what many Holocaust survivors and their families have said about the fact that it is not only appropriate, but necessary to learn from the Holocaust and apply these lessons to help the weakest among us today: the animals. We honor victims of the Holocaust by remembering what they went through, doing our part to lessen violence on all levels, and by making sure that we learn from this history.    

As a child, I read about and studied the Holocaust, and one of the things that has stuck with me for years has been the stunning reality that as 11 million people were spit on, mocked, beaten, and gassed, millions more-those who were not in fear for their lives-looked on and let it happen because it didn't affect them directly. PETA is asking people to stop this from happening today.    

Most animals raised for food each year in the United States live on "factory farms," where to maximize profits, producers raise the most animals in the least amount of space possible. Overcrowded in small cages or stalls, most never see the sun, breathe fresh air, or feel grass beneath their feet. Frightened infants are torn from their distraught mothers. Chickens have their beaks cut off; cows have their horns pulled from their heads; pigs are castrated-all without painkillers. Then these animals are crowded into filthy, slippery transport trucks in all weather extremes and taken to slaughterhouses where they are strung up by their legs and have their throats slit-often in full view of each other. The entire time, these self-aware animals live and die in fear and pain. All we are asking people to do is consider and reject what animals are being forced to go through every day just because people don't relate to them.    

Dr. Helmut Kaplan, a scholar and philosopher, said, "Our grandchildren will ask us one day: Where were you during the Holocaust of the animals? What did you do against these horrifying crimes? We won't be able to offer the same excuse for the second time, that we didn't know." The Holocaust happened because people turned a blind eye to cruelty. Will we now turn our backs on cruelty and injustice again? Every time a person sits down for a meal, he or she chooses whether to support the holocaust against animals or to help end it. We shouldn't choose which atrocities to oppose. As human beings, we should oppose all atrocities.    

The idea that just because animals are different or can't speak for themselves, they shouldn't be considered living, breathing, sentient beings worthy of life is the same mindset that allowed the Holocaust to happen. Philosopher Theodor Adorno, a German Jew who fled Nazi Germany in the 1930s, wrote, "Auschwitz begins wherever someone looks at a slaughterhouse and thinks: they're only animals."    

I hope this helps to clarify the rationale behind this campaign. Please do let me know if you have further thoughts or questions. To learn more about Judaism and vegetarianism, please visit    


Matt Prescott
Youth Outreach Coordinator
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA)

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