| 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.
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.
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
From: info [mailto:email@example.com]
Tuesday, March 11, 2003 3:51 PM
To: Zev Lenchus Subject: RE: Holocaust on
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.
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
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
MassKilling.com, 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
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 JewishVeg.com.
Youth Outreach Coordinator
People for the Ethical Treatment of