MassKilling.com: Holocaust on Your Plate
February 26, 2003 1:03 PM   Subscribe

MassKilling.com: Holocaust on Your Plate, where PETA compares the holocaust to the meat industry really boils my blood. Sure they are seeking approval from the Jewish Community to take the exhibit on a national tour, but Jews weren’t the only ones killing in the concentration camps.
posted by ambirex (77 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

 
Correcection:

Jews weren't the only ones killed, no killing...

sorry for the typo
posted by ambirex at 1:04 PM on February 26, 2003


Correction, I'm at a crappy public keyboard.

*sigh*
posted by ambirex at 1:06 PM on February 26, 2003


Wow, I didn't realize that Nobel laureate author Isaac Bashevis Singer was a vegetarian. Cool!

Caveat: This thread will get ugly fast. I'm leaving before the trolling begins.
posted by Shane at 1:09 PM on February 26, 2003


If we are to take the great writer Singer as a guide, then we could also discuss Hitler, who was also a vegetarian. PETA makes fools of themselves with this sort of thing, much as they did when they complained about the use of a donkey for an intended suicide bombing (foiled) and said not a word about human suicides or their victims.
posted by Postroad at 1:10 PM on February 26, 2003


Why should an animal rights group make statements about humans? Their only goal is to protect animals, there are human rights groups for humans.

And your concern for human life is a bit rich coming from someone who is the main poster of a website that endorses ethnic cleansing as a political solution.
posted by cell divide at 1:15 PM on February 26, 2003


So prepare for Operation OverLord II, where the infantry lands their Higgins Boats on Frank Purdue's chicken farm.

PETA members should be hunted for sport.
posted by bondcliff at 1:16 PM on February 26, 2003


but Jews weren’t the only ones [killed] in the concentration camps.

No, Jews are just the only ones to erect a monument in every major city in memory of Jews killed in the concentration camps.
posted by The Jesse Helms at 1:18 PM on February 26, 2003


Well, we've had enough Iraq and SUV threads for awhile... time to return to another classic, I guess.
posted by pmurray63 at 1:18 PM on February 26, 2003


Summer has my full backing for any mocking she would like to toss PETA's way. These people have lost their friggin' minds.

{all in good fun}

cell divide: I am proud to a human animal.
posted by Witty at 1:19 PM on February 26, 2003


PETA members should be hunted for sport.
See? Toldja. **sigh**

Maybe humans in general should be hunted for sport, bondcliff, when a worthy species takes control of the Earth.
posted by Shane at 1:20 PM on February 26, 2003


If we are to take the great writer Singer as a guide, then we could also discuss Hitler, who was also a vegetarian.

Okay. What would you like to say?

PETA compares the holocaust to the meat industry really boils my blood.

Why? Even if you have no problem with eating meat (and I'm ambivalent myself; for the past nine months, I've had meat only a handful of times, and only half of those were "on purpose"), does it make you uneasy to see the same techniques that drove the Holocaust applied to that meat?

I'm not saying that this is what PETA is arguing, but I think it's something that's relevant, and worth thought.
posted by claxton6 at 1:23 PM on February 26, 2003


If another species works its way up to the top of the food chain they deserve to eat humans, Shane. As it should be.
posted by bondcliff at 1:24 PM on February 26, 2003


then we could also discuss Hitler, who was also a vegetarian

This is a myth, Hitler was not actually a vegetarian.
posted by crazy finger at 1:24 PM on February 26, 2003


why, because he sipped on some beef broth in Obersaltzberg. The evil prick had bowels like a seive. Seems to me SIS shoulda forced a London Broil down his throat and popped him the the crapper.
posted by clavdivs at 1:28 PM on February 26, 2003


If another species works its way up to the top of the food chain they deserve to eat humans, Shane. As it should be.

Sad, heartless logic. It explains plenty, though.
posted by Shane at 1:31 PM on February 26, 2003


This is a myth, Hitler was not actually a vegetarian.

True... but he was into bondage and spanking.
posted by Witty at 1:34 PM on February 26, 2003


Godwin's Law
posted by milnak at 1:36 PM on February 26, 2003


That add campaign is so much tripe. Yes, people can have legitimate complaints about killing and eating animals. Nad yes, being vegetarian is a rational choice. But's it's just that, a choice.

My problem has always been: what the hell would we do with these animals if we didn't eat them? They have been bred, over millenia, purely to serve human needs. What, are we going to establish wildlife sancutaries for cows, sheep, and chickens? We have those already: farms. PETA would do a lot better if it presented rational arguments against factory farming and tried to strengthen the organic/local farm movement.
posted by pjgulliver at 1:40 PM on February 26, 2003


PETA would do a lot better if it presented rational arguments against factory farming and tried to strengthen the organic/local farm movement.

Well, to be fair, that's saying "PETA would do a lot better if they were somebody else." Which may be true, but it's a little beside the point, isn't it?

But's it's just that, a choice.

Which makes it amenable to argument and persuasion, right?
posted by claxton6 at 1:45 PM on February 26, 2003


Meat? That'll never take off
posted by blue_beetle at 1:58 PM on February 26, 2003


Can someone prove all these supposed facts about Hitler? It's much more interesting than talking about People For The Eating of Tasty Animals.


oh, fuck. Were talking about the real peta. Ok, close the thread.
posted by Keyser Soze at 2:02 PM on February 26, 2003


PETA acronym gags? Hitler's vegetarianism? Hunt animal rights people for sport?

Forget what side you take; this thread should be killed from an overdose of crappy unoriginal one-liners. Do people actually think they're being clever?
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 2:09 PM on February 26, 2003


Keyser: snopes on Hitler's vegetarianism.
posted by claxton6 at 2:15 PM on February 26, 2003


"And [Hitler] was a vegetarian and a painter...so he must have been going 'I can't get the fuckin trees... damn, I will kill everyone in the world!!!!'" - Eddie Izzard

and yeah, i know it's not true, it is a myth, but this analogy equating human suffering to the plight of fowl is equally false.
posted by grabbingsand at 2:18 PM on February 26, 2003


If we are revolted by comparisons between the plight of animals and the plight of human victims of oppression, it can only be because we are not yet prepared to accept our own role in the animals’ fate.

Perhaps we are revolted by the comparison because we don't equate slaughter of animals for food with slaughter of people under any conditions.

There's a very good argument to be made that, the farther we are removed from the reality animal slaughter, the less sensitive we become to the conditions under which they live and what it means for them to die so that we can eat them. PETA does not need to be patently offensive to make that point.
posted by eddydamascene at 2:21 PM on February 26, 2003


I think PETA is actually run by a secret consortium of squirrels. Have you not seen that commercial where two squirrels cause a car wreck, which most likely ended human lives? Squirrels HATE humanity and PETA obviously think squirrels are better than humans, so why has nobody made this connection? Haven’t you noticed just how many squirrels there are? They are everywhere. They are constantly multiplying. They might be tiny, but if fifty of the little bastards jumped you and started biting and clawing, do you really think you could fend off those nasty teeth?

Squirrels are small and crafty. It would be extremely easy for American squirrels to sneak deep into a nuclear facility and launch missiles at China or Russia. Then the counter-attack comes and soon all of the major metropolitan areas of the world are in ruin. THEY WILL KILL US ALL.

Only by pre-emptive strikes, by wiping out the squirrels and the environment that nurtures them, can we possibly survive.

Besides, squirrels taste quite good.
posted by bargle at 2:24 PM on February 26, 2003


I viewed the slide show, and I want to know why they displayed the photo of an anorexic cow. I don't know about you, but my roasts and steaks come from well fed bovines.

I do find the juxtaposition of photos disgusting and uncalled for. How dare they use the Holocaust in this fashion? Peta is entitled to its opinion but this presentation was obscene in the extreme.
posted by konolia at 2:26 PM on February 26, 2003


There's a very good argument to be made that, the farther we are removed from the reality animal slaughter, the less sensitive we become to the conditions under which they live and what it means for them to die so that we can eat them. PETA does not need to be patently offensive to make that point.

There are a number of animal rights organizations that make rational arguments and try to educate people and share their beliefs about animal rights rather than alienate them and equate them with monsters.

PETA is something else entirely. An extremist organization which is only interested in drawing other extremists to their cause. As one local activist put it: "we win if one person agrees with us."

Personally, I support more than one animal rights organization via donations, but none of them try to equate animals with people or even put their right to life above our own.
posted by bargle at 2:29 PM on February 26, 2003


eddydamascene: Nail. Head. Hammer.

It took me awhile to realize PETA is real, for the longest time I thought they were somekind of group that was making fun of militant vegetarians. I thought it was a prank. The years have shown me otherwise.

It seems to me that the kids at PETA could do more with their trust-funds and liberal art degrees then compare chickens to people of the jewish faith. PETA takes a proposition, that eating meat is bad, and spins the proposition so far out of reality it boggles my mind.
posted by elwoodwiles at 2:30 PM on February 26, 2003


A few thoughts, before the thread devolves completely...

1) one thing that made auschwitz so horrific* for people was that human beings were treated "like animals" (for lots of people, it's okay to treat other animals "like animals")

2) another thing that made it horrific was the faceless mechanistic "assembly line" way it was run (this could be an argument for a return to integrated organic farms)

3) another thing was the idea that it was done for no ulterior motive, but purely out of a hatred of the Jews (animals would not be routinely slaughtered if they did not provide useful or desired products)

I'm vegetarian, but comparing the death of a person with the death of an animal isn't convincing (simply due to comparing sentience; if you're comparing an extremely retarded person with a very smart non-human animal, then I can see it, but that's not the case here)

*obviously any mass killing is horrific; I'm just thinking about why this event seems to stand out for so many people.
posted by mdn at 2:37 PM on February 26, 2003


does it make you uneasy to see the same techniques that drove the Holocaust applied to that meat?

To actually look at it, of course not. The thing seemed to crash before it was done, but their big point seemed to be that Holocaust victims were kept in crowded conditions, and so are battery chickens, so battery chickens are like Holocaust victims. Which is stupid. Hopeful immigrants were kept in crowded conditions on Ellis Island; does that mean that battery chickens are also like hopeful immigrants? And victorious soldiers were kept in crowded conditions as they transited the Atlantic on their way home from WW2... does that mean that battery chickens are really victorious soldiers on their way home, with a GI Bill to go to Avian University?

"Using the same techniques" doesn't hold water. Battery chickens aren't killed by being driven into fake showers and gassed, followed by their prompt cremation. Nor were Holocaust victims hung by their feet in an assembly-line and run through a throat-slitting machine.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 2:46 PM on February 26, 2003


"Using the same techniques" doesn't hold water.

You're talking about something too specific to each. mdn's point #2 was what I was getting at.
posted by claxton6 at 2:56 PM on February 26, 2003


There are a number of animal rights organizations that make rational arguments and try to educate people and share their beliefs about animal rights rather than alienate them and equate them with monsters.

PETA is something else entirely.


but nobody gets the press that peta gets. whats that they say about 'any publicity'?

i don't get the boiled blood comment, ambirex? is there some other group besides the jews you feel peta should ask permission from? are you a representative of one of these groups?
posted by danOstuporStar at 3:06 PM on February 26, 2003


That add campaign is so much tripe - pjgulliver

Using the word 'tripe' to criticize an ad campaign by a group that espouses not eating animals is priceless. I tip my hat to you sir.

And as for the squirells, I had to kill one with a shovel in a friends basement and it was HARD. They truly are crafty little critters, and they are NOT to be underestimated.
posted by CoolHandPuke at 3:08 PM on February 26, 2003


Why should an animal rights group make statements about humans?

I think that the severity of their messages alienates a lot of people, including myself, who might otherwise support their cause. By placing their message in a more human rather than absolutist context, they won't open themselves up to such easy criticism for one thing, and for another they won't tempt interpretations that seem almost anti-human rather than just pro-animal rights.
posted by holycola at 3:09 PM on February 26, 2003


So from this site what they're trying to say is that Jews are equal to chickens?

Because that's what those side by side comparison photos seem to be indicating.

milnak, I don't think Godwin can be invoked on a topic that is about the Nazis/Hitler/Holocaust.
posted by linux at 3:13 PM on February 26, 2003


The alarming amount of ad hominem attack going on here indicates to me one thing: the world isn't ready for a serious discussion of vegetarian lifestyle. Mocking PETA is pretty easy; they're grabbing at straws, desperately wondering what will create empathy towards animals in the public conciousness. Nothing will do this. Many of us revel in the contradictions that colour our relationships with animals by telling goofy jokes (ask me, I've heard hundreds) and mocking people that try to get others to change their beliefs. Anyone with any conciousness whatsoever knows the facts. If they care, they'll stop eating meat or wearing leather or whatever. If they don't care, they won't change. Or as one pair of poets put it,

"If you going carrying pictures of Chairman Mao,
You ain't gonna make it with anyone anyhow."

I follow a vegan diet - if it comes from an animal, I don't eat it - because I think that personal responsibility is important. If you ain't willing to kill it, you shouldn't eat it. If you ain't willing to swim in it, don't dump it in the river.
posted by psychoticreaction at 3:19 PM on February 26, 2003


what they're trying to say is

they are trying to say that the way living beings were treated during the holocaust, which 9 out of 10 of ppl say is horrific, is at least comparable to the way living beings are treated by the meat industry, which 9 out of 10 ppl say is splendid yummy-ness.
posted by danOstuporStar at 3:21 PM on February 26, 2003


danO - I think ambirex was referencing the whole 'PETA compares the holocaust to the meat industry' thing with the blood boiling statement, not the asking permission part.

Anyhoo, I don't really think PETA should be comparing the mass suffering of innocent people because of a madman's vengeance to some animals being killed for food, in any way. But then, that could just be my pro-meat side talking...

I do agree with the 'any publicity is good publicity' angle. PETA just wants to get peoples attention, much like terrorists taking hostages. There's a comparison for you.
posted by JaxJaggywires at 3:23 PM on February 26, 2003


the world isn't ready for a serious discussion of vegetarian lifestyle.

See, that I don't think is the message to take from this thread. Having celebrated my first near-meatless holiday by visiting for the first time my super-traditional Italian-Connecticut near-in-laws, I think that reasoned debate is completely possible. But PETA has chosen a different tactic. Which is fine, mostly, just don't mistake it for calm discussion.
posted by claxton6 at 3:24 PM on February 26, 2003


I think that the severity of their messages alienates a lot of people, including myself, who might otherwise support their cause.

The ASPCA does a lot of good work, including advocating improved living conditions for farm animals.
posted by eddydamascene at 3:29 PM on February 26, 2003


Actually, mdn, probably the main reason Auschwitz-Birkenau stand out as so horrific is that more people survived to testify to atrocities and conditions there, because they were concentration/work camps, rather than solely extermination centres. The extermination camps like Treblinka tend to be less well known, because hardly anyone sent there survived.
posted by Sonny Jim at 3:30 PM on February 26, 2003


psychoticreaction: Just because people eat meat, doesn't mean they don't care. And this thread IS about PETA and the absurd measures they historically take to try to get their point across. The tactic used in this campaign surely won't make me take them anymore seriously. I still think they're all lunatics.

...the world isn't ready for a serious discussion of vegetarian lifestyle.

What's to discuss? What? You want me to stop eating meat? Fine... Not. Gonna. Happen. You can eat anything you want.

What kind of living conditions do people really expect? When the animal only lives for about 2 years at most... chickens, only a few months, what is it that people want? Play time, bed time stories, stickers and prizes for good behavior? I'm not suggesting that they be mistreated.
posted by Witty at 3:34 PM on February 26, 2003


You want me to stop eating meat? Fine... Not. Gonna. Happen. You can eat anything you want.

Of course you can. It doesn't matter to me what you eat, or anybody eats. I just would like everybody to think about it. Which you obviously have done. Good for you.
posted by psychoticreaction at 3:45 PM on February 26, 2003


“In relation to animals, all people are Nazis; for [them] it is an eternal Treblinka.”
— Isaac Bashevis Singer (1904-1991), Yiddish writer and vegetarian


Geez, Godwin invoked in the first line. No need to read further. I can see where this will end up.
posted by lampshade at 3:51 PM on February 26, 2003


I guess I just don't understand what "serious discussion of vegetarian lifestyle" means. That's all.
posted by Witty at 3:52 PM on February 26, 2003


what is it that people want? Play time, bed time stories, stickers and prizes for good behavior?

what does expected life-span have to do with anything? children are born everyday who are expected to die before age 2. since they're practically wormfood from birth anyway why even bother changing their diapers? i'm not suggesting mistreatment, mind you. but shit, it's pointless, damn kids hardly even sentient enuff to comphrehend the teletubbies by age 2. whatta they care about crap in their pants?

it's really strange how much ire things like this generate ... boiled blood??? b/c someone says thing A is similar to thing B???

must be one them 'the truth hurts' scenarios.
posted by danOstuporStar at 3:53 PM on February 26, 2003


You posted my question, but didn't answer it.
posted by Witty at 3:58 PM on February 26, 2003


ok. what i want is for farm animals to be treated humanely. my uninformed definition of which would start at space to move at least 10X the animal's body mass. feed more or less free of unnatural ingredients. cleanliness.

but you didn't ask your question seeking an answer did you?
posted by danOstuporStar at 4:04 PM on February 26, 2003


witty: ever notice what happens when we (not just MeFi, I mean everywhere) talk about vegetarianism? Everybody wigs out. Personally, I 'm pretty sure that we'll all be eating less meat in the future, as the environmental and health costs of our diets catch up with us. But I don't try too hard to change people's points of view to something more like my own. That's a thankless job. So I'll settle for people just thinking about it. PETA, in their own (often weird and logically problematic) way, do this. And I thank them for it. So I guess it's not thankless.
posted by psychoticreaction at 4:20 PM on February 26, 2003


claxton6: are you telling me that you had a calm discussion about vegetarianism around a family dinner table?
posted by psychoticreaction at 4:24 PM on February 26, 2003


You do know that plants scream, right?
posted by konolia at 4:41 PM on February 26, 2003


Vegetarianism != Animal Rights Activism
Animal Rights Activism != Vegetarianism
posted by digiboy at 4:41 PM on February 26, 2003


PETA people know they are hated. They keep doing what they do because they believe in it. Like Jehovah's Witnesses, they keep on knocking, even when door after door is slammed in their face. Personally, I invite Jehovah's Witnesses inside. I don't listen to much of what they say, but I offer them a glass of water and I nod my head. I respect them. After all, they have the guts to look foolish for what they believe is good and right.

When is the last time any of you had the guts to make an ass out of yourself for what you believe in? Or had the guts to believe in anything..?
posted by Shane at 4:55 PM on February 26, 2003


I try my best not to base my various beliefs on pamphlets, or go door-to-door trying to get people to see things my way.
posted by digiboy at 5:01 PM on February 26, 2003


...or go door-to-door trying to get people to see things my way.
Ooh! Way to run with the metaphor! Don't trip and poke yer eye out! Heh...

posted by Shane at 5:17 PM on February 26, 2003


I try my best not to base my various beliefs on pamphlets, or go door-to-door trying to get people to see things my way. but sometimes, i just can't help it.
posted by quonsar at 5:18 PM on February 26, 2003


but sometimes, i just can't help it.
Thanks, q. I've had a chuckle, I better get the hellouttahere now.
posted by Shane at 5:22 PM on February 26, 2003


Shane - you're right, it's good to spread the word, whatever the word is. It's easy not to believe in anything. But after becoming a vegetarian I quickly learned that meat consumption is a very hot topic, and people often react defensively when challenged about it. So all the confrontation I'm up for now is just living my life. And whenever I order the meatless cheeseless pizza, everybody at the table has got something to think about.

And I'm not kidding about the pizza either. It's good. So quit laughing, all of you.
posted by psychoticreaction at 5:27 PM on February 26, 2003


That's usually my way, too, psychoticreaction. Everything you say strikes home with my own experience. I don't know why I've been so vocal lately, other than that I've been in a pissed-off mood anyway, I like to stick up for the underdog, and I don't understand why (guilt reaction?) people waste so much hatred on a group of people whose motivation is that they care about animals. I mean, Christ!--there's no end of politicians in the world, and they deserve us on them like gadflies on shite till they never get a wink of sleep. Choose your enemies well.

But you're right, and it's a lesson to PETA, too: Tell people what to do, and they will immediately do the opposite.
posted by Shane at 5:38 PM on February 26, 2003


PETA's pretty hard to take seriously when you get a damn Burger King pop up as your reward for visiting their site. kd lang is still my hero, though.
posted by psychoticreaction at 5:44 PM on February 26, 2003


---
but sometimes, i just can't help it.
---

Well, I was thinking more along the lines of "...but sometimes it's just too damn tempting and, when I do, I will rule these lands under my iron fist, with assistance from my army of mindless cyber-clones"; but I didn't want to give the game away too early.
posted by digiboy at 5:54 PM on February 26, 2003


The Jesse Helms:
No, Jews are just the only ones to erect a monument in every major city in memory of Jews killed in the concentration camps.
must you really?
posted by kickingtheground at 6:18 PM on February 26, 2003


I don't give a damn what anyone eats but anyone who compares the extermination of over 6,000,000 people to chicken farming should be hunted for sport.

People should eat what they want to eat without anyone harrasing them.

Nutjobs should be hunted for sport.
posted by bondcliff at 6:33 PM on February 26, 2003


Nutjobs should be hunted for sport.
Let's all get right on that. And let's start off hunting the nutjobs who make statements like "Nutjobs should be hunted for sport." Heh.

posted by Shane at 6:52 PM on February 26, 2003


claxton6: are you telling me that you had a calm discussion about vegetarianism around a family dinner table?

Yes, though it wound up not being an animal-rights based discussion, and more to do with the awful awful things that the meat industry does to people.

I don't give a damn what anyone eats but anyone who compares the extermination of over 6,000,000 people to chicken farming should be hunted for sport.

Why? It's this sort of overreaction that validates, to some extent, what PETA is saying.

I mean, how many times have you actually been harassed by someone agitating for animal rights? Certainly not by the web-site; you went there of your own will, with full warning about its content.
posted by claxton6 at 7:14 PM on February 26, 2003


bondcliff - yeah! right on.........by the way, can I eat YOU? I promise you'll like it.....Oh...OK....well, 'just asking'.....I hear it's legal in Germany...hey! don't get so worked up about it....
posted by troutfishing at 7:31 PM on February 26, 2003


I don't understand why (guilt reaction?) people waste so much hatred on a group of people whose motivation is that they care about animals.

I don't believe that this IS PETA's motivation, frankly. And at least some people "waste hatred" on them in part because they're so strident and abrasive and ridiculous and hate-filled that they push many people away who might otherwise listen to reason about things like treating farm animals humanely, so much so that more moderate animal welfare advocates get tarred with the same extremist brush as PETA, and then nobody wins, least of all the animals. I'll also point out that ridiculous statements from PETA spokespeople along the lines of "keeping animals as pets is abuse" don't help them much, PETA doesn't seem to have a real-world grasp of what animals are like - a PETA activist's idea of what an ideal life for a dog is is probably substantially different from what a dog's idea of an ideal life is.
posted by biscotti at 8:13 PM on February 26, 2003


The funny thing about vegetarianism/veganism, to me, is that I can't think of any truly rational argument against it. . .but I can easily ignore the implications b/c my conscience feels nothing. In reality, b/c we are endowed with high intellect and subsequently, empathy, it should be every humans duty to, at least, not inflict suffering of any kind onto a sentient thing that is capable of suffering. But, even beyond the ethical bare minimum of just not inflicting suffering, we probably have an even greater duty to try and alleviate suffering that we're not even responsible for, in any form that we might find it.

...But in the end I like eating meat, and I like myself even more. It is easy for me to ignore logical implications, b/c guilt isn't something that I can motivate myself towards intellectually. In the end guilt is simply "a feeling", and either you feel it or you don't. Guilt is a social emotion, and since the society I developed in has no problem with meat-eating there is no threat of social alienation for me to do so. (imagine a society where eating meat was as popular with others as using a racial slur...how many more here would brag about their beef eating?)

Intellectually I think that something is immoral, yet my conscience feels no guilt in doing otherwise, presumably b/c my society permits it. The implications of this, to me, are a little disturbing. I imagine if I lived in the South in the 1840's I could also own and whip slaves w/o guilt, b/c there would be no threat of social alienation in doing so, and thus no source for guilt. And as a Nazi in the 1940's I might ironically feel guilt for not killing innocent people.
posted by dgaicun at 8:36 PM on February 26, 2003


Anyone know of any good restaurants where I can get a gourmet entree of elephant, gorilla, or dolphin?

I hear that - the more intelligent the animal, the tastier the meat. just asking.....you don't think I'm serious, do you...
posted by troutfishing at 4:42 AM on February 27, 2003


Looking for smart meat? Maybe you should try eating here.
posted by Plunge at 7:32 AM on February 27, 2003


PETA has given us this wonderful nude picture of Dominique Swain; I am a simple man and I am grateful. THANK YOU, PETA!! : )
(dgaicun, I loved the first part of "high intellect and subsequently, empathy, it should be every humans duty to, at least, not inflict suffering." But those are some contradictory emotions you carry, aren't they? Thanks for the first bit of logic, anyway.)
posted by Shane at 7:36 AM on February 27, 2003


PETA has given us this wonderful nude picture of Dominique Swain

Yes, Shane, but they cancelled out any chance of props for that by also giving us totally unwonderful nude pictures of... Carnie Wilson. Gastric Bypass, Achh!
posted by dgaicun at 8:35 AM on February 27, 2003


Actually, mdn, probably the main reason Auschwitz-Birkenau stand out as so horrific is that more people survived to testify to atrocities and conditions there, because they were concentration/work camps, rather than solely extermination centres. The extermination camps like Treblinka tend to be less well known, because hardly anyone sent there survived.

sorry, I was using "Auschwitz" as a general term for what people commonly call "the holocaust" but which many survivors and scholars don't appreciate, because that word means "a burnt sacrifice or offering" and is used in the bible (among other places) to signify positive spiritual events. I guess I could have gone with "Shoah", but I thought Auschwitz was more familiar and common enough usage, plus shoah really defines it as a specifically jewish event.

So the point was, why was - ? "the shoah" - a more terrifying event than so many other atrocities throughout history? Along with my above suggestions, I'm sure witness testimony and the fact that it's fairly recent in memory have a lot to do with it. Photographs also evoke more than descriptions could, and it happened to europeans by europeans, and in a short period of time... But I think the points I made above are pertinent to this discussion.

You do know that plants scream, right?

What's the point of this? Are you just mocking people who care about the suffering of animals? (Or did you read that roald dahl story as fact...)

In any case, all humans recognize the hierarchy here - everyone would have a harder time shooting a dog than picking a flower, even if the dog needed to be shot. It would still be an act with moral implications. Firemen will put up with a certain degree of risk to rescue animals, but not to rescue plants or belongings.

I'm a pro choice vegetarian - I would not suggest the moral implications of eating meat rival those of killing human beings. But animals certainly experience pain and suffering, and I do think it should be a goal of society to reduce meat consumption and to raise those animals killed for meat in more humane conditions. In a way, I'm glad there's an extreme fringe of the animal rights movement just to balance things and keep the issue in front of us, although the down side is that people may assume all vegetarians are absolutist ideologues who won't recognize a difference between a person and a chicken.

The opposite side has plenty of ideologues too, though, who won't recognize the difference between a pig and a potato.

The funny thing about vegetarianism/veganism, to me, is that I can't think of any truly rational argument against it. . .but I can easily ignore the implications b/c my conscience feels nothing.

This is a really interesting and important point, and IMO the reason purely utilitarian ethics don't work (the peter singer stuff). I think Hume was pretty much right about morality, that it stems from sentiments. But honest and open reflection is an important component. Most vegetarians become vegetarians because they do feel it in their conscience... (and then there are those two week vegetarians who stop eating meat after visiting a slaughterhouse or meeting some sheep, or whatever, and then give it up once they get used to things again.)

I guess the point is to encourage moral responsibility and keep people aware of the fact that they're making moral decisions, and the approval of society as a whole is insufficient, since society has been wrong before.
posted by mdn at 8:52 AM on February 27, 2003


mdn -- it seems that I completely mis-read you intentions. Please allow me to take back my (in retrospect, fairly obnoxious) 'point'.

I guess the reason that the meat industry and the Holocaust are sometimes linked might be because each represents an application of a dehumanizing, Fordist-style rationalism. It's not that the 'input' or 'output' is the same or comparable (Fordism seems to lend itself to de-humanising language), but the process itself that's seen as barbaric and inhuman. You can express your disdain for this kind of 'processing' of animals and human beings without making any kind of gratuitous chicken=human category error.
posted by Sonny Jim at 1:34 PM on February 27, 2003


The alarming amount of ad hominem attack going on here indicates to me one thing: the world isn't ready for a serious discussion of vegetarian lifestyle. Mocking PETA is pretty easy; they're grabbing at straws, desperately wondering what will create empathy towards animals in the public conciousness. Nothing will do this. Many of us revel in the contradictions that colour our relationships with animals by telling goofy jokes (ask me, I've heard hundreds) and mocking people that try to get others to change their beliefs. Anyone with any conciousness whatsoever knows the facts.

Thank you. This is what people need to hear.
posted by 4midori at 2:06 PM on February 27, 2003


People are far more likely to become empathetic towards animals without the kind of blinkered, self-righteous, mocking, superior, extremism PETA employs. People don't listen when you shout at them, PETA activists should know that this is true of other animals, strange that they don't seem to know that it's true of humans as well. Animal welfare is a topic very important to me, and in my opinion PETA does far more harm than good.
posted by biscotti at 7:42 PM on February 27, 2003


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