A controversial comparison by Shaun Britton.
Photo by Matthias Zomeer
During the Second World War Edgar Kupfer-Koberwitz, a survivor of the Dachau concentration camp, wrote: “I refuse to eat animals because I cannot nourish myself by the sufferings and by the death of other creatures. I refuse to do so, because I suffered so painfully myself that I can feel the pains of others by recalling my own sufferings.”
Controversy surrounds the comparison made between the experience of an animal in a slaughterhouse or a laboratory and the horrific revelations of the holocaust. If such a comparison is possible, directly or indirectly, then it spells a deeply important message for humanity. The message is about the grim reality behind the practices we take for granted - and a secret at the heart of our darkest hour.
Auschwitz and Abattoirs: Comparisons of Cruelty
The Oxford Dictionary's first definition of holocaust is ‘destruction or slaughter on a mass scale.’ The word holocaust is Greek in origin (Holos meaning 'whole' or ‘completely’, and Kaustos meaning ‘burnt’.) Amongst other uses, the term has been used to describe large scale destruction by fire, and then most commonly linked with the shocking Nazi campaign in World War Two.
Proponents of the comparison cite the shocking treatment animals receive from humans in industry. That the animal industries carry out their business without animals consent, or recognition as individuals with a right to life, is sadly only the tip of the comparison’s iceberg.
The comparison between concentration camps and slaughterhouses depicts a macabre backdrop to our modern age, with abject cruelty claimed in both the method and the motive of animal industries.
The comparisons are often