Monday, May 09, 2005
In 2003, PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) ran a series of ads comparing the sufferings of animals in slaughterhouses with the Holocaust. In several of the ads, photos of diseased, emaciated animals were placed next to photos of starved concentration camp inmates. As might be imagined, there was quite a furor over all of this, especially from Jewish groups. This week, PETA issued a half-hearted apology which most of the protesting groups accepted. An interesting thing to note is that to my knowledge, none of the criticizing organizations in any way tried to dispute the suffering of the animals involved, only stating that the ads were generally “offensive”. So my question is this: If humans are just animals who possess an unusually high level of intelligence (as I believe), and they are capable of feeling pain in the same way we are (which is almost universally accepted), in what way were these ads incorrect? Animals in slaughterhouses are put through tortures comparable to what the Jews in the death camps faced. I’m honestly curious; what is the difference? Please comment below.