In our modern market economies, pigs, calves and other animals that are the emotional and mental equals of the pets we cherish, are denied any contact, let alone affection. They are simply treated as units on a production line. Their only purpose, to produce the maximum amount of food at the minimum cost.
Forced to give birth outside their natural cycles, selectively bred into freaks that are sometimes incapable of supporting their own weight, overdosed by hormones and antibiotics, these are arguably the most cruelly exploited creatures in that whole sad and confused history of man's relationship with the animals.
The difficulty for the meat industry is that these techniques of intensive farming and mass slaughter are being refined to new levels of efficiency, which so often means cruelty, at the very moment when the public is becoming increasingly sensitized toward animals.
The solution for the meat industry is secrecy. The modern factory farm, the modern slaughterhouse are fortresses, screen by public view and surrounded by high security fences. The disguise continues all the way to the point of sell, where we, the customers are happy to cooperate. In place of the old fashioned butcher's displays of hanging carcasses, we now demand cellophane wrapped packages of something called meat, which bears no resemblance to any animal of origin.
It's easy to see the resemblance of the systematic destruction and slaughter of over six million Jews by the Nazis before and during world war II and the over 20 million animals that are executed every day in America alone. Many of the Jews of the Holocaust were transported to concentration camps in cattle cars to their death. The concentration camps very much resemble the common slaughterhouses of today. Of course the Nazi's didn't eat the Jews, or did they? It would not be surprising if they did.
Before I get flammed into an inferno I need to make clear that I am not comparing Jews to animals. The only comparisons I wish to make here is the method of transportation, imprisonment, execution and the obvious injustices that were done to the Holocaust Jews and the injustices that are done to animals world wide every day. If you have any comments or thoughts to add to this comparison, please do so below.
It is true that the Holocaust was aimed at genocide, killing off an entire race of Human Beings and killing animals for food is not aimed at eliminating an entire species. However, many of the ways the Jews were treated during the Holocaust and how animals are treated today in the modern factory farms are very similar. Many people will say this is an unfair comparison because the animals are being used for a purpose, mainly as food. That, we as humans must continue this holocaust against the animals to survive. Yet, today we have overwhelming evidence that a plant based diet promotes radiant, long term health. While a diet high in animal flesh and products has been proven to contribute to an internal holocaust on our bodies leading to millions of premature deaths. There is no nutritional requirement for animal flesh, so why must we continue the Animal Holocaust?
Professor Richard Schwartz points out: It is not a choice between the well being of animals or of people. When animals are mistreated, it generally also has negative effects for people. For example, the consumption of animals and animal products has been linked to heart disease, stroke, various types of cancer, and other degenerative diseases. Modern intensive livestock agriculture significantly contributes to ecological threats, such as air and water pollution, soil erosion and depletion, the destruction of tropical rain forests and other habitats, and global warming, the wasteful use of water, fuel, land, fertilizer, and other agricultural resources, and the growth of disease-causing antibiotic-resistant bacteria. This industry must also share responsibility for the deaths of 15 to 20 million people per year because of hunger and its effects, as 70 percent of the grain produced in the United States and over one-third of the grain produced worldwide is fed to animals destined for slaughter.
Some people, including Isaac Bashevis Singer, who stated that for animals every day is like Treblinka, have made this comparison, because they are aware of the incredibly cruel ways that animals are raised on factory farms today. For example, dairy calves are removed from their mothers after at most one day of nursing; laying hens are crammed into spaces so small that they can't even raise their wings; over a quarter of a billion male chicks are killed almost immediately after birth, because they cannot produce eggs and have not been genetically programmed to give much meat; and geese have huge amounts of grain forced down their throats in order to produce pate de fois gras. Hence, some make this comparison, not out of disrespect for the 6 million Jews and 5 million other people who perished in the Holocaust, but out of their disgust at the massive mistreatment of animals.
The amount of Jewish vegetarians is growing every year. One of these is Rabbi Professor Dan Cohn-Scherbok. In the HBO special "Man vs. Animal" he had this to say:
As the trucks rolled by I saw calves and sheep in those trucks being transported and one could only see their eyes through the slits in those trucks and it stuck me that, that was very much like the scene out of the Holocaust period of Jews being transported in cattle trucks to their fate. During the Holocaust, I'm sure the German people were aware that Jews and others were being treated in the most horrific ways. They may have not known all the details, but they must have known something. They didn't want to think about it and I think today we also don't want to think about the way animals are being treated. So there is a parallel in terms of our desire to reflect on what's really happening
The Chinese who eat cats and dogs are logical. If they are going to eat cows and goats and sheep, why not cats and dogs? In terms of intelligence and sentience and the capacity to suffer, dogs and cats and pigs and cows and goats and sheep are very nuch the same. So I think the Chinese are consistant. It's we who are inconsistant. Would we be willing, for example, to slaughter fluffy the cat? Would we eat fluffy the cat? Would we want fluffy the cat to be cooped up in a truck, transported without water? I don't think we'd want this to happen. So we need to think not that our dogs and cats inhabit one world and all animals another, but really that they all inhabit the same world.