Animal Holocaust: How the Suffering from the Holocaust Never Ended

Auschwitz was regarded as the most effective concentration camp established by the Nazis in pursuit of the “Final Solution.” Unknown numbers of people of various nationalities perished in the camp. Even today the name holds a cold and somber connotation. The camps had no heat or running water and the prisoners lay 10 per bed and each person had to lay sideways to fit. The entire function of the Auschwitz camp was the extermination of the prisoners within its fences. Every part of the camp functioned to that end. The inmates were treated more like animals than humans by the Nazis.

The horrors of these camps are not forgotten, and the actions that took place within them should not go overlooked.

For the animal kingdom however, the holocaust never ended. A holocaust can be described as slaughter or destruction on a mass scale.

The germans killed more than 12 million jews and disabled people during the war. We kill around 150 billion animals every year. 

Image by zephious /pixabay

One might say that comparing animals to humans is offensive. But why do humans value themselves over animals? The practice is the same. They both suffered horrendously. It doesn’t matter if you are not human or do not have the same level of intelligence, you can and will suffer. Most survivors of the holocaust alive today are vegan because they know what it’s like to be treated like an animal.

Both of these ordeals are brutal events in our history. Just because I’m focusing on one doesn’t take anything away from the other.  But the events that happened in the Jewish holocaust are over now. They however should never be forgotten and will always be an important event in history.

Animal Holocaust 

Now we need to focus on the ongoing holocaust that still takes place in our world today. The animal holocaust is in many ways similar to the Holocaust. Some people say that the way we treat animals could also easily be compared to slavery. Human slavery was abolished so animal slavery should be too. So why does nobody fight to put an end to it?

Living Conditions

In slaughterhouses the animals have no freedom. They are crammed into small places with no room to move. Some animals will never see sunlight in their entire miserable lives. The conditions they live in are appalling and many die from the poor care they receive. In the summer months lots of animals suffer from heat stroke while in the winter months many freeze to death due to the inadequate housing they receive. The lucky ones who die soon are put into piles of hundreds of other dead bodies. The not so lucky ones who survive the horrid living conditions get killed in many ways none of them humanely.

Methods of Slaughter

The meat industry advertises their practices as being humane and nice to the animals. However this is almost never the case. Here are some of the so called “humane” ways these animals are being raised, killed and processed.

Chickens

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Image by skeeze /pixabay

Chickens and other poultry such as turkeys and ducks, are one of the most common animals to be slaughtered yearly in the United States. They are hatched and then genetically manipulated to grow 65 times faster than they normally would. They are housed in large sheds packed tightly together by the thousands with no space to move. In these sheds they live in filthy conditions and never get to see sunlight. Since they are bred for rapid growth, most of them grow too quickly causing them to suffer from horrible pain making them not able to move. They go to the slaughter houses lame, sick, and in pain. The “humane” slaughter includes the kill cone, decompression, and gas chambers.

Here are 17 chicken facts the meat industry doesn’t want you to know. 

Cattle

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Image by freestocks.org /pexels

According to an article by PETA titled “Cow Transport and Slaughter,” the ways the meat industry treats and processes cattle is no more humane than the way they do the chickens. The cows are raised in feedlots crammed tightly together, forced to stand feet deep in their own feces and left with no shelter to survive the extreme weather conditions. These sick and exhausted cows are crammed into trucks and transported over a thousand miles with no food or water. Often times they are traveling in either extreme heat or below freezing temperatures. They are either dragged off the trucks with chains or shocked with electric prods and forced into the slaughterhouses. Some cows are frozen to the sides of the trucks and need to be pried off with a crowbar. Other cows known as “downers” who are too sick or injured to walk on their own, are dragged by chains or pushed by large tractors. Once unloaded and inside, they are forced through a chute and shot in the head with a captive-bolt gun. Since the conveyer moves so fast however, the technique fails causing the animals to feel great pain and live through the ordeal. They are then hung upside down by their legs and have their throats slit until all of their blood drains out, all while being conscious. Some cows are alive for longer than seven minutes after having their throats cut. The meat industry however hides this information from the public and hires illegal workers that will not report the abuse out of fear of getting in trouble with the law.

Swine

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Image by Matthias Zomer /pexels

Pigs can live up to 15 years when allowed to live out their lives, but the factory farmed pigs are inhumanely raised and slaughtered after just 6 months of life. More than one million of the hogs die from the horrors of transport alone. Often in winter the pigs will freeze to the floors and sides of the trucks. In these cases the slaughterhouse workers will cut the hogs loose with knives, cutting their skin right off, all while being fully alive and in pain. After being unloaded the pigs are kicked and beaten before being killed. Most slaughterhouses will kill over a thousand pigs every hour. Many pigs are still alive when they are dropped into a scalding tank, a pool of boiling hot water designed to soften their skin and remove their hair. All of this information and more can be found in an article by PETA titled, “Pig Transport and Slaughter.”

Conclusion

Many of the practices used by the meat industry to kill animals for profit, is very similar to the treatment and killing of the jews during the holocaust.

Auschwitz by DzidekLasek /pixabay

Photos of Auschwitz resemble photos of today’s factory farms because the practices are so similar.

Factory farm by visionshare /foter

Just because they are animals and not humans does not mean it is wrong to call it a holocaust. Animals can suffer just like people can. The conditions and treatment the animals get in their depressing lives needs to be addressed and acknowledged by society.

I think people need to know the truth about where their meat comes from, and rather than going vegan, we need to take actions to stop the horrendous treatment and inhumane killing of animals in factory farming or the animal holocaust. Horrible care and suffering is not the only way to raise and slaughter these animals. It is however the cheapest way and that is why they do it like this and hide it from the public. All for the money. This however needs to change and instead of focusing on the best profit, the meat industry needs to focus on the proper treatment and care of the animals they are killing.

Featured image by CarlottaSilvestrini /pixabay 

 

 

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25 thoughts on “Animal Holocaust: How the Suffering from the Holocaust Never Ended

  1. Also: your title is “How the Suffering from the Holocaust Never Ended.” You are aware there is no continuity between the holocaust and the meat industry, they are two disjoint events. It isn’t as if a baton was passed from the holocaust and the meat industry.

  2. LOVE everything about this post. I’m glad someone addressed this comparison. It’s amazing how you have to explain this concept five times over after already writing an entire blog about it and people still don’t understand.

    1. Kwamboka,

      Thank you for your correspondence. I very much appreciate the concerns you raised, however, I think they’re quite unfounded. The problem isn’t a misunderstanding, but a fundamental difference in how we value animal life as compared to humans. Speaking on behalf of the LAME-Os (League of Anti-holocaust Metaphor Expositors), I believe animal life is worth a great deal, and we should work hard to protect that life from neglect and cruelty. However, the comparison to the holocaust is extreme, and it has no place in a dialogue about animal rights. I have made this joke thrice now, but I will again: therein lies the BEEF.

      Warmest regards,
      The Benevolent Malevolence

  3. Hannah, I think you did a great job with this post. I did not think comparing this to the holocaust was wrong at all. This is slaughter and mass destruction, which is exactly what the word “holocaust” means. Just because it is animals instead of people does not mean we can’t compare the two. It is being selfish to say we can’t compare animals to people because people feel so much more important than every other living thing. People should understand animals feel pain and emotions and we should respect that. I did not find your post anti-semitic at all. It did not strike me as prejudiced against Jews at all. People get offended they’re compared to animals because they feel so much more important than them.
    Although there of course are differences, animals do a lot of things so much better than humans. For instance, dogs are always happy to see you and they are much better at forgiving than a human. Lock your best friend and your dog in a room and see which one is happy to see you when you let them out. A dog, horse, cat, pig, or cow doesn’t care what you look like or how much money you have. You never have to worry about an animal being materialistic or egotistical.
    People still disrespect them because we have been able to industrialize the world and build great things. I think animals are a lot more respectable than people sometimes. We might be more intelligent but I think a “simple-minded” animal can have more good qualities than a person. Animals at the very least deserve to live happy lives before we slaughter them. The conditions should be much better and we should respect them much more and not look at them as so far below us that it’s insulting to compare the two.

  4. I’m not a fan of how the post compares the holocaust, a specific genocide of people do to religion, race, or sexuality, to a practice of killing animals. Though the animal farming and food industry is very bad. I would not go as far to call it something that torments humans and still has a long lasting effects on families and people who lived through its well being. The animal industry should be fixed but the unsupported information that “Most survivors of the holocaust alive today are vegan because they know what it’s like to be treated like an animal.” I can see where holocaust survivors empathize with the animals because of the horrible treatment they faced, but saying that most are vegan is a extreme generalization that is not explicitly true. Lastly, comparing animals to humans has been an issue that has caused world problems for years. Humans do not harm animals because they enjoy to, they do it out of need in able to continue with improvement of humanity, which mostly humans effect. Though animals should be treated better than they are now, they should not be compared to people who have survived through or died in a mass genocide and were robbed of their human right to live. The slaughterhouse business, while cruel, has different intentions than the holocaust did, such as the main reason the business exists, to provide food for the public, unlike the holocaust which did nothing to benefit humans. which makes the case that animals are in a holocaust, unethical.

    1. I don’t want to be petty, so I can look past this comment’s poor grammar and spelling errors and infer one issue you have with my original post is a lack of evidence in one part. I cannot tell for sure due to your incomplete sentence (“The animal industry should be fixed but the unsupported information that ‘Most survivors of the holocaust alive today are vegan …'”), but I believe you are looking for more evidence in this spot. Although I do agree my word choice of “most” rather than “some” is incorrect, I do have evidence below supporting this claim.
      Comparing human life to animal is one of the world’s oldest wicked problems (a wicked problem being one which is not easily solved, and presumably never will be). In trying to help or aleve wicked problems, however, it is essential not to jump to conclusions or assumptions. Most commonly, humans are quick to assume humans take precedent over the pain, fear, and emotions animals actually do have. But there lies the issue: animals DO feel. Humans cannot ignore these feelings and true PAIN slaughtered animals experience. I make an expanded argument about animal feelings and human IQ’s in a response comment to “TheBenevolentMalevolence”‘s comment. Sources on this issues are listed below.
      Finally, beyond the faulty argument, your wording in this comment is sickening. Near the end, you describe Holocaust victims by saying they “died in a mass genocide and were robbed of their human right to live.” To this I ask you, is “the right to live” only for humans? Is “the right to live” a privilege, or a right? Honestly dude, what even is “the right to live”?
      Honestly, I think you missed the point of the original post. I did not write about the “intentions” or “benefits” of the meat industry OR the Holocaust. Should killing anything (humans, animals, or otherwise) have benefits? If killing has benefits, does that justify the killing? I simply stated the meat industry has similarities with the Holocaust in the extent of its cruelty. I argued that the meat industry should not be shut down but that it instead needs room for ethical improvements. Yes these improvements are more expensive and therefore less of a “benefit” to humans. However, if that prevents extra and unnecessary suffering for any number of animals, it needs to happen.

      Sources on vegan Holocaust surviors:
      http://bitesizevegan.com/ethics-and-morality/holocaust-survivors-speak-lessons-from-the-death-camps/
      http://vegnews.com/articles/page.do?catId=1&pageId=8491

      Research on animals and emotion:
      http://news.nationalgeographic.com/2015/07/150714-animal-dog-thinking-feelings-brain-science/ (this article is about a book by Carl Safina. My sister highly reccommends it.)
      https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/animal-emotions
      (This link leads to Psychology Today, a psych journal with multiple psychology studies and articles about animal ethics and issues.)

  5. The comparison of the Holocaust to the meat industry is completely wrong. There are ways to expose the problems in the meat industry without being anti-semitic.

    1. If you clearly read the beginning of the original post, I do explain the horrible nature of the Holocaust and how atrocious it was. In no way did I undermine or discredit the horrors of the Holocaust and the suffering victims faced. Furthermore, I also do not attack or otherwise bash any person or the beliefs of the Jewish faith, so my intentions of the post are definitely not anti-semitic.

      1. When you compared the factory farming/meat industry to the Holocaust you undermined and discredited the horrors of the Holocaust which is anti-semitic. To compare the killing of 12 million people because of prejudice against their religion, ethnicity, sexual orientation, etc. to the killing of animals for food is unacceptable because the two will never be equal. By not only implying, but explicitly stating that they are, you are saying something anti-semitic.

    2. You throwing around the term anti-semitic incorrectly is discrediting it’s true meaning. This blog is in no way prejudice towards Jewish people. Where in any definition of anti-semitic is correlating tragedies being against the Jewish community??? It’s called empathizing.

        1. I said it before and I’ll say it again: by comparing the Holocaust to the meat industry you are minimizing it, and by minimizing the mass genocide of Jewish people, you are being anti-semitic.

  6. I fundamentally disagree with equating human life to animal life, and I think it’s irresponsible to compare the holocaust to the meat industry.

    “Human slavery was abolished so animal slavery should be too. So why does nobody fight to put an end to it?”

    The domestication of animals was a critical part of the agricultural revolution, which allowed us to diversify our workforce and sustain larger populations: it allowed us to make progress as a species.

    “Most survivors of the holocaust alive today are vegan because they know what it’s like to be treated like an animal.”

    I’m not sure if that’s true. I did a bit of research, and the best I could find were a few examples of vegetarian holocaust survivors. That doesn’t mean most are vegan.

    Setting human life equal to animal life is a dangerous precedent: if animals and humans are interchangeable, are we not obligated to let animals vote? Should we register animals as U.S. Citizens? Can animals pay their taxes? The answer to all three is, of course, no. While these examples may seem extreme, they highlight the key distinction between our two worlds: animals do not possess the ability to imagine, create, or think critically.

    I agree with you: the meat industry needs much more regulating, and the FDA needs teeth when it comes to enforcing those regulations. I cede that animals think and feel at a basic level, and, as a society, it is important to reject animal cruelty. However, I disagree with how you have framed the problem: this idea that we are either equal to animals or we abuse and neglect them systemically is a dangerous one, and I believe it hinders actual progress. My biggest BEEF with this post is your comparison to the holocaust. Extreme examples do not affect change: they make the fight to reform the meat industry seem like a cause for extremists.

    1. Well, with all-do respect, I fundamentally do NOT “disagree with equating human life to animal life”. Extensive research shows many species besides humans feel happiness, sadness, excitedness, anger, and other emotions. On your part or my part, it does not take much more than a Google search to realize this. There are a few examples below if you’re not interested in researching the matter yourself. You are also thinking about intelligence in terms of the human-based IQ test. Animals, or humans for that matter, should not require intelligence on this scale to be allowed to live (there was one group of people who didn’t believe humans with lower IQ’s or disabilities should live, and they perpetrated the Holocaust). We are both speaking on extreme terms, so it isn’t fair for you or me to say our opinions and research is “extreme” or a “dangerous precedent”.

      Beyond that, animals feel PAIN. Slaughterhouses use the cheapest means possible to kill meat-bearing animals, including automated throat-cutters (kill cones), metal rods shot into the brain, and gas or other chemicals to kill multiple animals at once. I have sources listed for those examples in the original post. History shows us humans with murderous intentions also resort to the cheapest ways possible to kill fellow humans. Therefore, with just this one example pertaining to mass extermination, I do not believe it is “irresponsible to compare the Holocaust to the meat industry”. Finally, I would like to relate this to your comment about “The domestication of animals was a critical part of the agricultural revolution”. My original post only applied to the slaughter and consumption of animals (the meat industry).

      Finally, you pointed out my specific word choice in saying “Most survivors of the holocaust alive today are vegan…”. I agree a better word here would have been “some” rather than “most”. I did not think so deeply about the diction when I first wrote this, as that was not my main concern in the post’s content. Here is further evidence related to this topic, as well:
      http://bitesizevegan.com/ethics-and-morality/holocaust-survivors-speak-lessons-from-the-death-camps/
      http://vegnews.com/articles/page.do?catId=1&pageId=8491

      Research on animals and emotion:
      http://news.nationalgeographic.com/2015/07/150714-animal-dog-thinking-feelings-brain-science/ (this article is about a book by Carl Safina. My sister highly reccommends it.)
      https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/animal-emotions
      (This link leads to Psychology Today, a psych journal with multiple psychology studies and articles about animal ethics and issues.)

      1. 1. There’s a saying when it comes to comparing things to the Holocaust: don’t do it.

        2.” You are also thinking about intelligence in terms of the human-based IQ test.”

        Really? You can’t possibly argue that animals are “smart in their own way.” Animals are, by design, unable to compete with humans intellectually. They are inferior beings.

        Again, this does’t mean we should treat them like literal garbage: I believe it should be a priority for any society to treat its animals humanely. As you said, animals feel pain. I agree with you: the way animals are treated is objectively terrible, and we should reform the way our meat and dairy products are produced.

        3. “[T]he way we treat animals could also easily be compared to slavery. Human slavery was abolished so animal slavery should be too.”

        Your reply to my comment seems to contradict this:

        “My original post only applied to the slaughter and consumption of animals (the meat industry).”

        Maybe you ought to elaborate, but “slavery” implies forced labor, not just slaughter.

        4. I think the underlying problem here is that you are using an animal’s ability to feel pain as a club to beat any opposing ideology with. With this approach, conversation gets quite circular:

        Critic: I think your holocaust example is extreme.
        You: Animals can feel pain, humans can feel pain, it’s essentially the same.
        Critic: But animals and humans are fundamentally different.
        You: How? Both of them can feel pain.
        And so on.

        I think I can see what you’re getting at (correct me if I’m wrong): You believe the slaughter of animals is wrong, and you’d like to see the base of consumers talked out of eating meat on moral grounds. I respect this message. You are entitled to believe this, and there is also research to suggest that veganism is better for the planet and the human body. Here is where we disagree: Animals and humans do not and should not be of equal standing. The ability to feel pain is a low bar to cross, as nature doesn’t care. Animals are constantly killed and eaten: both in human and animal society. This is–and always will be–the natural order.

        1. So, because they have lower intelligence levels it’s okay to abuse them and let them suffer? Should there be a difference in how we treat “smart” pets and “dumb pets”? Should people with lower IQ levels be treated worse than those who are smart? I don’t think you should base abuse and slaughtering on if the subject is smart or not. Just because they aren’t as intelligent as humans does not mean it’s okay intentionally and needlessly have them suffer.

          I’m not saying we should all be vegetarians or anything like that but nothing should have to suffer for not being intelligent enough. Many dogs are less intelligent that pigs, so according to that theory it’s okay to dangle a puppy and slit its throat because it is “inferior”. Suffering is not okay and all animals should be respected no matter how intelligent they appear to be.

          1. 1. No, not at all. I took pains to address each of these things separately. It is not okay to “abuse them and let them suffer.”

            2. I am not making a distinction between “smart” and “dumb” pets, or between humans with higher and lower IQ’s. The distinction is between species: we ought to treat all humans with respect, and all animals humanely, however this does not mean humans and animals are of equal standing.

            ” I don’t think you should base abuse and slaughtering on if the subject is smart or not. ”

            I entirely agree with you: I would argue we shouldn’t abuse any animals.

            “Just because they aren’t as intelligent as humans does not mean it’s okay intentionally and needlessly have them suffer.”

            Again, we agree.

            “Many dogs are less intelligent that pigs, so according to that theory it’s okay to dangle a puppy and slit its throat because it is ‘inferior’. ”

            I do not disagree with anything this post says. I believe your assertions are misdirected: I was comparing humans to animals, not the intelligence of different animals for some kind of selective breeding. I guess you could say there is no BEEF.

        2. I am only replying to your line “Really? You can’t possibly argue that animals are “smart in their own way.” Animals are, by design, unable to compete with humans intellectually. They are inferior beings,” because it is absolutely untrue. I think you may need to be reminded that we as humans are animals/mammals/homo sapiens. We evolved from apes. You are denying science. Quite honestly, if it were still a natural world that humans hadn’t come to rule it and changed it for our own sole benefit, there could be room for another species to evolve to occupy a similar niche as us humans. I suggest you do some more research comparing humans to animals since we are in fact animals…

    2. You say that “animals do not possess the ability to imagine, create, or think critically”. If this is why its considered fundamentally okay to slaughter innocent animals then why is it not okay to kill someone who has a mental disability?
      A lot of people who have mental disabilities aren’t smart and cannot think “critically”. So why is it wrong to kill a mentally ill human, but it is considered fine to kill an animal.
      I’m not saying animals should be allowed to vote or even that we should be killing mentally ill citizens, what I mean is that knowledge isn’t something we can use to set us apart from animals. Knowledge also isn’t something we can use to determine if a living thing is fit to live. If that were to be the case then why are those who are mentally ill not killed like animals? (Again I am not saying they should be at all). Characteristics of being human include feeling fear, happiness, sadness and pain. Animals can feel every single one of those things.
      I also think Hannah’s comparison to the holocaust was fine. She specifically said that the Holocaust was a horrible tragedy and how the animal meat industry cannot truly compare to the actual Holocaust. How I viewed Hannah’s comparison between the two groups was that those in the Holocaust were trapped against their will and lived their lives in fear before being murdered and that animals live their lives trapped in a building until they are brutally slaughtered.
      I don’t think that anything can compare truly to the Holocaust itself but there are some similarities in the overall picture.

      1. We shouldn’t abuse and neglect animals. That being said, animals are and should be secondary to humans. Humans with mental and physical disabilities are humans. Animals are not. At their most complex, animals can build simple tools to stab ants with. At our most complex, we build massive interstellar spacecrafts and write books pondering the existential existence of the universe. There is a fundamental difference there. As humans, we have a responsibility to treat all other living beings with respect. This is possible without equating human life with animal life.

        I spoke with my doctor, and I now have stage 1 hypertension.

        Consider this my final correspondence.

        1. I never said humans and animals were not separate species. My comment was about how all life deserves equal opportunity. It doesn’t matter if a pig can’t build a spaceship or a computer, it’s life still has meaning.

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