Comparing chickens slaughtered at factory farms to the Jews annihilated in Nazi death camps, an animal-rights group has launched a campaign called “Holocaust on Your Plate” to promote the vegetarian diet.

As first reported, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, or PETA, draws the comparison using explicit and graphic images of fluffy white chickens crowded into barnyard cages and emaciated adults and children peering out from behind barbed wire at the death camps.

PETA actually promoted the same comparison at the beginning of the Palestinian intifada in Israel in 2000.

In a press release, PETA said it launched the project on the campus of the University of California-Berkeley over the weekend to “stimulate people to contemplate how the victimization of Jews, Gypsies, homosexuals and others characterized as ‘life unworthy of life’ during the Holocaust parallels the way that modern society abuses and justifies the slaughter of animals.”

“Just as the Nazis tried to ‘dehumanize’ Jews by forcing them to live in filthy, crowded conditions,” continues the release, “animals on today’s factory farms are stripped of all that is enjoyable and natural to them and treated as nothing more than meat-, egg-, and milk-making ‘machines.'”

The statement cites examples of the alleged mistreatment of animals:

  • “Laying hens are crammed on top of each other in small wire cages that do not afford them even enough room to lie down. [Their] beaks are burned off with a hot blade to keep them from pecking each other for space.”

  • “Pigs are kept on barren, sore-inducing concrete-floored stalls and are castrated and have their tails cut off without painkillers.”

  • “Calves raised for veal are torn from their mothers within hours of birth and chained in tiny, dark stalls where their joints swell from trying to balance on slippery, waste-covered slats.”

“The very same mindset that made the Holocaust possible – that we can do anything we want to those we decide are ‘different’ or ‘inferior’ – is what allows us to commit atrocities against animals every single day,” said PETA youth outreach coordinator Matt Prescott.

Prescott has relatives who were murdered by the Nazis, according to the press release.

“We are asking people to bring understanding into their hearts and onto their tables by embracing a nonviolent, vegan diet that respects other forms of life,” he said.

As part of the campaign, PETA is touring a giant graphic display that consists of eight 60-square-foot panels on which pictures of the chickens, emaciated calves and a pile of dead pig carcasses are juxtaposed with shocking photographs of Holocaust victims on the brink of death and a mound of human corpses.

PETA’s homepage links to a website called which offers a slideshow containing images from the display.

It opens with the statement:

“During the seven years between 1938 and 1945, 12 million people perished in the Holocaust. That same number of animals is killed every four hours for food in the U.S. alone.”

It concludes with a quote from author-philosopher Dr. Helmut Kaplan:

“Our grandchildren will ask us one day: Where were you during the holocaust of the animals? What did you do against these horrifying crimes? We won’t be able to offer the same excuse the second time, that we didn’t know.”

Prescott explains the purpose of the exhibit, which it has made available to college campuses and towns, is to “graphically depict the point made by Yiddish writer and Nobel laureate Isaac Bashevis Singer, who wrote, ‘In relation to [animals], all people are Nazis.’ It stresses the “common roots of victimization and violence” and how people can help fight them through the decisions they make when they eat.

Los Angeles resident Roz Rothstein was born and grew up without relatives because of the Holocaust.

“Everybody in my family was affected,” she told WorldNetDaily. “This kind of exaggeration is an insult to the people who were mass murdered. It’s absurd. To make a moral equation between chickens and humans belittles the people who died through the various methods of murder at the hands of the Nazis.”

PETA is known for its zealous advocacy of animals’ rights – often above human rights.

Earlier this month, PETA spoke out against Middle East terrorism instigated by Palestinian Authority leader Yasser Arafat after an explosives-laden donkey was used in a bomb attack in the West Bank.

No humans were killed in the incident, but the explosion narrowly missed an Israeli bus carrying soldiers.

PETA President Ingrid Newkirk sent a letter to Arafat, pleading with him to “appeal to all those who listen to you to leave the animals out of this conflict.”

“We have received many calls and letters from people shocked at the bombing,” she wrote.

Newkirk has not raised any objection over suicide bombings that kill people.

“It’s not my business to inject myself into human wars,” she told the Washington Post.

As WorldNetDaily reported, PETA was part of a coalition that succeeded in getting constitutional protection for pigs in Florida last November. The $1.4 million ballot initiative amended the state constitution to limit the “cruel and inhumane confinement of pigs during pregnancy.” The referendum specifically outlaws caging pigs in gestation stalls, which are metal enclosures that measure two feet across and prevent sows from turning around freely.

Advocates readily admitted there wasn’t a problem in Florida with gestation stalls, but used the campaign to set a precedent for activists across the country.

“It’s ironic in itself. We sometimes award our animals better protections than ourselves,” Matt DuPree, executive director for the Florida Christian Coalition, told WorldNetDaily in response to the amendment.

Related stories:

Pig-rights advocates use Florida as guinea pig

Pregnant pigs on Florida ballot

Related column:

The madness of the animal rights movement

Note: Read our discussion guidelines before commenting.