“This isn’t about Jews or about the victims of the Holocaust, it’s about the extermination of innocent lives who are deemed worthless. It’s about recognising the forgotten victims who are suffering under the very ideal that was responsible for the Holocaust: some lives don’t matter, those “we” classify as “worthless”. It’s about extending compassion to ALL victims and it’s about the unnecessary, systematic slaughter taking place Every Day.
I think those who are offended by this are offending the memory of those victims who, through their own suffering, were capable of extending compassion beyond themselves. They are not comparing themselves to animals, they are comparing their suffering to the suffering of “others”. One such person is Edgar Kupfer-Koberwitz, who wrote this while imprisoned at Dachau Concentration Camp:
“I eat no animals, because I don’t want to live on the suffering and death of other creatures — for I have suffered so much myself, that I can feel other creatures’ suffering, by virtue of my own.
I am so glad when I am not persecuted; so why should I persecute other creatures or have them persecuted? I am so glad when I am not captured; so why should I capture other creatures or have them captured? I am so glad when nobody harms me; so why should I harm other creatures or have them harmed? I am so glad not to be injured or killed; so why should I injure or kill other creatures or have them injured or killed for my sake?”
Some may reject the use of such a strong symbol that represents such a dark chapter in human history but this is NOT a symbol of iconic evil toward Jews, it’s a symbol of evil toward ALL THOSE CONSIDERED INFERIOR, lives deemed worthless by people who felt superior with NO justification for it. What better symbol than that? One which the majority of people see as symbolic of an atrocity, and rightly so. What they fail to see, and what the artist is trying to get them to see, is that the foundation of that atrocity is the same as that used to exterminate other beings who suffer and are victims of the same violent ideal.
Some may question the level of barbarity shown toward victims of the Holocaust with what they may consider “humane” treatment in the exploitation and slaughter of animals. However, the point is not how it’s done, it’s that it’s done. We are exterminating BILLIONS of lives, mass extermination, for no good reason, just because we can: holocaust. We have NO justification for doing so. It’s killing innocent lives (human included) and it’s killing the planet.
This piece is exposing the mechanism that lies behind the holocaust of innocent lives that is not specific to the Jews. The mechanism that “other” lives who “we” deem worthless are not important. It’s attacking the nazi ideal, not the Jews or the victims. It’s siding with the victims, being their voice.
Those who side with the victims are not comparing themselves with the victims. Most of us are aware that we are not the victims, that we are privileged, and that they are the true victims. It’s called compassion, not identification, something seriously lacking during the Holocaust of WWII and something absolutely lacking today.
Some believe that animal agriculture, or breeding, exploiting and killing animals, is not cruel. Wikipedia: “Cruelty to animals, also called animal abuse or animal neglect, is the human infliction of suffering or harm upon non-human animals, for purposes other than self-defense or survival.” We do not NEED to eat meat, dairy, eggs or wear leather, wool or otherwise harm and kill animals for food or clothing. It’s not self-defense and it’s not for survival. Doing those things is animal cruelty. Simple. And we do it to millions of animals on a daily basis: “Every Day”.
The message of this piece, even though it may use confronting images, is to help people notice how disconnected and ill we’ve become. This is systematic daily unnecessary violence and it’s coming back on us as disease, obesity, war, famine, and general destruction. We reap what we sow.” – Julie McHenry