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Holocaust Imagery and Animal Rights
Posted: August 2, 2005

A disturbing development that has emerged in some animal and environmental activist circles is the use of Holocaust imagery to promote their causes.

The latest example is the Web site for the National Primate Research Exhibition Hall, which animal rights activists hope to build between two primate research facilities in Madison, Wisconsin, compares itself to the Holocaust Memorial in Auschwitz.

The Exhibition Hall is a project of the Madison-based Alliance for Animals and the Fayetteville, Georgia-based Primate Freedom Project, which is "dedicated to ending the use of nonhuman primates" in scientific experiments and educating the public. This education includes the use of Holocaust imagery to promote its cause. The Hall's Web site, registered to Jeremy Beckham, president of the Utah Primate Freedom Project, reads:

If someone had shouted, "Holocaust!" everyday at the entrance to a death camp, would it have made a difference? If someone had held a sign proclaiming "Atrocity" at the entrance to Mengele's lab would children have been saved? Weren't people morally obligated to speak out?

Like a Holocaust Memorial at the Gates of Auschwitz, the National Primate Research Exhibition Hall makes the clear statement that what is occurring in these labs across the country and the world is wrong and must be stopped. Sandwiched tightly between the historic and infamous Harry H. Harlow Primate Psychology building and the National Institutes of Health's flagship vivisection lab, the Wisconsin National Primate Research Center, the Exhibition Hall's permanent presence and clear voice will be impossible to ignore.

People everywhere have a moral duty to speak out.

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), a Norfolk, Virginia, based nonprofit animal rights organization, is one of the most well known organizations that has utilized Holocaust imagery in their advertising campaigns and on their Web sites.

On May 5, 2005, however, PETA issued an apology for its "Holocaust on Your Plate" exhibit, which traveled to more than 100 American and foreign cities. The exhibit compared the treatment of farm animals to the victims of the Nazi concentration camps. PETA President Ingrid Newkirk said she realized that the campaign had caused pain: "This was never our intention, and we are deeply sorry."

ARCHIVE: Holocaust Imagery and Animal Rights
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