PETA's new ad campaign is obscene -- that's the first and most obvious fact about it. The second is that it reveals a dogmatic mindset that is impervious to reason. The great tragedy of Hitler's camps is that human beings were treated like animals; worse than animals, in fact. The point of PETA's campaign appears to be that animals are being treated like humans -- an argument which not only doesn't have the same forcefulness, but reflects a philosophy that sets animals above humans. Typically, PETA's effort to express their supposed belief in the sanctity of life only reflects how little they value it beyond the chicken or rabbit level.
Elie Wiesel put it best in Thursday's Ventura County Star:
Wiesel suggested that PETA's campaign exemplifies perhaps his greatest disappointment in life.
"I am not afraid of forgetfulness," he said, referring to society's memory of what happened in the Holocaust. "I am afraid of banalization, of trivialization and this is part of it.
"Why I'm disappointed is ... if the Holocaust didn't change the world, what could change the world?" Wiesel said. "Hatred for minorities in certain cases, religious minorities, ethnic or national minorities, the disdain we feel for poor people, or AIDS patients -- we haven't learned that the 'other' is not the symbol of enemy to you."
Wiesel said PETA "defeats their purpose by exaggerating" and by producing "the banality of evil" in the campaign.
"They could simply say they're killing," Wiesel said. "What's wrong with the word 'kill,' that they are against killing animals? All right, then I could support them."