What “Holocaust” really means

From ANIMAL PEOPLE,  April 2003–

treatment of animals should be opposed,  but
cannot and must not be compared to the
Holocaust,”  Nazi death camp survivor and
Anti-Defamation League of B’nai B’rith national
director Abraham Foxman told Michelle Morgante of
Associated Press,  as People For The Ethical
Treatment of Animals hit the road in the U.S.
southwest with a mobile exhibition called “The
Holocaust on Your Plate.”
Using photographs to compare the
slaughter of poultry and pigs to the Nazi
massacre of Jews during World War II,  the
eight-panel PETA exhibit is scheduled to tour the
whole U.S.

Tour coordinator Matt Prescott responded
at early stops by pointing out that he is himself
Jewish,  and had relatives who were killed in the
Nazi death camps.
But he ought to be telling the world what
“holocaust” really means,  says Humane Religion
founder Regina Hyland.
“The word holocaust is taken from the Biblical
term used to describe the total immolation of
sacrificed animals.  They were known as
whole-burnt offerings,”  Hyland told ANIMAL
PEOPLE and electronic media.  Confirmation
appears in most dictionaries.
“The Greek word for such sacrifices is
holókaustos,”  Hyland continued,  “and was used
in the translation of Hebrew scrolls as far back
as 250 B.C.  That translation,  called the
Septuagint,  was completed for the Jews who lived
in Alexandria,  Egypt,  who could no longer read
or speak Hebrew.  So referring to the death of
millions of animals as a holocaust was done more
than 2,000 years before people applied the term
to the torture and slaughter of human beings.  It
was not animal rights people who linked the death
of animals and the death of people,”  Hyland
emphasized.  “It was those who were appalled at
the human carnage of Nazi Germany.”
Traveling in country-western music
territory,  PETA nearly upstaged their own
controversy a few days later by confirming to
Ashley Pearson of MSNBC that the Dixie Chicks
singing group “posed for one of those ‘I’d Rather
Go Naked Than Wear Fur’ ads,  but the ad was
never released.”
Pearson quoted an anonymous source as
saying,  “Their management got worried that some
of their fans were rifle-toting,  Bambi-shooting
types who would take offense at an anti-fur,
pro-animal message.  They forbade release of the
ad because they were worried about backlash or
boycott,”  as experienced by Canadian
country-western singer K.D. Lang after she
acknowledged in 1990 that she has been a
vegetarian since 1981,  and said “Meat stinks!”
in a statement for PETA.
“They even tried to pay PETA $10,000 to
say it never happened,”  the source told Pearson,
while a Dixie Chicks spokesperson would not
PETA also prominently clashed with the March of
Dimes in Billings,  Montana,  where Lamar Outdoor
Advertising refused to rent billboard space for
placards targeting animal experiments funded by
the biomedical research charity,  and in
Charlotte,  North Carolina,  where PETA general
counsel Jeffrey Kerr threatened to sue the Bank
of America for participating in March of Dimes
fundraising while telling customers that it does
not donate to national health charities.

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