On Welfarists and Nazis
Robert Cohen, of NotMilk.com, writes:
I’m sure we know what bunny thinks, as she brought this to our attention a couple of weeks ago. As you all know, I have no problem with the Holocaust analogy. However, I don’t think that seeing how similar the two situations are is the same thing as calling someone a Nazi. The difference, for me, is the underlying motivation. The Nazis, whether leaders or just following orders, believed, to one degree or another, that they were helping rid the world of some kind of scourge. Animal welfarists, and I’m sure there are exceptions just as there were Nazis who were exceptions, believe they are helping the animals (the victims) by finding ways to inflict less pain on them and kill them more efficiently. They don’t despise the animals and think the world would be a better place without them; they in fact want them around so they can continue to use them. Call it a nuance, but for me it’s important.
I do believe that the average welfarist and I are not fighting the same battle, and I do think there are exceptions (and I have no idea if Wayne Pacelle is one, but he certainly is an interesting case because he’s a vegan). But what I find difficult to believe is that they’re intending to create a market where more people (including vegetarians) are more comfortable eating animals. That might be an unintended consequence of their behavior that they need to examine as soon as possible and alter their strategy accordingly, but to attribute a Nazi-like intention to them doesn’t make sense to me.
I was a welfarist a mere two years ago. I was certain that humans weren’t going to stop the massacre of sentient nonhumans anytime soon, and that the least I could do was to find a way for them to suffer less while they are being used. I had absolutely no intention of making anyone feel more comfortable about using and consuming them; I just wanted to do what I could to alleviate some of their suffering because my personal goal (the world stops using them) was unattainable.
Is that the mentality of a Nazi, asks the one-eighth-Jewish Mary Martin?
What do you think?