On April 16th, a Holocaust survivor will lead a funeral procession in New York City for all animals killed in factory farming to this day.
On Holocaust Remembrance Day, Shimon Shuchat, who comes from a Hasidic Jewish family in Brooklyn, will be taking a group of animal lovers carrying signs showing the atrocities done to animals from Midtown to Times Square for a candlelight vigil.
“Right now, mother cows are crying out for their kidnapped babies; piglets are being castrated with no painkillers; male chicks are being dropped into shredding machines; monkeys are being tortured laboratories; and millions of farm animals are making the long, terrifying journey to a slaughterhouse. For what?” asks Schuchat who aims to have people connect the dots between human and animal suffering. “When footage of factory farms farms is played side by side with footage of the Holocaust, people can see that there’s not much of a difference. If only a few of those people stop eating animals, then we know we will have made a difference.”
While the invocation of the holocaust to promote animal rights has been reprimanded by some in the past, one of the major animal rights supporters today, Holocaust survivor Alex Hershaft, supports it.
Herschaft left a Warsaw Jewish ghetto when he was five years old and lost most of his family during World War II. Going through that suffering, however, allowed him to make the connection between the violent crimes against humans and those against animals. His compassion for the animals’ pain led him to found what is today the nonprofit organization Farm Animal Rights Movement (FARM).
“In their behavior toward creatures, all men are Nazis,” said author Isaac Besheva Singer. “For the animals, it is an eternal Treblinka. Human beings see oppression vividly when they’re the victims. Otherwise they victimize blindly and without a thought.”
It is estimated that during the holocaust, over six million Jews were killed. Every year, roughly 10 billion land animals and 50 billion sea animals are killed for food. Schuchat hopes the procession on Thursday will make people hear those “cries of the silent victims of modern day concentration camps.”