Non-human animals are subjected to a 3 trillion holocaust every year

Piers Morgan objects to the use of the word ‘holocaust’ when describing the brutal killing of 3 trillion individual animals every year for human consumption because he says it will offend people. The impressive young woman in the video below makes a good argument for the suitability of the word and insists that it can apply to animals.

The Cambridge Dictionary definition of ‘holocaust’ is: a large amount of destruction, esp. by fire or heat, or the killing of large numbers of people. Notice the ‘OR the killing of large numbers of people’. This definition strongly supports the word’s use to describe the destruction of a large number of animals.

So, the word can be used for the killing of livestock and other animals in large numbers across the planet. And that number is 3 trillion. That’s 3 thousand million which is 500 times larger than the Nazi holocaust against the Jews. And it happens every year.

One philosopher, Isaac Bashevis Singer wrote a classic reference in the discussions about the legitimacy of the comparison of animal exploitation with the Holocaust:

In relation to [animals], all people are Nazis; for the animals, it is an eternal Treblinka.

Powerful words. Of course, humans kill most animals to eat them and the Nazi holocaust was driven by a hatred of the Jews. A distinct difference but the outcome is the same. I don’t think the motivation is relevant in this discussion. On this argument Roberta Kalechofsky, a Jewish animal rights activist, wrote:

“The agony of animals arises from different causes from those of the Holocaust. Human beings do not hate animals. They do not eat them because they hate them. They do not experiment on them because they hate them, they do not hunt them because they hate them. These were the motives for the Holocaust. Human beings have no ideological or theological conflict with animals.”

You can’t deny that he is correct but the motivation to kill does not change the outcome: mass killing which is the only relevancy as per the definition of the word ‘holocaust’.

The other barrier to using the word ‘holocaust’ in this context is that despite the definition of the word including animals many humans will feel that animals are lesser beings and therefore ‘holocaust’ cannot apply. That would be anthropomorphism which means believing the word revolves around humans; an extreme form of speciesism and untenable in this argument.

I conclude that the woman in the video is correct and Morgan is incorrect. What do you think?

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