Comparison of Human and Animal Holocausts
by Lindy Greene

It is amazing to me that people who, themselves, have experienced a holocaust can be so devoid of empathy for other such victims--for reasons no more compelling than that those other sufferers belong to different species.

If I discuss the atrocities inflicted on the American Indians during the period of westward expansion, does that in any way demean, discount, or dismiss the suffering of the blacks on the Southern plantations or the Jews in Nazi Germany?

Is this some kind of contest?

It is not about who is "superior" or "inferior." It is not about who suffers "more" or "less." It is about being able to feel sympathy for and come to the defense of ANY tortured sentient being! The capacity to suffer is not species-dependent--and neither is the victim's intrinsic worth or inherent rights!

Pitting the degree or "value" of human suffering against that of animals is the shameful outcome of centuries-old, entrenched cultural and religious biases whose reign of terror against non-humans must end.

To be truly human is to embrace into the circle of compassion the members of EVERY species with whom we co-inhabit the Earth and to recognize that the interests and well-being of ALL merit equal deference and consideration.