Overview
PART I

Chapter 1

THE GREAT DIVIDE

Human Supremacy and the Exploitation of Animals

The focus of the chapter is the enslavement ("domestication") of animals and
how it became the model and inspiration for all the oppressions that
followed.

The first part of the chapter describes the relatively recent emergence of
homo sapiens as the dominant species on the planet and how the "Great Leap
Forward" led to the "domestication" of sheep, goats, pigs, cattle, and
horses and their exploitation for milk, flesh, hides, and labor. The section
looks at the methods used by present-day herders to manage and exploit their
flocks.

The chapter then looks at how the enslavement of animals inspired and led to
human slavery in the ancient Near East and later in the Americas.

The next part of the chapter is about the ideological framework that was
erected on animal slavery to justify the hierarchical arrangement of the
world into "higher" and "lower" beings. It discusses the Bible, Aristotle,
and the Great Chain of Being, which formalized a hierarchical ranking of
beings, with slaves, women, non-Europeans, and non-human animals ranked
below European males. The chapter closes with a discussion of the use of
animal images, such as "beasts," "brutes," "apes," and "pigs," as a source
of dehumanization and a prelude to the exploitation and destruction of
others.

[The chapter states that some historians, environmentalists, and animal
advocates regard the verse in the Bible that grants man "dominion" over the
other creatures of the earth (Genesis 1:26) as a major cause of western
civilization's exploitation of animals and destruction of the environment.
Dr. Richard Schwartz and Rabbi Dovid Sears point out that in Jewish
tradition the verses in Genesis that declare man is made in God's image and
has been granted dominion over the other creatures of the earth, on the
contrary, support the compassionate and respectful treatment of animals.
Read their important article.]

Chapter 2

WOLVES, APES, PIGS, RATS, VERMIN

Vilifying Other People as Animals

The first part of the chapter discusses the European description of Africans
and Native Americans as "animals" and how this designation inspired and
justified slavery and the genocidal campaign against the native peoples of
America. As the Indians were being driven from their land and their way of
life destroyed, government agents and the press characterized them as ugly,
filthy, and inhuman "beasts," "swine," "dogs," "wolves," "snakes," "pigs,"
"baboons," "gorillas," and "oran-gutans."

The middle part of the chapter examines American military campaigns against
Filipinos, Japanese, and Vietnamese and the terminology that designated them
as "Indians" and "animals" and mandated that they be treated accordingly.
The section looks at the assignment of subhuman caricatures to the enemy and
how this way of seeing the foe facilitated mass killing. The section closes
with the Japanese description of Chinese people as "pigs" which accompanied
the Japanese invasion of the Chinese mainland.

The last part of the chapter is about the long history of German anti-
Semitism which equated Jews with animals (Luther called them "mad dogs";
Hegel said they lived an "animal existence") and led to the Nazi
categorization of Jews as "subhumans" and their designation of them as
"pigs" to be slaughtered and "vermin" and "insects" to be exterminated. The
reflections of the artist Judy Chicago conclude the chapter.

PART II

Chapter 3

THE INDUSTRIALIZATION OF SLAUGHTER

The Road to Auschwitz Through America

The chapter is about the slaughter of animals in America, beginning with the
Spanish conquest of the early 1500s and the English and Dutch settlements in
North America.

The first part of the chapter describes the history of the meat industry in
America--from the beginnings of meatpacking in the 1800s and the rise of
Cincinnati as the pork capital of the nation to the emergence of the
mechanized disassembly line in the Union Stock Yards in Chicago. The chapter
describes how Upton Sinclair's ground-breaking book, The Jungle (1906), came
to be written and the strong impact it had.

The middle part of the chapter discusses modern slaughter techniques--how
they are both the same and different from 100 years ago, as seen through the
eyes of Sue Coe, a political artist who spent six years visiting American
slaughterhouses, and Gail Eisnitz, chief investigator for the Humane Farming
Association.

The last part of the chapter is about the transitional figure of Henry Ford
--his anti-Semitic campaign in the United States in the 1920s, his influence
on Hitler and Nazi Germany, and the confession he made in his memoirs that
his visit to a Chicago slaughterhouse was what inspired him to create his
assembly line for the mass production of automobiles. The section discusses
the unacknowledged role of the slaughterhouse in the history of modern
industry.

Chapter 4

IMPROVING THE HERD

From Animal Breeding to Genocide

The chapter describes how animal breeding--breeding the most desirable and
killing and castrating the rest--became the inspiration and example for
eugenic efforts to upgrade the human population in both the United States
and Germany. These efforts led to compulsory sterilization in the United
States and compulsory sterilization, euthanasia killings, and genocide in
Nazi Germany.

The chapter begins with a look at the role of the American Breeders'
Association in the birth of the American eugenics movement and how the
United States became the world leader in the compulsory sterilization of
"defective" people, with the state of California leading the way. The
chapter next discusses the eugenics movement in Germany before and after
Hitler came to power in 1933 and the American-German eugenic partnership,
based on German admiration for America's eugenic accomplishments
(sterilization laws, racial segregation, immigration restrictions) and
American support for Nazi Germany's eugenic programs.

The last part of the chapter profiles Nazi Germany's chief eugenicist,
Heinrich Himmler, and describes Germany's "euthanasia" program (T4), which
killed tens of thousands of mentally and physically handicapped German
children and adults. The chapter closes with a look at the animal
exploitation backgrounds of T4 personnel whom the Nazis sent to Poland to
operate the death camps.

Chapter 5

WITHOUT THE HOMAGE OF A TEAR

Killing Centers in America and Germany

The chapter describes features which American and German killing centers
have in common, whether they be a slaughterhouse or death camp. Similar
features include: making the operation as speedy and efficient as possible;
streamlining the final part of the operation (chute/funnel/tube) which takes
the victims to their deaths; processing the old, sick, and injured; and
coping with the problem of killing young victims. The chapter also discusses
the role of animals in the German camps (Auschwitz had its own
slaughterhouse and butcher shop; Treblinka had a "zoo") and Hitler's
relationship to animals.

The final part of the chapter looks at Nazi letters and diary entries which
reveal that eating meat and hunting animals were the chief rewards granted
to German death camp personnel. The letters of SS-Obersturmfuhrer Karl
Kretschmer, leader of a Sonderkommando killing squad, to his wife show that
eating well was the most satisfactory part of his job. Entries from the
diary of Dr. Johannes Paul Kremer, an SS doctor at Auschwitz, praise the
meals at the SS officers' mess and the wealth of human body parts available
for his medical experiments. The chapter closes with a discussion of "humane
slaughter"--the need of the killers to find ever more efficient and less
stressful ways to conduct their operations.

PART III

Chapter 6:

WE WERE LIKE THAT TOO

Holocaust-Connected Animal Advocates

The chapter describes animal advocates who are Holocaust survivors, children
and grandchildren of survivors, people who lost relatives in the Holocaust,
and those who have given thought to the lessons of the Holocaust.

The chapter opens with profiles of Anne Muller of Wildlife Watch; Marc
Berkowitz, who survived Josef Mengele's twin experiments at Auschwitz; an
anonymous member of the Animal Liberation Front; Kindertransport member Anne
Kelemen; child survivor Susan Kalev; and Alex Hershaft, founder and
president of Farm Animal Reform Movement (FARM), whose campaign on behalf of
farm animals began more than half a century ago in the Warsaw Ghetto.

The chapter goes on to tell the stories of Barbara Stagno of Defense of
Animals and other animal advocates influenced by Holocaust images and
lessons--humane educator Zoe Weil, Gail Eisnitz (author of Slaughterhouse),
Stewart David, Jennifer Melton, animal law professor Sonia Waisman, and
psychiatrist Dr. Rhoda Ruttenberg.

The chapter concludes with profiles of Robin Duxbury, "Third Generation"
activists Erik Marcus and Dan Berger, Princeton professor Peter Singer, the
late Henry Spira, feminist Aviva Cantor, and global investment advisor
Albert Kaplan.

Chapter 7

THIS BOUNDLESS SLAUGHTERHOUSE

The Compassionate Vision of Isaac Bashevis Singer

The exploitation and slaughter of animals was a major theme in the writings
of Isaac Bashevis Singer (1904-91), winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature.

The chapter begins with a discussion of Singer's growing awareness of animal
cruelty in Poland and his early attraction to vegetarianism. In Warsaw he
wrote an Eleventh Commandment which he thought should be added to the other
ten: "Do not kill or exploit the animal. Don't eat its flesh, don't flail
its hide, don't force it to do things against its nature."

The next part of the chapter looks at Singer's portrayal of animal slaughter
in his first novel, Satan in Goray; and in two of his short stories--"The
Slaughterer," about the mental anguish of a young rabbi forced to become the
village shochet, and "Blood," about the link between lust and violence.

The chapter continues with a discussion of "The Letter Writer," a story
about a refugee from Europe who befriends a mouse; The Penitent, a novel
about a secular New York Jew who in order to renounce his materialistic
lifestyle and the corruption of the modern world goes to Jerusalem to live a
life of vegetarianism and strict orthodoxy; and two of Singer's later
novels, Enemies, A Love Story and Shadows on the Hudson, in which the main
character condemns the slaughter of animals and questions the mercy of a god
who allows slaughterhouses and the Holocaust to happen.

The chapter concludes with a discussion of Singer's special affection for
parakeets and pigeons and his views about animals, cruelty, meat, and the
Holocaust as expressed in interviews, in the reminiscences of his longtime
assistant, Dvorah Telushkin, and in the foreword he wrote for Dudley Giehl's
book, Vegetarianism: A Way of Life.

Chapter 8

THE OTHER SIDE OF THE HOLOCAUST

German Voices for the Voiceless

The chapter about German and German-American animal advocates opens with a
discussion of people who began their lives in Nazi Germany and are now
animal advocates in the United States. They include Dietrich von Haugwitz,
who toward the end of the war was drafted into the Wehrmacht (German army)
at the age of 15 1/2, and Peter Muller of the Committee to Abolish Sport
Hunting (CASH) in New York State, who was born to German parents in Estonia
and spent his early childhood in Nazi Germany escaping Allied bombing raids
in and around Nuremberg.

The section closes with a discussion of the children of Nazis and the story
of Liesel Appel, daughter of a Nazi war criminal, who converted to Judaism
after she came to America and today lives in Boca Raton, Florida.

The last part of the chapter begins with "Die Tierbruder" ("Animal
Brothers"), an essay Edgar Kupfer-Koberwitz wrote during his imprisonment
in the Dachau concentration camp, which is a passionate plea for an end to
violence in the form of a series of letters to a friend explaining why he
doesn't eat meat. The chapter ends with the story of two animal activists
born after the war--the Austrian Dr. Helmut Kaplan, a leading voice for
animal rights in the German-speaking world, and Christa Blanke, a Lutheran
pastor who founded and heads the European animal rights group, Animals'
Angels.
Home |  Epigraph |  Author |  Foreword |  Preface |  Contents
Excerpts |  Overview |  Afterword |  Reactions |  Quotes
Support |  News |  Reviews |  Links |  Order