Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Animal Rights and Nazism


I'm not sure how to think about this yet, it may be apocryphal. But it seems that not only were the Nazis very "progressive" when it came to interpreting the meaning of the term "human rights," but they were way ahead on the subject of animal rights too. So far ahead of their time were these least humane of humans, that they were apparently the first nation to ban the force feeding of ducks and geese for foie gras.

Here is an excerpt from The 1933 Law on Animal Protection; signed into law in November of 1933, about 8 months after Hitler became dictator


It is forbidden:

1. to so neglect an animal in one's ownership, care or accommodation that it thereby experiences appreciable pain or appreciable damage;
2. to use an animal unnecessarily for what clearly exceeds its powers or causes it appreciable pain, or which it-in consequence of its condition-is obviously not capable of;
3. to use and animal for demonstrations, film-making, spectacles, or other public events to the extent that these events cause the animal appreciable pain or appreciable damage to health;
4. to use a fragile, ill, overworked or old animal for which further life is a torment for any other purpose than to cause or procure a rapid, painless death;
5. to put out one's domestic animal for the purpose of getting rid of it;
6. to set or test the power of dogs on cats, foxes, and other animals;
7. to shorten the ears or the tail of a dog over two weeks old. This is allowed if it is done with anesthesia;
8. to shorten the tail of a horse. This is allowed if it is to remedy a defect or illness of the tail and is done by a veterinarian and under anesthesia;
9. to perform a painful operation on an animal in an unprofessional manner or without anesthesia, or if anesthesia in a particular case is impossible according to veterinary standards;
10. to kill an animal on a farm for fur otherwise than with anesthesia or in a way that is, in any case, painless;
11. to force-feed fowl; [emphasis mine]
12. to tear out or separate the thighs of living frogs.


You can read the whole mind-bending thing here


NAZI GERMANY AND ANIMAL RIGHTS

10 comments:

fiat lux said...

Hitler was a vegetarian, IIRC, so not too surprising, really.

Scotty Harris said...

This is going to take some time to wrap my brain around. Really, this is the third attempt at a rational post and I just keep on getting flabbergasted! :-)

Tags said...

World Future Fund has a few red flags

(1) no mention in Wikipedia

(2) only 55 hits on Google

(3) contact only by AOL email

Still, there's a reason they're called the Goosesteppo.

Jennie/Tikka said...

In the Old Testament - Cain killed his brother for sacrificing a lamb. Its the first recorded murder in biblical history - and it was by a disgruntled vegetarian.

Sean said...

Ah yes, this argument again. I don't think we as society have come to terms with this period of history, even now after more than seventy years of trying.

Instead of stoking the furnace further, I'll just point out that Hitler was not a vegetarian (http://www.micahbooks.com/readingroom/Hitlerveg.html).

Additionally, suppose that he was. What can one reasonably (and I stress reasonably) conclude about vegetarianism? The ethical framework for vegetarianism assumes a respect for all life and a reduction of harm where possible as its most central tenets. To call Hitler a vegetarian is oxymoronic; his diet notwithstanding he failed to respect the lives and basic rights of large numbers of his peers.

Tags said...

Vegetarianism isn't the evil being discussed here. Extremism is.

Whether it's religion or politics, enforcement of one group's will over another's causes ill will and extremists from the ranks of the pro status quo and the no mo' status quo inevitably clash.

Regardless of who is right or wrong, it eventually turns out to be a struggle of egos. Any negotiated settlement is unstable because someone's seething ego could erupt at any time and reignite old animosity.

Still, we need to make an effort to maintain a calm, wholesome, even nourishing environment in the face of conflict.

Bob del Grosso said...

Sean, Fiat et al

Hitler was a professed vegetarian who was inconsistent in his practice. He had been advised by his doctors to eat less meat and would go without for extended periods but his "heart" wasn't in it. Of course he made a big deal of it, and made a lot of noise about how bad meat was for the body and soul. And, of course, his many sycophants tried to curry favor by pretending to be vegetarian while he was pretending to be vegetarian.

But most of them were not consistently vegetarian.

Funny thing is that you Google this (Hitler, vegetarian) most of the sites
claiming that he was definitely not vegetarian seem to be put up by vegans, vegetarians and their apologists while the sites that claim he was definitely vegetarian seem to be sponsored by people who don't like veagns and vegetarians.

Eating has become so political, it really is very tedious.

Sean said...

Indeed there is little objectivity on this or many subjects pertaining to vegetarianims/veganism/animal rights/etc. Most of the people have a vested interest in the debate which colors their comments, mine included. Unfortunately, I don't think one can strip away the politics here; the decision to eat according to ethical principles (whatever those principles may be) will always be political. Even if you move in lock step with the status quo, never giving your daily meals any more regard than your drive to work, you are still subscribing to a particular and in this case subconcious ideology.

Bob del Grosso said...

You got that right Sean.

Not knowing what your ideology is does not mean you do not subscribe to one.

And yeah, once you decide to eat to social affect, all eating becomes political. That's what I find so tedious, the ineluctably of it all.

Scotty said...

I have to disagree a bit. The decision of what to eat/what not to eat is NOT inherently political. It may be based on moral, ethical or religious grounds. It may be based on personal upbringing or personal taste. It may be based on a bunch of stuff not popping into head right now.

To my limited brain, the only time politics intervenes in this situation is when someone tells you what NOT to eat - usually the food cops; the Pleasure Police.