Monday, December 24, 2012

Animal Welfare in the Third Reich

"Thou shalt love God in all living things, animals and plants."

- Alfred Rosenberg (NSDAP)

In the last hundred years, there has been no country which respected animals more than National Socialist Germany. The National Socialists were the first political group to expand on the concept that all animals, and not just humans, had rights regardless of their practical usefulness in relation to people.

The National Socialists decreed that cruelty to animals was a severe crime, and dealt with it accordingly. In National Socialist Germany the practice of kosher slaughter was banned, as was animal vivisection.

Adolf Hitler, Rudolf Hess and Heinrich Himmler were but few among many of the top echelon of National Socialists who were vegetarians for ethical reasons. Himmler himself wrote a wonderful children's fable in which Germans who had caught mice in their homes refrained from killing them, and instead took them to court and sued them as their equals. Hermann Göring, another high ranking National Socialist, was himself a firm animal rights advocate. He worked to revise hunting laws in Germany to ensure that game would experience a minimum of pain. 

A German poster depicting Hermann Göring receiving praise from animals for freeing them from abuse.

According to Joseph Goebbels' diary entry of April 26th, 1942, Hitler planned to abolish slaughterhouses all over Europe after the successful completion of the war. 

So, not only did the National Socialists respect animals, but they fought for the rights of those animals and made it illegal to mistreat them. The same thing can not be said in North America. In the United States alone, it is estimated that in 2008 some 17,000,000 animals were being used in research (tortured) every year. In Canada, just over 2,000,000 animals had been used in research (tortured) [1].

Take into account that it is estimated that roughly 99% of farmed animals are farmed in a factory farm [2]. What this means is that these animals live their entire lives in cages, have no freedom, and are routinely given numerous drugs (for various reasons). Animals such as chickens, turkeys, and other birds, are commonly mutilated (it is standard procedure to cut off the beaks of such birds). 

When you compare how the National Socialists treated animals to how North Americans (Americans, Canadians, also, many, many other countries) treat animals, it's obvious who had compassion, and who has none. When you consider that mistreatment of animals is one of the telling signs of a psychopath, and that most serial killers exhibited cruelty towards animals at an early age [3], it is very easy to understand who is really 'evil', and who is really 'good'.

"The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated."

- Ghandi