There is something terribly shameful about the fact that Nazism has been the only significant political movement in modern times to enact laws to protect animals from the sorts of abuse they suffer today, under our laws.

To confirm the truth of this, have a look at the Nazi 1933 Law on Animal Protection: lxviii

Hitler is said to have been incensed by the way Judaism and Christianity drew ethical distinctions between the treatment of animals and people, and was reportedly planning to ban slaughterhouses in Germany if fate had not caught up with him as it did. Given what we know about the murderous insanity of the Nazi regime, it seems extraordinary that not only Hitler, but people such as Himmler and Goering would be in favour of improving some aspects of animal welfare. There is evidence, however, to suggest that this was the case despite the hypocrisy of allowing cruel animal (and human) experimentation to take place. lxix

Those of us who weren’t there at the time tend to balk at the idea of comparing today’s victims of the animal-abuse industries with those of the Nazi Holocaust, which saw the protracted enslavement and slaughter of millions of Jews, gypsies, homosexuals, political dissidents, handicapped people, as well as those extraordinary Germans who had the courage to stand up to the regime. But somewhat surprisingly perhaps, there are many Holocaust survivors, people who were there, who do not shy away from such comparisons.lxx Far from it, they recognise such comparisons as valid, showing as they do, a profound understanding of the realities that exist in the meat industry today.

From the mid-1930s onward, most German people looked the other way as the Nazi machine gained momentum, either afraid to stand up to it (because doing so was often a form of suicide) or, through their inaction, offering it their tacit support. Those who had the courage to resist were most often caught and tortured by the Gestapo. People threw themselves to their deaths from the upper floors of Gestapo headquarters in Berlin, so unbearable was the torment to which they were subjected. lxxi

Today, we in the West don’t face this type of enemy. Nobody in countries like Australia and America will be tortured for revealing the truth about the meat industry (although they might be in other countries). And while it is true, in some American states, a person may be imprisoned for filming the illegal abuse of animals (a which is only a few dangerous steps short of what Hitler and the Nazis imposed upon the German people), in general, people living in developed countries who are prepared to speak out about animal welfare or environmental issues, or any other issues, have, as yet, little to fear from their governments. But this situation could change quickly. We must remain vigilant and be prepared to take on and defeat dangerous nonsense such as Ag-gag laws before it can gain a foothold and some perverse form of respectability.