The Holocaust On Your Plate

Posted: February 25, 2013 in Uncategorized

HOlocaust2The Holocaust On Your Plate


There are hundreds of advertisements that could be called offensive–especially sexual ones toward women, kids, or ads that are racist. But the ad that I believe surpasses all others is People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals’ billboards which display gruesome images of the Holocaust next to pictures of slaughterhouses. The ads are insensitive and seem to almost go out of their way to offend people. They were originally a campaign of 8 60-foot billboards, released at the University of California at Los Angeles and in San Diego in February of 2003.* They are collectively known as “Holocaust on Your Plate.”

The idea allegedly came from the (late) Nobel-prize winning author Isaac Bashevis Singer who wrote, “In relation to them [animals], all people are Nazis; for them it is an eternal Treblinka,” (A death camp in Poland).

Facet of Effect 


The Facet of Effect that this campaign most exemplifies is Feelings.

  • Feelings–The ad was designed to evoke deep emotions. It is already an established fact that the Holocaust was the supreme tragedy, so by putting a picture of the starving Holocaust victims beside a picture of starving animals, they attempted to make a correlation between the two. It was an attempt to identify that the slaughterhouses produce as much–if not more–horror and suffering than Nazi death camps.
  • Resonance-They attempted to create resonance–a message that rings true. However, what the advertisement attempted to prove (animal starvation and the human starvation during the Holocaust) were parallel was not true.


Success as defined by PETA, would be awareness of animal cruelty, and ultimately to abolish people eating animals. However, quite the opposite happened. A sharp out cry and righteous condemnation from a plethora of news outlets, individuals, and courts denounced and banned the demonstration.



This advertisement is meant to target all people, regardless of race, religion, or ethnicity. However, if there was a demographic issue that played a role in this, it would be Age. Younger people are more apt to be activists and support a cause. For this reason, this exhibition was shown at many university campuses across the country. These would be known as the “Me Generation” and “Generation Y.”


The psychological aspect on the VALs label of those that PETA intended to affect would be “Believers.” I think the believers works with the “I Am Expressive” slogan–where people are active and engaged and live life to the fullest and express opinions. PETA wants people to make a difference in the world (of animals).


The targeted audience would fall under the Think-Feel-Do category. The exhibition was intended to to provide “information,” that then plays on the emotion. People that adopt PETA’s way of life are the “Early Adopters”–going to extremities to protect animals is not a majority view.

Personal Analysis 

Although I am certainly not a fan of PETA, I was even shocked to the measures they took with these advertisements. I do not believe that even hard-core animal rights activists could look at these billboards and condone them. The billboards were outrageous and offensive to the extreme. It trivialized the suffering of those involved in the Holocaust. Elie Wiesel, a Nobel Peace Prize recipient, recognized himself in a photo. PETA said they really hadn’t considered apologizing to him. Are idiots released from apologies? This is just another of tasteless stunts pulled by PETA over the past few years, and is a demonstration of how animal rights activists should not be taken seriously.


*Also in July 2003, a public service announcement entitled “They Came For Us By Night” about a man talking about how it felt to be transported without food or water.



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