Chicago, IL, August 2, 2005 – The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) has called on the National Primate Research Exhibition Hall to take the lead of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) and stop comparing the abusive treatment of animals to the suffering of millions during the Holocaust.
A project of the Primate Freedom Project and the Alliance for Animals, the National Primate Research Exhibition Hall describes its proposal to build an exhibition center in Madison, Wisconsin as being, "like having a Holocaust memorial at the Gates of Auschwitz in 1944." Its fundraising appeals have used photos of emaciated concentration camp prisoners, and the hall's Web site compares animal suffering to that of Holocaust victims.
"We had hoped that the Primate Freedom Project and the Alliance for Animals would take the lead of PETA and apologize for their use of Nazi imagery," said Lonnie J. Nasatir, Director of ADL's Greater Chicago/Upper Midwest Regional Office. "We believe that raising awareness to the abusive treatment of animals is important. However, the issue should stand on its own merits, rather than rely on inappropriate comparisons that only serve to trivialize the suffering of the six million Jews and others who died at the hands of the Nazis."
ADL had appealed to leaders of the Primate Freedom Project and Alliance for Animals to stop using Holocaust analogies in promoting the proposed exhibition space and to follow the lead of PETA, which apologized earlier this year for its "Holocaust on Your Plate" campaign. Yet the groups have indicated to ADL they believe that the comparisons are appropriate.