Animals and Us

The psychology of human-animal interactions.

Was Hitler a Vegetarian? The Paradox of the Nazi Animal Protection Movement

It's scary when professors fight - especially over Nazi animal love. Read More

Why Vegan

There are so many reasons to choose a vegan lifestyle. Here are two short videos to help everyone understand why so many are making this life-altering choice: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fKr4HZ7ukSE and http://www.veganvideo.org

Nice piece

Very interesting piece, Hal. I'll let you know when (and if) I ever write a blog on the same subject. Happy Thanksgiving!

Meat eaters who lie to pass themselves off as vegetarians

I wish educated people who dredged up this "Hitler was a vegetarian" hoax would do they homework before spouting off.

OK, let's admit it all rather silly and just an excuse to make some other romantic or prosaic point to the chagrin of vegetarians, and pull them down off their moral high horse whilst you do, but let's add some salted facts to meal.

It's widely record that the 'portrayal' of Hitler as a vegetarian was partly PR spin, and the creation of him as a super human spiritual aesthete, and partly a badly managed health regime. "Badly managed" because his chief replaced meat with an indulgence of eggs and we propped up not just by sausages but bull testicle extract. Like most vegetarians of his time and class, the diet would probably not have exclude invisible animal products, e.g. fats and stocks.

Trust me, bull testicles are not vegetarian ... so can we lay this one to rest now?

The Führer was also high on methamphetamine, cocaine and strychnine which could not have helped his judgemental capacities. Why blame the Holocaust on his organic veg and characterise him as a "vegetarian" rather than as a "meth head". Hitler as a meth head is far easier to conceive and understand.

Secondly, most "Vegetarians" don't lie about their diets nor "cheat". No vegetarians eat meat.

The problem you have in the US is some meat eaters lie about being vegetarian. This is a falsehood that has been put around and gloated upon with glee by their critics and those with interests in their ridicule.

For a professional in the psychological field, you appear to have pants up upside down and lack perspicuity.

Why do some meat eaters feel the need to lie and claim to be vegetarians? Well, that is simpler but strange to deduce. Off the cuff I'd say it is a simple mix of egotism or vanity and emotional immaturity.

Vegetarianism carries some cool or social cache and veganism stands as our moral baseline when it comes to kindness and compassion towards animals. These meat eaters want to appear all that vegetarians are (kindness and compassion etc) but lack the moral strength and fibre to do so. Being immature ... they do what children do when in a tight squeeze and lie. Some of them might even be living in a sort of schizophrenic fantasy of themselves being a vegetarian whilst they deny the other real, unsavoury part of themselves ... and the violence and aggression that goes with it.

Just like pedophiles can go about appearing to be quite safe and normal most of the time, so do these meat eaters go about appearing to be herbivorous.

And, lastly, as for the Nazis being "moral inverse to incomprehensible proportions" ... you know, the sad truth is they were not and they were no different than us today.

We may weep dead kitten and the dolphins the evil Japanese kill but at the same time "our boys" have been slaughtering mothers, children and little old ladies and raping their way across Asia from Okinawa to Palestine ... on a proportionate rate not that different from the Nazi ... we are the Nazi elite of our day and every bit as inconsistent. Perhaps even moreso.

Not all Germans were Nazis and so why should it seem absurd to find compassion and sentiments within their society? Not all individuals were 100% pure "evil Nazi" either ... they remained being human too. Many resisted either within or without the party. Is it such a surprise to vulgar and despotic America, 70 years later, to discover that German society and culture has and had some virtue too?

I am saddened to find such an intelligent man bobbing around amongst such simplistic stereotypes. Please do better.

Hitler An animal lover?

This would not surprise you if you had not been brainwashed by jew lies.

Hitler An animal lover?

This would not surprise you if you had not been brainwashed by jew lies.

response to thoughful comment

You raise a lot of interesting points and I agree with some of them.

However, it is simple true that most people who call themselves vegetarians eat meat -- I did not make this up.

Indeed in a CNN interview, Bill Clinton, was talking about how great he feels now that he isa vegan. And then in the next sentence he mentioned that he eats salmon once a week. I guess he considers fish a vegetable.

Your point that "we are the Nazi elit of our day and every bit as inconsistent" was exactly the point of the blog.

Hal

Firstly, Hitler ate meat so

Firstly, Hitler ate meat so by definition was NOT a vegetarian.Secondly, even if Hitler was a vegetarian, his vegetarian wrong doing is about as related to his evil acts as his tash.

response to thoughful comment

You raise a lot of interesting points and I agree with some of them.

However, it is simple true that most people who call themselves vegetarians eat meat -- I did not make this up.

Indeed in a CNN interview, Bill Clinton, was talking about how great he feels now that he isa vegan. And then in the next sentence he mentioned that he eats salmon once a week. I guess he considers fish a vegetable.

Your point that "we are the Nazi elit of our day and every bit as inconsistent" was exactly the point of the blog.

Hal

Bacon

why do people who chastise people who eat real bacon makes things that 'taste like bacon"? On would think that the very idea of bacon would be taboo. Why Tofurky? ( better known as Tofunky) why does anyone who abhors meat want to eat something that tastes like meat ( sort of) and all of that soy.. lots of estrogen there guys.. you can buy a limp noodle or be one..what do vegans feed their pets? do they approve of killing a cow or pig or chicken just so their dog or cat can eat? (please no "dogs are omnivores etc.. no they are not.. they are carnivores.. test? put down a steak and a bowl of oatmeal.. watch which one your dog eats first.. cats are obligate carnivores and have to have meat to survive.. no matter what "Vegan Vinnie" tells you) so do vegans only have plant eating animals as pets.. or do they join in with Ingrid Newkirk ( Peta animal rights groups)and Wayne Pacelle ( HSUS animal rights group) and eschew, sorry for the pun, pet ownership altogether while sucking up donor dollars to promote "pet protection". Inquiring minds want to know

Reply to Bacon

I can't speak for all vegetarians or vegans, but I can say that I do not like the taste of meat and can't stand Tofurky. I also do not like the smell of meat. It repulses me. I was not always vegetarian with vegan leanings. It is a more recent thing. I am 42 and have been vegetarian for 5 years on December 23. I could tell you the moment I made the choice and why, but it's irrelevant. That said, for those that DO want something that is reminiscent of bacon, it is largely because that's the sort of food they were brought up eating and that's what they know. They don't want to eat the real thing because it makes them sad. That's why I stopped eating meat - I no longer wanted to be a part of that whole thing. So while some vegetarians may enjoy the taste of meat, they don't choose to eat it because they don't want to contribute to the suffering of factory farmed animals and the death of animals.

Regarding dogs and cats, I have 2 dogs, neither of which are vegetarian, nor will they ever be vegetarian. My choice to stop eating meat was MY choice. I am not an obligate carnivore as cats are. As for dogs, they are not obligate carnivores, as you clearly understand - they are opportunistic carnivores. They could survive on vegetarian diets and, allegedly, some do. But it wouldn't be the choice my dogs would make and I respect them enough to not foist my personal beliefs upon them. So they eat a high quality, meat based kibble. We will supplement, on occasion, with whole chicken or beef. Our Ibizan Hound is currently recovering from what we believe is the very bad virus going around and killing dogs in Michigan and Ohio (circovirus? Nobody knows for sure) and she is eating boiled chicken while her digestive system recovers. Do I enjoy cooking it for her? No. But I will do what I have to for her. And because I enjoy the company of my dogs, I will always be "guilty" of purchasing meat products. It's not ideal, but I'm not going to jeopardize their health by feeding them a vegetarian diet when they are clearly designed to eat meat and, given the choice, would happily do so. My dogs enjoy a bite of baked tofu from time to time, but I know that, given the choice between tofu and a nice ribeye, they'd take the ribeye in a hot second. I believe that one can have strong personal feelings about factory farming and eating animals and yet still provide a healthy diet for an obligate or opportunistic carnivore animal such as a cat or dog. I don't feel that the two are necessarily at odds with each other. As I said, my choice to be a vegetarian is mine. I'm not here to convert anyone - canine, feline or human.

The paradox is not how the

The paradox is not how the Nazi's twisted human moral values, but how we twist them. Why should an animal be treated differently to a human? Why do so many people own pets, yet eat animals?

tone of comments

I delete comments and conversations between commentors that are not civil, for example, name-calling.

Mein Kampf date

As far as I know, Mein Kampf was published in 1925, not 1938.

Cheers!

A few nuances

Allow me to add a few nuances to Mr Herzog's wonderful article:
Hitler was indeed a vegetarian as stated recently by one his official tasters who just published her memoirs
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2276038/I-Hitlers-food-taster-Ma...
He was probably a mediocre vegetarian at that, probably binging on cheese and other animal delicacies from time to time, like many vegetarians do, but he was well intentioned.
The nazis weren't really animal lovers. They were posturing, showing off their superior human qualities.
Love of animals, a sentiment that expresses itself in various forms of vegetarianism, animal activism, animal rights, antispecism, veterinary care, or the mere ownership of a pet is a source of pride for most people. It was Thomas Paine in The Age of Reason who said, “Everything of cruelty to animals is a violation of moral duty.” For the Christian church of the 19th century, to love animals as did the saints St. Francis of Assisi and St. Cuthbert was perceived as a way “to establish the pure reign of charity among men,” says French sociologist Éric Baratay. The idea was to eradicate “the taste for blood and cruelty, to improve Man for his brothers and thus to protect humanity itself.” Many influential people such as Temple Grandin believe to this day, as Hitler did, that animals make us more human. And many more people wrongly presume animals to be better judges of human character than humans themselves. As a result, some people want to love and be seen loving animals specifically for the purpose of showing off their human qualities. Celebrities, salesmen, bad boys and girls, and politicians are especially good at using animals, and children, too, for that matter, to boost their public image and to compel prospective donators, fans, clients, or voters to trust them. This is probably why Hitler inserted the episode of the mouse at the beginning of Mein Kampf. What he was really saying through this public show of affection is the following: “trust me, I’m a good person, you see, I love animals”.
The nazis also used animals for recreative reasons, to flee the harsh realities of the human condition. Animals are commonly used to sooth many ills, for all the wrong reasons, and without scientifically proven results.
All in all, the nazis didn't love animals in the true sense of the word for their own sake but for what they could get out of them. In other words they were using them in all kinds of ways for their own benefit. Domestication is the negation of true love and compassion.

response

Charles -- thanks for the comment and update, and for mentioning the Hitler mouse story. For my money, the best treatment of the Nazi animal protection movement is Boria Sax's book that I cite in the post. Boria is fluent in German so his treatment is based on original sources.

Hal

response

Hal - I'm sure glad you're around to put some sense in all this mess!

Charles

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Hal Herzog, Ph.D. is the author of Some We Love, Some We Hate, Some We Eat: Why It's So Hard To Think Straight About Animals. more...

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