An animal-rights campaign comparing the suffering of livestock to that of Holocaust victims is drawing sharp criticism from a leading Jewish group for "trivializing" the mass murder of Jews.
"The Holocaust on Your Plate" campaign by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, debuted this week in California and will make a national tour.
The display is a set of eight 6-foot-by-10-foot panels showing photographs of Holocaust victims - emaciated men, crowds of people being forced onto trains, children behind barbed wire, heaps of human bodies - set next to similar images of cattle, pigs and chickens.
The Anti-Defamation League denounced the project and PETA's appeal for support from the Jewish community as "outrageous, offensive and taking chutzpah to new heights."
Abraham H. Foxman, a Holocaust survivor and ADL national director, said linking the deliberate, systematic murder of millions of Jews to the issue of animal rights was "abhorrent."
PETA member Matt Prescott, the creator of the campaign, said he is Jewish and his family lost several members in Nazi concentration camps.
He said the campaign was funded by a Jewish philanthropist who wishes to remain anonymous.
He said criticism of the project was expected.
"The fact is all animals feel pain, fear and loneliness," he said Friday.
"We're asking people to recognize that what Jews and others went through in the Holocaust is what animals go through every day in factory farms."
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Anti-Defamation League: http://www.adl.org