My first reaction matches the reactions of Elie Wiesel, the ADL and others…which are quoted on PETA’s site, along of course with their response.
Of course, I also have great respect for the author Isaac Bashevis Singer, who is given credit for being the first to make the comparison between the slaughter of animals and the concentration camps.
“In relation to [animals], all people are Nazis; for [them] it is an eternal Treblinka.î
Whenever there is a mass killing anywhere…it seems it is always compared to the Holocaust. Kind of like every political scandal has to be given a name ending with “-gate”. Every new fantasy writer is always compared to Tolkein.
It is human nature to make comparisons…and when there is an obvious benchmark, it is used to compare everything that comes after it. Referring to the Reagan/Bush scandal as Iran-Contra-Gate, or one of the early controversies in Clinton’s term as Travel-Gate….didn’t diminish the importance of Watergate. On the contrary, if anything, it reinforced it.
The number of fantasy writers who have been compared to Tolkein are legion. However, it is still Tolkein to which new writers are compared…the benchmark hasn’t changed.
Perhaps the day the Holocaust isn’t used, and some other benchmark is chosen…perhaps that’s when we have to proclaim our objections.