Opinions

Holocaust not for personal use

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The Campus Pro-Life group has made headlines in the past few weeks, they annoyed Campus Security and caused tempers to flare with their obscene and offensive tactics of comparison between abortion and the Holocaust.

Last week, CPL insisted that their rights were violated by Campus Security and university administration, who ripped down their offensive Holocaust posters.

CPL's outright comparison of a woman's personal choice to abort a fetus to the genocide of six million Jews during the Holocaust, is not only an utterly ridiculous attention-grabbing tactic, but is painstakingly unoriginal.

Sorry Campus Pro-Life, another radical group beat you to it and has already exploited the Holocaust for its own personal cause. But, you probably already knew that.

The animal rights activist group People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals used the temper, igniting comparison between its cause ­in this case vegetarianism - and the Holocaust, with their 2003 United States "Holocaust on your Plate" campaign. The "Holocaust on your Plate" campaign went over about as well as CPL's attempts; it horrified Jew and Gentiles alike and sparked defamation lawsuit threats.

If the pro-lifers wanted to sway me, a stanch feminist, to revoke my stance that every woman should have the right to choose, the least they could do is use an original method. Please, come up with something more concrete than shock and disgust campaigns with comparisons that have been stolen from another radical cause that is just as disagreeable.

PETA's ad campaign, the original offensive comparison between the Holocaust and eating meat, did not convince me to change my carnivore ways. Nor will CPL's have any affect on the way I think about abortion.

I've viewed PETA's offensive and disgusting images and I still think that vegetarianism (apart from religious reasons) is a notion reserved for educated, privileged city kids, who have been so far removed from nature that they've forgotten that their food is supposed to have a face.

As strongly as I believe in meat eating, I don't try and convince non-meat eaters that they are doing something wrong in their dietary choices. Like the choice to terminate an unwanted pregnancy, the choice to eat meat is deeply held conviction that is a part of each person's identity and cannot be altered by mere shock tactics.

I can't help but wonder what response PETA and Campus Pro-life were expecting by exploiting the Holocaust for their own personal gain. Should I turn over my right to choose to some balding white man in a position of power? While I'm at it, I'll go open some farm gates and free the cows!

Exploitation of genocide as a persuasive technique is one that will appeal to very few people, especially amongst the educated university population. If CPL had done their research they would have found that PETA's campaign was also more offensive than successful.

To convince someone to change any deeply held conviction, whether it be the choice to eat meat, or the demand for the right to choose is a tricky, if not impossible process. It's a process that takes something much more concrete, more detailed, less offensive and overall, more rational and more original than calling the opposition "Nazis".

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I was arrested for tearing three canvas signs belonging to University of Alberta pro-life group (the owner / sponsor of the "genocide awareness project" on campus - see more at abortionno.org - the american, faith-based parent organization). This was, of course, during the March 22nd demonstration.

You can count on my presence at the next G.A.P. display, to discourage people like me from making the mistake of tearing these displays. It will cost you a bit of legal hassle (though probably, as in my case, an expulsion from the court system once you show up for your court date), but more importantly it helps this group shift the debate away from abortion (which is unresolvable as it relates to your personal religious or philosophical convictions which) and towards the red-herring of free speech and censorship.