On Friday, August 27, the Howard Stern show repeated a show from April 10, 2002 in which United Poultry Concerns’ Karen Davis defended her comments that the 9/11 terrorist attacks may have reduced net suffering by sparing many chickens. For those who missed her comments the first time, in a letter on Dec. 26, 2001 to Vegan Voice, Davis said,
Doubtless the majority, if not every single one, of the people who suffered and/or died as a result of the September 11 attack ate, and if they are now a life continue to eat, chickens. It is possible to argue, using (Peter Singer’s) utilitarian calculations, that the deaths of thousands of people whose trivial consumer satisfactions included the imposition of fundamental misery and death on hundreds of thousands of chickens reduced the amount of pain and suffering in the world.
Davis has also claimed that Jewish victims of the Holocaust who ate meat were the moral equivalents of their Nazi persecutors (emphasis added),
It’s been said that if most people had direct contact with the animals they consume, vegetarianism would soar, but history has yet to support this hope. It isn’t just the Nazis who could see birds in the yard, slaughter them and eat them without a qualm, and in fact with euphoria. In this respect, the persecuted Jewish communities were no different than their persecutors.
The odd thing is that Davis herself was promoting the re-broadcasting of the Stern show on the UPC web site. Hey, good for her — more people should know that animal rights leaders like Davis think that it could be argued that the 9/11 terrorist attack was a good thing or that Jewish families who ate chicken were just like the Nazis.
Davis is now writing a book length treatment of these bizarre beliefs, The Holocaust and the Henmaid’s Tale: A Case for Comparing Atrocities, to be published in 2005.
UPC President Karen Davis Talks about Chickens on The Howard Stern Show. Press Release, Untied Poultry Concerns, August 27, 2004.