Vegan influencer James Aspey compares eating meat to the Holocaust and slavery

A vegan influencer has compared eating animals to the Holocaust — a genocide that killed more than six million Jewish people during World War II.

James Aspey, an activist with more than 253,000 Instagram followers, made the comparison multiple times online in the last fortnight. In one post Aspey, an Australian, said: “Stop wasting your time with me. I will NEVER stop calling it WHAT IT IS! #THEANIMALHOLOCAUST”.

In other posts the influencer shared side-by-side images of Hitler, and slaves in chains, next to photos of butchered animals. The image included the text, “The law should never dictate your morals”.

In another post he attacked comedian Russell Brand for endorsing ethical meat eating.

“You should be calling out this sick mentality in our culture, not telling them it’s okay to consume the flesh of Holocaust victims.”

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The posts have caused outrage online, with hundreds of commenters arguing with the influencer on his Instagram page.


“I don’t agree with this post. Slavery and animal rights is two different things and I’m vegan,” one man wrote. “I really don’t like when people make this comparison.”

Aspey replied: “It’s not a comparison. Animals are slaves.”

“This is where I unfollow you … why are black people always compared to f*cking animals! It’s the wrong kind of comparison and your ego is blinding you,” the former fan wrote.

“This is a shocking post James, really seems more about your ego now than anything,” another commenter wrote.

“It’s about ending a holocaust, actually. Stop trying to make it about me and focus on the atrocity at hand,” Aspey replied.

“Wow you are trivialising the Holocaust and Slavery,” another woman wrote. “Holocaust trivialisation is considered a form of antisemitism and trivialising slavery is considered racist.

“You can be a much better voice for the animals if you used better arguments. Heck, I thought you were better than this. I guess not.” has contacted Aspey for a comment but did not receive a reply.

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In a statement given to Vice News, Aspey dismissed the idea his posts were driving a wider audience away.

“If people are so easily hurt that hearing a word can cause them significant trauma, I would suggest they have a lot of healing to do before they use the internet, which has violence and triggering words all over it,” he said.

“The truth is, they aren’t actually hurt by hearing the word ‘Holocaust,’ they simply disagree that non-human Earthlings deserve to have their situation described using the same terminology that was used to describe human atrocities, and that is because they are speciesist.”

He said marginalised groups like feminists and Jewish people should feel drawn to veganism and feel akin with animals’ struggle.

“Accurately describing the animals plight as a Holocaust should get Jewish people (and all people!) to realise how serious this matter is.”

Aspey has been vegan for eight years. He made headlines in 2015 after taking a year-long vow of silence to promote veganism. The activist appeared on Sunrise to speak his first words, saying he took the vow to “raise awareness for the voiceless victims of this planet.”

Aspey added he was referring to “the animals”.

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