From Aish:

In modern times, the radicalized extension of Cain's philosophy came afore during the 1930s, when the Nazis passed a number of laws protecting animals, e.g. restricting the use of live animals in biomedical experiments ("vivisection").

This claim is additionally brought down in the bestselling book The Garden of Emuna.

Is this true?

  • Quite true Have you researched this? For notability I guess finding a group that 'does not believe this' might be the better approach? Jan 22, 2020 at 21:05
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    This claim is very loose - all it requires is more than one law protecting animals for it to be true. It might be useful to have a read of the Wikipedia page Animal welfare in Nazi Germany and see if there is a more specific claim in there that you doubt and we can get our teeth into.
    – Oddthinking
    Jan 22, 2020 at 23:11
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    @jwenting it seems like a thinly veiled attempt to associate animal rights activists with Nazis, but I may just be being cynical.
    – PC Luddite
    Jan 23, 2020 at 14:24
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    Why would this even be strange? Must everything that the nazis did have been 100% pure evil by today's moral standards?
    – pipe
    Jan 23, 2020 at 18:22
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    This reads like a classic attempt to discredit the idea of animal welfare by saying "the Nazis did it so it must be bad". Jan 24, 2020 at 16:20

1 Answer 1


They did, though the purpose was as much propaganda and antisemitism as it was about protecting animals.

In 1933, the Nazis passed the Reichstierschutzgesetz (animal protection law of the Reich), which punished those that 'tortured animals or caused them long or repeated, substantial pain or suffering'.

According to historian Mieke Roscher, the goal was to exclude Jews and Roma from German society. Previous laws already criminalized shechita, and the Reichstierschutzgesetz was specifically used to remove Jews from sciences which performed animal testing. It was also used to target Roma circuses. Other circuses as well as animal testing for war purposes or by some non-Jewish scientists on the other hand were not persecuted. Not all animals were treated equally, wild and pure-raced animals were protected, while pets and vermin were not.

The preamble of the law already shows that the law is based on a German-völkisch ideology, when it references the German Volk and its moral obligations.

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    You really need to bring in the continuity, with dates like 1879, Gossler 1930 etc. And stress the antisemitic part with the absurdity: to make kosher meat eating impossible, but later making explicit exception for halal eating Muslim SS soldiers. Then that these laws did come about, early, but were much less than promised to animal lovers. Perhaps srcs Jan 23, 2020 at 10:54
  • @LаngLаngС I'm not sure if the continuity matters much. Many laws like the Reichsjagdgesetz were more or less copies of previous laws (which would matter for context if they are mentioned, but I just left them out because they don't matter much), but as I understand it, the Reichstierschutzgesetz was indeed something new, so it's a good example to show that the claim is true. I already pointed out some of the double standards of the law, Halal food would just be another example showing the same antisemitic double standards.
    – tim
    Jan 23, 2020 at 11:52
  • The fact that some laws were passed early, but weaker enforced with time, and that no new laws were passed later does seem relevant, but I couldn't find good sources on the absence of laws passed in the later years, so I omitted that fact. I think the question as asked is still answered, but if you have additional sources, please feel free to add them to my answer, or to post a more in-depth answer.
    – tim
    Jan 23, 2020 at 11:52
  • Continuity is useful to emphasise (claim context) that NS did not 'invent' animal welfare. The promised scope and propagandistic image was unprecedented (NS from 20s forward, but general animal welfare proponents even earlier, and not all of them nazis, despite a gigantic overlap). Anti-vivisectionists, vegetarians, life-reformers, spiritual 'outliers'… The antisemitic goals in it were not the sole purpose, but technically a 'side-effect', & that as even a desired main driver (meaning some didn't care for any animals, but supported that as 'against those Jews'. Antisemitism thru backdoor). Jan 23, 2020 at 12:13

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