A vegan influencer who sparked anger when he compared eating animals to the Holocaust to the slaughter of animals for food has doubled down on his controversial comments.
More than six million Jewish people were murdered in the Holocaust, which took place during World War II between 1941 and 1945 across German-occupied Europe.
The word Holocaust is defined as 'destruction or slaughter on a mass scale', but is widely used as a description of the senseless murder of European Jews by Nazi Germany.
James Aspey last week shared snaps on Instagram of slaves in chains and Germany's WW2 leader Adolf Hitler, alongside photos of butchered animals.
The Australian, who is known for taking a vow of silence for a year to raise awareness for animal rights, wrote across the snaps "the law should never dictate your morals”.
And the angry vegan captioned his post: “Stop wasting your time with me. I will NEVER stop calling it WHAT IT IS! #THEANIMALHOLOCAUST."
He also launched an attack on comedian Russell Brand in another post where he accused him of endorsing 'ethical meat eating'.
He said: “You should be calling out this sick mentality in our culture, not telling them it’s okay to consume the flesh of Holocaust victims.”
Aspey was widely slammed over his wild statements on social media, with many people left stunned and accused him of being antisemetic.
One wrote “I don’t agree with this post. Slavery and animal rights is two different things and I’m vegan.
“I really don’t like when people make this comparison.”
Another woman accused James of being antisemetic.
She said: “Holocaust trivialisation is considered a form of antisemitism and trivialising slavery is considered racist."
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But now James has hit back at critics in an exclusive interview with Daily Star Online where he refused to reconsider his use of the word Holocaust and doubled-down on his remarks.
James denies comparing the slaughter of animals for food to the WW2 Holocaust, saying he is referring to the 'animal holocaust' which is a different atrocity.
He said he made his comment's to raise awareness of the animal's plight.
He said: "The Animal Holocaust was happening long before, during and after The Holocaust and every other holocaust in human history.
"We aren’t lowering the status of the WWII Holocaust survivors to the status of animals, but rather we are elevating the status of non-human Earthlings thats great.
"I am hoping to draw attention to the reality that our culture is extremely sick. We pay for the torture, rape and murder of non-human Earthlings, which is all standard, legal practice in the meat, dairy and egg industries).
"Humans their corpses or secretions, while calling themselves civilised, animal-lovers, and there is absolutely no need for it.
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"Human are likely to live longer, have less nutrient deficiencies, develop less deadly diseases, and dramatically lower our carbon footprint, all from consuming a vegan diet.
"People need to take animal rights seriously! It is far from a joke. The Animal Holocaust is an atrocity! These types of terms make people think, and that is the first step required for people to take action and change their ways."
He also sent a direct message to meat-eating survivors of the Holocaust and their families – where he accused them of being one of the reason the current Holocaust exists.
He said: "There is another holocaust happening right now and if you are purchasing animal products, you are the reason it exists.
"Please, you know more than anyone how horrific it is for innocent humans to have their lives and families destroyed.
"The animals suffer just the same. I desperately encourage you to join the right side of history by going vegan and educate those around you as to why you should do the same."
When asked if there is more sensitive tactics he could use other than making comparisons to a Holocaust, James maintained he feels he used a good strategy.
He said: "I have given 300-400 free speeches on animal rights. I share vegan food recipes, health info and everything I can think of. The fact is, there is nothing wrong with calling a holocaust a holocaust. We shouldn’t use language that makes the oppressors feel comfortable. We should be thinking about the victims."
Aspey took a year-long vow of silence to promote veganism in 2015 and travels the world preaching the benefits of plant-based living.
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