Isaac Bashevis Singer on Becoming a Vegetarian
"As long as people will shed the blood of innocent creatures there can be no peace, no liberty, no harmony between people. Slaughter and justice cannot dwell together."
“People often say that humans have always eaten animals, as if this is a justification for continuing the practice. According to this logic, we should not try to prevent people from murdering other people, since this has also been done since the earliest of times.”
"I did not become a vegetarian for my health, I did it for the health of the chickens."
Isaac Bashevis Singer was a Jewish American author, powerful pro-animal rights voice, and prominent vegetarian the last 35 years of his life. He won the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1978. In his short story, The Slaughterer, he described the anguish of a slaughterer trying to reconcile his compassion for animals with his job of killing them. He felt that the ingestion of meat was a denial of all ideals and all religions: “How can we speak of right and justice if we take an innocent creature and shed its blood?”
“In my case, the suffering of animals also makes me very sad. I’m a vegetarian, you know. When I see how little attention people pay to animals, and how easily they make peace with man being allowed to do with animals whatever he wants because he keeps a knife or a gun, it gives me a feeling of misery and sometimes anger with the Almighty. I say ‘Do you need your glory to be connected with so much suffering of creatures without glory, just innocent creatures who would like to pass a few year’s in peace?’ I feel that animals are as bewildered as we are except that they have no words for it. I would say that all life is asking: ‘What am I doing here?'”
In The Letter Writer he wrote,
“In relation to them (animals), all people are Nazis for the animals, it is an eternal Treblinka.” and “The smugness with which man could do with other species as he pleased exemplified the most extreme racist theories, the principle that might is right.”