In their behavior toward creatures, all men are Nazis. Human beings see oppression vividly when they're the victims. Otherwise they victimize blindly and without a thought.
When a human being kills an animal for food, he is neglecting his own hunger for justice. Man prays for mercy, but is unwilling to extend it to others. Why then should man expect mercy from God? It is unfair to expect something that you are not willing to give.
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.
If there would come a voice from God saying, 'I'm against vegetarianism!' I would say, 'Well, I am for it!' This is how strongly I feel in this regard.
To be a vegetarian is to disagree -- to disagree with the course of things today. Starvation, world hunger, cruelty, waste, wars -- we must make a statement against these things. Vegetarianism is my statement. And I think it's a strong one.
The same questions are bothering me today as they did fifty years
ago. Why is one born? Why does one suffer? 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 years 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?’
~ Newsweek interview (October 16, 1978) after winning the Nobel Prize in literature.
Even in the worm that crawls in the earth there glows a divine spark. When you slaughter a creature, you slaughter God.
Writer, Nobel laureate (1902-1991)