Isaac Bashevis Singer
Jewish-American author, Nobel Prize winner for Literature
"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."
"Even in the worm that crawls in the earth there glows a divine spark. When you slaughter a creature, you slaughter God."
"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?' "
~Isaac Bashevis Singer, Newsweek interview (October 16, 1978) after winning the Nobel Prize in literature.
"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 think that eating meat or fish is a denial of all ideals, even of all religions. How can we pray to God for mercy if we ourselves have no mercy? How can we speak of right and justice if we take an innocent creature and shed its blood? Every kind of killing seems to me savage and I find no justification for it."
"In relation to them, all people are Nazis; for the animals it is an
~From “The Letter Writer”
"I will continue to be a vegetarian even if the whole world started to
eat meat. This is my protest against the conduct of the world."
~Incredibly Delicious by Gentle World
"The worst sin towards our fellow creatures is not to hate them, but to be indifferent to them; that's the essence of inhumanity."
"I did not become a vegetarian for my health; I did it for the health of
~Quoted in "You Said a Mouthful," edited by Ronald D. Fuchs