Isaac Bashevis Singer | Viva! - The Vegan Charity

Isaac Bashevis Singer

Isaac Bashevis Singer

 

Isaac Bashevis Singer was a Polish-born Jewish-American He was a leading figure in the Yiddish literary movement, writing and publishing only in Yiddish, and was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1978. He was also awarded two U.S. National Book Awards, one in Children's Literature for his memoir A Day Of Pleasure: Stories of a Boy Growing Up in Warsaw (1970) and one in Fiction for his collection, A Crown of Feathers and Other Stories (1974).

Singer was a prominent Jewish vegetarian for the last 35 years of his life and often included vegetarian themes in his works. In his short story, The Slaughterer, he described the anguish of an appointed 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?" When asked if he had become a vegetarian for health reasons, he replied: "I did it for the health of the chickens."

In The Letter Writer, he wrote "In relation to [animals], all people are Nazis; for the animals, it is an eternal Treblinka." which became a classical reference in the discussions about the legitimacy of the comparison of animal exploitation with the holocaust.

 

When a human 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.
Isaac Bashevis Singer