Vegetarianism according to Isaac Bashevis Singer

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Isaac Bashevis Singer: 




Singer was a prominent Jewish vegetarianHYPERLINK "/wiki/Jewish_vegetarianism"[28] 

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."[29] which became a

classical reference in the discussions about the

legitimacy of the comparison of animal exploitation

with the holocaust.


In the preface to Steven Rosen's "Food for

Spirit: Vegetarianism and 

the World Religions" (1986), Singer wrote,


"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. Why should man then

expect mercy from God?


It's unfair to expect 

something that you are not willing to give. It is

inconsistent. I can never accept inconsistency

or injustice. Even if it comes from God.



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."