Natalie Portman makes controversial video for PETA

The actress paid video tribute to Polish-born author Isaac Bashevis Singer who likened eating meat to the Holocaust


Oscar winning actress Natalie Portman has paid tribute to Polish-born Nobel laureate Isaac Bashevis Singer in a film released by animal rights organisation PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals)

In the video, made for the 40th anniversary of Singer winning the Nobel Prize for Literature, American-Israeli actress Portman likened Mr Singer’s story to her own family’s story.

“Isaac Singer grew up in the same part of Poland as my family,” says Portman in the video. “And like them, he fled the horrors of the Holocaust. But the cruelties he witnessed made Singer one of the most powerful writers of the 20th century.”

In the video, released today, she cites a character from a Singer novel, ‘Shosha’, who compares eating meat to Nazi actions.

In 2009, a German court banned PETA from comparing eating meat to Nazi atrocities. It also prohibited the animal welfare group from using photos of concentration camp inmates and other images of Nazi genocide.

But Natalie Portman praised the Nobel Prize winning author for thinking “far ahead of his time” by writing “of individuals who dared to challenge cultural norms” such as championing women’s rights, gay marriage and articulating “the plight of animals so boldly that the modern world could not ignore him”.

Quoting from Singer, the Jewish actress said: “I did not become a vegetarian for my health. I did it for the health of the chickens.”

The video concludes with a final quote from Mr Singer, who wrote Yentl the Yeshiva Boy which became the film Yentl starring Barbara Streisand, and died in 1991.

“As long as people will shed the blood of innocent creatures there can be no peace, no liberty, no harmony. Slaughter and justice cannot dwell together.”

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