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Veganism and
Animal Rights
All Quotes

"As long as there are slaughter houses, there will be battle fields."

Leo Tolstoy 

"We consume the carcasses of creatures of like appetites, passions, and organs with our own, and fill the slaughterhouses daily with screams of fear and pain."

Robert Louis Stevenson 

"Animals and humans suffer and die alike. If you had to kill your own calf before you ate it, most likely you would not be able to do it. To hear the calf scream, to see the blood spill, to see the baby being taken away from its momma, and to see the look of death in the animal's eye would turn your stomach. So you get the man at the packing house to do the killing for you."

Dick Gregory 

"To one who's mind is free, there is something even more intolerable in the suffering of animals than in the sufferings of men. For with the latter it is at least admitted that the suffering is evil and that the man who causes it is a criminal. But thousands of animals are uselessly butchered every day without a shadow of remorse. If any man were to refer to it, he would be thought ridiculous. And that is the unpardonable crime. That alone is the justification of all that men may suffer. It cries vengeance upon all the human race. If God exists and tolerates it, it cries vengeance upon God."

Romain Rolland, Nobel laureate 

"Nothing more strongly arouses our disgust than cannibalism, yet we make the same impression on Buddhists and vegetarians, for we feed on babies, though not our own."

Robert Louis Stevenson (1850-1894) 

"The animals of the world exists for their own reasons. They were not made for humans any more than black people were made for white, or women created for men."

Alice Walker, author of The Color Purple, forward to The Dreaded Comparison: Human & Animal Slavery 

"Poor animals! How jealously they guard their pathetic bodies ... that which to us is merely an evening's meal, but to them is life itself."

T. Casey Brennan 

"Vegetarians threatened me. They didn't have to say a word, all they needed to do was not eat meat. I could feel my annoyance and even anger. It took me a while to recognize I was feeling guilt and not just annoyance that vegetarians thought they knew what was morally correct. By being vegetarian, they were declaring that eating meat was damaging to themselves, destructive to the environment, and cruel to animals. Abstaining from meat also seemed self-righteous. They all probably thought they were so above others - on the moral high ground. I definitely didn't want anything to do with that kind of self-righteous behavior. However, after thinking about my feelings, I realized it was not just anger I was feeling; I felt guilt. My lack of will power was unnecessary to become a vegetarian. I just needed to learn the facts of animal slaughter and then take the responsibility for my actions and how they affect others. Nothing could have been easier."

Deepa Isac, The Fear of Vegetarians 

"I went snorkeling and noticed how gently the fish welcomed us into their world ... as compared to the violence with which we welcomed them into ours. I became a vegetarian."

Syndee Brinkman 

"I don't understand why asking people to eat a well-balanced vegetarian diet is considered drastic, while it is medically conservative to cut people open and put them on cholesterol-lowering drugs for the rest of their lives."

Dean Ornish, MD 

"It is a sobering thought that animals could do without man, yet man would find it almost impossible to do without animals."

Ruth Harrison 

"The fate of animals is of greater importance to me than the fear of appearing ridiculous; it is indissolubly connected with the fate of man."

Emile Zola 

"In studying the traits and dispositions of the so-called lower animals, and contrasting them with man's, I find the result humiliating to me."

Mark Twain 

"In the relations of man with animals...there is a whole ethic scarcely seen as yet, but which will eventually break through into the light and be the corollary and the compliment to human ethics."

Victor Hugo 

"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 times."

Isaac Bashevis Singer 

"How do we know that we have a right to kill creatures that we are so little above, as dogs, for our curiosity or even for some use to us?"

Alexander Pope (1688-1744) 

"Not to hurt our humble brethren is our first duty to them, but to stop there is not enough. We have a higher mission - to be of service to them wherever they require it."

St.Francis of Assisi (1181-1226) 

"Animals are my friends...and I don't eat my friends!"

George Bernard Shaw 

"The thinking man must oppose all cruel customs no matter how deeply rooted in tradition or surrounded by halo...We need a boundless ethic which will include the animal also."

Dr. Albert Schweitzer 

"The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated...I hold that, the more helpless a creature, the more entitled it is to protection by man from the cruelty of man."

Mahatma Gandhi, The Moral Basis of Vegetarianism 

"The worst sin towards our fellow creatures is not to hate them, but to be indifferent to them. That's the essence of inhumanity."

George Bernard Shaw 

"If chimpanzees have consciousness, if they are capable of abstractions, do they not have what until now has been described as 'human rights'? How smart does a chimp have to be before killing him constitutes murder?"

Carl Sagan 

"The monstrous sophism that beasts are pure unfeeling machines, and do not reason, scarcely requires confutation."

Percy Bysshe Shelley 

"Alas, what wickedness to swallow flesh into our own flesh, to fatten our greedy bodies by cramming in other bodies, to have one living creature fed by the flesh of another."

Pythagoras 

"Vegetarianism serves as the criterion by which we know that the pursuit of moral perfection on the part of humanity is genuine and sincere."

Leo Tolstoy 

"All beings tremble before violence. All fear death. All love life. See yourself in others. Then whom can you hurt? What harm can you do?"

Buddha 

"I like not eating animals. Animals are our friends and we shouldn't eat them. Animals need us to take care of them and save them. My mom cooks us vegetables and pretend hamburgers and hotdogs and chicken nuggets and they are healthy for you and taste good! I told all my friends 'you should NOT eat animals!' I hit my friend Levi because he was eating a ham sandwich and wouldn't stop. Then mom said that Levi is an animal too and we have to be nice to all animals even if they eat other animals. I said sorry to Levi, but I wish he would not eat animals anymore. I also like not eating animals because my mom says it helps the earth, like recycling."

Jacob, 6 years old 

"Meat from animals with cancer, open sores and diseases caused by intestinal parasites pose no health threat to humans."

United States Department of Agriculture new food safety system. 

"'I eat very little to no meat' said Delmer Jones, a federal food inspector for 41 years, president of the National Joint Council of Meat Inspection Locals, a union of 7,000 meat inspectors nationwide affiliated with the American Federation of Government Employees. He said he's trying to get his wife to stop eating meat. 'I've told her what she's eating.'"


"For years, the beef checkoff has funded nutrition research that has provided us with facts about nutrients found in beef, by passing that information along to dietitians, we're improving the health of both the public and the cattle industry."

Wade Zimmerman, a beef producer from Sugar City, CO 

"Vegetarianism is a healthier diet."

David Stroud of the American Meat Institute 

"Vegans save more lives than Vegetarians. Vegetarians save more lives than Carnivores. Carnivores only save themselves."

Cecil LeRoy Chesser 

"I have had enough of the roasted carcasses of rams and of the fat of fattened beasts. I take no pleasure in the blood of calves, lambs and goats. When you spread out your hands, I close My eyes to you; despite however much you pray, I will not listen. Your hands are full of blood! Wash yourselves clean! Put away your misdeeds from before My eyes and stop doing evil."

Isaiah 1:11, 1:15-16 

"The beef industry has contributed to more American deaths than all the wars of this century, all natural disasters, and all automobile accidents combined. If beef is your idea of 'real food for real people', you'd better live real close to a real good hospital."

Dr. Neal Barnard 

"To become vegetarian is to step into the stream which leads to nirvana."

Buddha 

"Veganocracy extends traditional democracy by allowing that people, fellow creatures, even air, soil, and water have rights, and in valuing power only when it is exercised in ethical and moral acts."


"It is my view that the vegetarian manner of living, by its purely physical effect on the human temperament, would most beneficially influence the lot of mankind."

Albert Einstein, letter to Vegetarian Watch-Tower 

"If a man aspires towards a righteous life, his first act of abstinence is from injury to animals."

Leo Tolstoy 

"If a man's aspiration towards a righteous life are serious, his first act of abstinence is from animal food, because it is plainly immoral as it requires an act of contrary to moral feeling, ie., killing - and is called forth only by greed."

Leo Tolstoy 

"Nothing will benefit human health and increase chances for survival of life on Earth as much as the evolution to a vegetarian diet."

Albert Einstein 

"The gods created certain kinds of beings to replenish our bodies...they are the trees, the plants and the seeds."

Plato 

"It is only by softening and disguising dead flesh by culinary preparation, that it is rendered susceptible of mastication or digestion; and that the sight of its bloody juices and raw horror does not excite intolerable loathing and disgust."

Percy Bysshe Shelley 

"Slaughterhouses should be in restaurants and grocery stores. They should have a glass wall so people must see the animals and choose. Look into the animal's eyes and say, 'Ok, slit his throat.'"

Ingrid Newkirk, co-founder of PeTA 

"But for the sake of some little mouthful of flesh, we deprive a soul of the sun and light, and of that proportion of life and time they had been born to enjoy."

Plutarch, Moralia 

"We are the living graves of murdered beasts, slaughtered to satisfy our appetites. How can we hope in this world to attain the peace we say we are so anxious for?"

George Bernard Shaw, Living Graves 

"Compassion for the suffering of others is not weakness. Acting from compassion when those around you do not takes more courage and strength of character than going along with everyone else's cruelty."

Norm Phelps, Fund For Animals 

"You have just dined, and however scrupulously the slaughterhouse is concealed in the graceful distance of miles, there is complicity."

Ralph Waldo Emerson, Fate 

"You, who are innocent, what have you done worthy of death!"

Richard of Wyche, Bishop of Chichester (1197-1253) (On seeing animals being killed for food) 

"Love animals: God has given them the rudiments of thought and joy untroubled. Do not trouble their joy, don't harass them, don't deprive them of their happiness, don't work against God's intent. Man, do not pride yourself on superiority to animals; they are without sin, and you, with your greatness, defile the earth by your appearance on it, and leave the traces of your foulness after you - alas, it is true of almost every one of us!"

Fyodor Dostoyevsky (1821-1881) 

"Basically we should stop doing those things that are destructive to the environment, other creatures, and ourselves and figure out new ways of existing."

Moby 

"The average age (longevity) of a meat eater is 63. I am on the verge of 85 and still work as hard as ever. I have lived quite long enough and am trying to die; but I simply cannot do it. A single beef-steak would finish me; but I cannot bring myself to swallow it. I am oppressed with a dread of living forever. That is the only disadvantage of vegetarianism."

George Bernard Shaw 

"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."

Isaac Bashevis Singer 

"The soul is the same in all living creatures, although the body of each is different."

Hippocrates 

"...and we have so far improved upon the custom of Adam and Eve, that we generally furnish forth our feasts with a portion of some delicate calf or lamb, whose unspotted innocence entitles them to the happiness of becoming our sustenance."

Nathaniel Hawthorne 

"How can you eat anything with eyes!"

Will Kellogg 

"I became a vegetarian not just for my own health...but for the health of the chickens."

Isaac Bashevis Singer 

"He is a heavy eater of beef. Me thinks it doth harm to his wit."

Shakespeare in 'Twelfth Night' 

"Since visiting the abattoirs [slaughterhouses] of South France, I have stopped eating meat."

Vincent Van Gogh 

"You're thinking I'm one of those wise-ass California vegetarians who is going to tell you that eating a few strips of bacon is bad for your health. I'm not. I say it's a free country and you should be able to kill yourself at any rate you choose, as long as your cold dead body is not blocking my driveway."

Scott Adams (writer of 'Dilbert') 

"Man should regard lower animals as being in the same dependent condition as minors under his government ... For a man to torture an animal whose life God has put into his hands, is a disgrace to his species."

E.D.Buckner MD, AM, PhD (1843-1907) 

"God gave our first parents the food He designed that the race should eat. It was contrary to His plan to have the life of any creature taken. There was to be no death in Eden. The fruit of the trees in the garden was the food man's wants required."

Ellen White, co-founder Seventh Day Adventists (1864) 

"And God said, behold I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of the earth, and every tree, in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed, to you it shall be for food. And to every beast of the earth, and to every fowl of the air, and to every thing that creepeth upon the earth, wherein there is life, I have given every green herb for meat [=food]: and it was so. Genesis 1, 29 & 30 Thou shalt not kill."

Exodus 20:13 

"Even one thing befalleth them: as the one dieth, so dieth the other; yea, they have all one breath, so that a man hath no pre-eminence above a beast."

Ecclesiastes 3:19 

"He that killeth an ox is as if he slew a man; he that sacrificeth a lamb, as if he cut off a dog's neck; he that offereth an oblation, as if he offered swine's blood; he that burneth incense, as if he blessed an idol. Yea, they have chosen their own ways, and their soul delighteth in their abominations."

Isaiah 66:3 

"The wolf shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid; and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little child shall lead them ... They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain; for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea."

Isaiah 11:6-9 

"Of what use are all your sacrifices to Me? I have had enough of the roasted carcasses of rams and of the fat of fattened beasts. I take no pleasure in the blood of calves, lambs and goats. ... When you spread out your hands, I close My eyes to you; despite however much you pray, I will not listen. Your hands are full of blood! Wash yourselves clean! Put away your misdeeds from before My eyes and stop doing evil."

Isaiah 1:11, 15-16 

"Thou shalt not kill."

Exodus 20:13 

"The infliction of cruelty with a clear conscience is a delight to moralists. That is why they invented hell."

Bertrand Russell (1872-1970) 

"Compared with that of Taoists and Far Eastern Buddhists, the Christian attitude toward Nature has been curiously insensitive and often downright domineering and violent. Taking their cue from an unfortunate remark in Genesis, Catholic moralists have regarded animals as mere things which men do right to regard for their own ends...."

Aldous Huxley (1894-1963) 

"I hated the things they believe in, the things they so innocently and charmingly pretended. I hated the sanctimonious piety that let people hurt helpless creatures. I hated the prayers and the hymns - the fountains and the red images that coloured their drab music, the fountains filled with blood, the sacrifice of the lamb."

Ellen Glasgow (1874-1945) 

"Let the law of kindness show no limits. Show a loving consideration for all God's creatures."

General Advices (1928) (Quakers) 

"The love for all living creatures is the most noble attribute of man."

Charles Darwin 

"A vegetarian diet is the acid test of humanitarianism."

Leo Tolstoy 

"I do not regard flesh-food as necessary for us at any stage and under any clime in which it is possible for human beings ordinarily to live. I hold flesh-food to be unsuited to our species. We err in copying the lower animal world - if we are superior to it."

Mohandas Gandhi 

"How good it is to be well fed, healthy, and kind all at the same time."

Henry J. Heimlich (1920 - ) 

"Non-violence leads to the highest ethics, which is the goal of all evolution. Until we stop harming all other living beings, we are still savages."

Thomas Edison, Harpers Magazine 

"It's a matter of taking the side of the weak against the strong, something the best people have always done."

Harriet Beecher Stowe 

"I do not regard flesh food as necessary for us. I hold flesh food to be unsuited to our species. To my mind, the life of a lamb is no less precious than that of a human being. I should be unwilling to take the life of the lamb for the sake of the human body."

Mahatma Gandhi 

"Those who eat flesh are but eating grains and vegetables at second hand; for the animal receives from these things the nutrition that produces growth. The life that was in the grains and the vegetables passes into the eater. We receive it by eating the flesh of the animal. How much better to get it direct by eating the food that God provided for our use!"

Ellen White, co-founder Seventh Day Adventists, 1905 

"Truly man is the king of beasts, for his brutality exceeds theirs. We live by the death of others: We are burial places!"

Leonardo Da Vinci (1452-1519) 

"A human can be healthy without killing animals for food. Therefore if he eats meat he participates in taking animal life merely for the sake of his appetite."

Leo Tolstoy 

"Never be ashamed to say, 'No thank you; I do not eat meat. I have conscientious scruples against eating the flesh of dead animals.'"

Ellen White, co-founder Seventh Day Adventists, 1901 

"Animals are often transported long distances and subjected to great suffering in reaching a market. Taken from the green pastures and traveling for weary miles over the hot, dusty roads, or crowded into filthy cars, feverish and exhausted, often for many hours deprived of food and water, the poor creatures are driven to their death, that human beings may feast on the carcasses."

Ellen White, co-founder Seventh Day Adventists, 1905 

"Not to hurt our humble brethren is our first duty to them, but to stop there is not enough. We have a higher mission - to be of service to them wherever they require it."

St. Francis of Assisi 

"Active hatred of cruelty, injustice and oppression is perhaps the main difference between a good person and a bad one."

John Morley 

"Atrocities are no less atrocities when they occur in laboratories and are called 'medical research'."

George Bernard Shaw 

"I believe I am not interested to know whether vivisection produces results that are profitable to the human race or doesn't. To know that the results are profitable to the race would not remove my hostility to it. The pain which it inflicts upon unconsenting animals is the basis of my enmity toward it, and it is to me sufficient justification of the enmity without looking further."

Mark Twain 

"Torturing animals to prolong human life, has separated science from the most important thing that life has produced...the human conscience!"

John Cowper Powys 

"I have from an early age adjured the use of meat, and the time will come when men such as I will look upon the murder of animals as they now look upon the murder of men."

Leonardo Da Vinci 

"It seems to me of great importance to teach children respect for life. Towards this end, experiments on living animals in classrooms should be stopped. To encourage cruelty in the name of science can only destroy the finer emotions of affection and sympathy, and breed an unfeeling callousness in the young towards suffering in all living creatures."

Eleanor Roosevelt 

"I am in favor of animal rights as well as human rights. That is the way of a whole human being."

Abraham Lincoln 

"Our task must be to free ourselves by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty."

Albert Einstein 

"True benevolence or compassion, extends itself through the whole of existence and sympathizes with the distress of every creature capable of sensation."

Joseph Addison 

"The highest realms of thought are impossible to reach without first attaining an understanding of compassion."

Socrates 

"Until we have the courage to recognize cruelty for what it is - whether its victim is human or animal - we cannot expect things to be much better in this world...We cannot have peace among men whose hearts delight in killing any living creature. By every act that glorifies or even tolerates such moronic delight in killing we set back the progress of humanity."

Rachel Carson 

"If you have men who will exclude any of God's creatures from the shelter of compassion and pity, you will have men who deal likewise with their fellow men."

St.Francis of Assisi (1181-1226) 

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