“A human being is part of a whole, called by us the Universe, a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings, as something separated from the rest- a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circles of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature and its beauty.”
"Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will spend its whole life believing that it is stupid."
“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.”
"To affirm life is to deepen, to make more inward, and to exalt the will-to-live. At the same time, the man who has become a thinking being feels a compulsion to give to every will-to-live the same reverence for life that he gives to his own. He experiences that other life as his own. He accepts as being good: to preserve life, to raise to its highest value life which is capable of development; and as being evil: to destroy life, to injure life, to repress life which is capable of development. This is the absolute, fundamental principle of the moral, and it is a necessity of thought."
"The thinking man must oppose all cruel customs no matter how deeply rooted in tradition and surrounded by a halo. When we have a choice, we must avoid bringing torment and injury into the life of another, even the lowliest creature; to do so is to renounce our manhood and shoulder a guilt which nothing justifies."
"A man is really ethical only when he obeys the constraint laid on him to aid all life which he is able to help, and when he goes out of his way to avoid injuring anything living. He does not ask how far this or that life deserves sympathy as valuable in itself, nor how far it is capable of feeling. To him life as such is sacred. If he goes out into the street after a rainstorm and sees a worm which has strayed there, he reflects that it will certainly dry up in the sunshine if it does not quickly regain the damp soil into which it can creep, and so he helps it back from the deadly paving stone into the lush grass. Should he pass by an insect which has fallen into a pool, he spares the time to reach a leaf or stalk on which it may clamber and save itself."
"The average age (life expectancy) 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 I 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 (1856–1950)
"Remember that when you leave this earth, you can take with you nothing that have received--only what you have given: a full heart, enriched by honest service, love, sacrifice and courage."
“Vegetarianism is a greater progress. From the greater clearness of head and quicker apprehension motivated him to become a vegetarian. Flesh-eating is an unprovoked murder.”
“Every act of irreverence for life, every act which neglects life, which is indifferent to and wastes life, is a step towards the love of death. This choice man must make at every minute. Never were the consequences of the wrong choice as total and as irreversible as they are today. Never was the warning of the Bible so urgent: ‘I have put before you life and death, blessing and curse. Choose life, that you and your children may live.’
(Deuteronomy 30:19)” Erich Fromm
"Risk more than others think is safe. Care more than others think is wise. Dream more than others think is practical. Expect more than others think is possible."
"For as long as men massacre animals, they will kill each other. Indeed, he who sows the seed of murder and pain cannot reap joy and love."
Pythagoras (6th century BC)
"The Utopians feel that slaughtering our fellow creatures gradually destroys the sense of compassion, which is the finest sentiment of which our human nature is capable."
"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 (c.1182–1226)
"What is it that should trace the insuperable line? ... The question is not, Can they reason? nor Can they talk? but, Can they suffer?"
Jeremy Bentham (1748–1832)
"The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated."
Mahatma Gandhi (1869–1948)
"Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever."
Mahatma Gandhi (1869–1948)
"Whenever you are confronted with an opponent. Conquer him with love."
Mahatma Gandhi (1869–1948)
"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 (1907–1964)