A few of the author's favorite quotes about activism, the environment, social justice, education, peace, animals and people.
"The way that we breed animals for food is a threat to the planet. It pollutes our environment while consuming huge amounts of water, grain, petroleum, pesticides and drugs. The results are disastrous."
"Much as we have awakened to the full economic and social costs of cigarettes, we will find we can no longer subsidize or ignore the costs of mass-producing cattle, poultry, pigs, sheep and fish to feed our growing population. These costs include hugely inefficient use of freshwater and land, heavy pollution from livestock feces, rising rates of heart disease and other degenerative illnesses, and spreading destruction of the forests on which much of our planet's life depends."
'The time will come when men such as I will look
upon the murder of animals as now they look upon the murder of men."
"Nothing will benefit human health and increase
chances for survival of life on Earth as much as the evolution to a vegetarian
"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."
"Until he extends his circle of compassion
to all living things, man will not himself find peace."
"I abhor vivisection. It should be at least
curbed. Better, it should be abolished. I know of no achievement through
vivisection, no scientific discovery, that could have not been obtained
without such barbarism and cruelty. The whole thing is evil."
"I have no doubt that it is a part of the
destiny of the human race, in its gradual improvement, to leave off eating
"You have just dined, and however scrupulously
the slaughterhouse is concealed in the graceful distance of miles, there
"Mankind's true moral test, its fundamental
test (which lies deeply buried from view), consists of its attitude towards
those who are at its mercy: Animals. And in this respect mankind has suffered
a fundamental debacle, a debacle so fundamental that all others stem from
If you cannot attain knowledge without torturing
a dog, you must do without knowledge.
I am sometimes asked, Why do you spend
so much of your time and money talking about kindness to animals when
there is so much cruelty to men? I answer, I am working at the roots.
"It is the fate of every truth to be an object
of ridicule when it is first acclaimed. It was once considered foolish
to suppose that black men were really human beings and ought to be treated
as such. What was once foolish has now become a recognized truth. Today
it is considered as exaggeration to proclaim constant respect for every
form of life as being the serious demand of a rational ethic. But the
time is coming when people will be amazed that the human race existed
so long before it recognized that thoughtless injury to life is incompatible
with real ethics. Ethics is in its unqualified form extended responsibility
to everything that has life."
"Flesh eating is unprovoked murder."
"If a man aspires towards a righteous life,
his first act of abstinence is from injury to animals."
Isn't man an amazing animal? He kills wildlife--birds,
kangaroos, deer, all kinds of cats, coyotes, beavers, groundhogs, mice,
foxes and dingoes by the million in order to protect his domestic animals
and their feed. Then he kills domestic animals by the billion and eats
them. This in turn kills man by the million, because eating all those
animals leads to degenerative--and fatal--health conditions like heart
disease, kidney disease, and cancer. So then man tortures and kills millions
more animals to look for cures for these diseases. Elsewhere, millions
of other human beings are being killed by hunger and malnutrition because
food they could eat is being used to fatten domestic animals. Meanwhile,
some people are dying of sad laughter at the absurdity of man, who kills
so easily and so violently, and once a year, sends out cards praying for
"Peace on Earth."
"The whole problem of health, in soil, plant, animal
and man is one great subject."
"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!"
"I care not much for a man's religion whose
dog and cat are not the better for it."
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.
"Life is as dear to a mute creature as it
is to a man. Just as one wants happiness and fears pain, just as one wants
to live and not to die, so do other creatures."
"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. "
"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
Nothing is more powerful than an individual
acting out of his conscience, thus helping to bring the collective conscience
Harmlessness is the highest religion.
Our task must be to free ourselves... widening
our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole
of nature and its beauty.- Albert Einstein
"Will you teach your children what we have
taught our children? That the earth is our mother? What befalls the earth
befalls all the sons of the earth. This we know: the earth does not belong
to man, man belongs to the earth. All things are connected like the blood
that unites us all. Man did not weave the web of life, he is merely a
strand in it. Whatever he does to the web, he does to himself."
"I think we who work for justice and come
face to face regularly with its negation are at risk of losing that which
animates all healthy beings: the capacity to respond to the graciousness
draping the world in colors vivid and electric, the warmth of the sun,
a lovers touch. If we neglect to notice these, why attend to anything
"Don't ask yourself what the world needs--ask
yourself what makes you come alive, and then go do it. Because what the
world needs is people who have come alive."
"To cherish what remains of the Earth and
to foster its renewal is our only legitimate hope of survival."
"Our lives begin to end the day we become
silent about things that matter."
"The worst sin toward our
fellow creatures is not to hate
them, but to be indifferent to them; that's the essence of inhumanity."
"Planting Lies" by Steve McGiffen, Environmental advisor to the European Parliament
"There is, however, a moral basis for the
vegetarian diet for which the indeterminate value of an animal's life
takes on irrelevance. And that moral basis is a concern for the environment,
a value as absolute as the value we all place on human life, since humanity
will not survive for long on a poisoned planet. To be an environmentalist
who happens to eat meat is like being a philanthropist who doesn't happen
to give to charity."
"An estimated 85 percent
of all U.S agricultural land is used in the production of animal foods,
which in turn is linked with deforestation, destruction of wildlife species,
extinction of species, loss of soil productivity, mineral deletion and
erosion, water pollution and depletion, overgrazing, and desertification."
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