Quotations

Here are some quotations about animals, by famous people. Not all of them are/were vegan, but all of them had ideas that are of value to those who care for animals.

“Animals can communicate quite well. And they do. And generally speaking, they are ignored.”
– Alice Walker

“Until he extends the circle of compassion to all living things, man will not himself find peace.”
– Albert Schweitzer

“A human being is a part of the whole, called by us the ‘Universe,’ a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings, as something separate 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 to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty. Nobody is able to achieve this completely, but the striving for such achievement is in itself a part of the liberation and a foundation for inner security.”
– Albert Einstein

“We need another and a wiser and perhaps a more mystical concept of animals. Remote from universal nature, and living by complicated artifice, man in civilization surveys the creature through the glass of his knowledge and sees thereby a feather magnified and the whole image in distortion. We patronize them for their incompleteness, for their tragic fate of having taken form so far below ourselves. And therein we err, and greatly err. For the animal shall not be measured by man. In a world older and more complete, gifted with extensions of the senses we have lost or never attained, living by voices we shall never hear. They are not brethren, they are not underlings; they are other nations, caught with ourselves in the net of life and time, fellow prisoners of the splendour and travail of the earth.”
– Henry Beston, The Outermost House

“The human spirit is not dead.  It lives on in secret…. It has come to believe that compassion, in which all ethics must take root, can only attain its full breadth and depth if it embraces all living creatures and does not limit itself to mankind.”
– Albert Schweitzer, Novel Peace Prize address, “The Problem of Peace in the World Today”

“The animals of the world exist for their own reasons. They were not made for humans any more than black people were made for whites or women for men.”
– Alice Walker

“We are of the earth, made of the same stuff; there is no other, no division between us and ‘lower’ or ‘higher’ forms of life.”
– Estella Lauder, Women as Mythmakers (1984)

“Kindness to all living things / 
Is the true religion.”
– The Buddha

“Evoking the presence of the Great Compassion, let us fill our hearts with our own compassion towards ourselves and towards all living beings… Let us pray that we ourselves cease to be the cause of suffering to each other. Let us plead with ourselves to live in a way which will not deprive other beings of air, water, food, shelter, or the chance to live…”
– Thich Nhat Hanh

“As long as there are slaughterhouses… there will be battlefields.”
– Leo Tolstoy

“Life is life – whether in a cat, or dog or man. There is no difference there between a cat or a man. The idea of difference is a human conception for man’s own advantage…”
– Sri Aurobindo, poet and philosopher

“At the moment our human world is based on the suffering and destruction of millions of non-humans. To perceive this and to do something to change it in personal and public ways is to undergo a change of perception akin to a religious conversion. Nothing can ever be seen in quite the same way again because once you have admitted the terror and pain of other species you will, unless you resist conversion, be always aware of the endless permutations of suffering that support our society.”
– Arthur Conan Doyle

“There will be no justice as long as man will stand with a knife or with a gun and destroy those who are weaker than he is.”
– Isaac Bashevis Singer

“A man can live and 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. And to act so is immoral.”
– Leo Tolstoy

“Life is as dear to the mute creature as it is to man. Just as one wants happiness and fears pain, just as one wants to live and not to die, so do other creatures.”
– The Dalai Lama

“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 violently, and once a year sends out cards praying for ‘Peace on Earth.'”
– C. David Coats, Old MacDonald’s Factory Farm

“Ask the experimenters why they experiment on animals, and the answer is: ‘Because the animals are like us.’ Ask the experimenters why it is morally okay to experiment on animals, and the answer is: ‘Because the animals are not like us.’ Animal experimentation rests on a logical contradiction.”
– Charles R. Magel

“Think occasionally of the suffering of which you spare yourself the sight.”
– Albert Schweitzer

“God loved the birds and invented trees.  Man loved the birds and invented cages.”
– Jacques Deval, Afin de vivre bel et bien

“As often as Herman had witnessed the slaughter of animals and fish, he always had the same thought:  in their behaviour toward creatures, all men were Nazis. The smugness with which man could do with other species as he pleased exemplified the most extreme racist theories, the principle that might is right.”
– Isaac Bashevis Singer

“I am not interested to know whether vivisection produces results that are profitable to the human race or doesn’t…. 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

“To a man whose mind is free there is something even more intolerable in the sufferings of animals than in the sufferings of man. For with the latter it is at least admitted that 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.”
– Romain Rolland, Nobel Prize 1915

“We must fight against the spirit of unconscious cruelty with which we treat the animals. Animals suffer as much as we do. True humanity does not allow us to impose such sufferings on them. It is our duty to make the whole world recognize it. Until we extend our circle of compassion to all living things, humanity will not find peace.”
– Albert Schweitzer, The Philosophy of Civilization

“If you have men who will exclude any of God’s creatures from the shelter of compassion and pity, you will have men who will deal likewise with their fellow men.”
– St. Francis of Assisi

“Because the heart beats under a covering of hair, of fur, feathers, or wings, it is, for that reason, to be of no account?”
– Jean Paul Richter

“The voice of the natural world would be, ‘Could you please give us space and leave us alone to get along with our own lives and our own ways, because we actually know much better how to do it then when you start interfering.'”
– Dr. Jane Goodall guessing what animals would say to us if they could, interview with Marianne Schnall

“Teaching a child not to step on a caterpillar is as valuable to the child as it is to the caterpillar.”
– Bradley Millar

“They are not brethren, they are not underlings; they are other nations, caught with ourselves in the net of life and time, fellow prisoners of the splendor and travail of the earth.”
– Henry Beston

“We are the living graves of murdered beasts.”
– George Bernard Shaw

“I really look forward to paradise, where such little creatures are not killed.”
– Sophie Scholl, holding a dead mouse killed by a trap

“Now I can look at you in peace; I don’t eat you any more.”
– Franz Kafka, to a fish

If you catch any errors of attribution, I would greatly appreciate your leaving me a comment so I can make corrections. Thank you!

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