• The 13th Century Zen Master Doyen, while visiting China, asked this question: “What must the mental attitude and daily activities of a student be when he is engaged in Buddhist meditation and practice? Ju- Ching answered that one of the things he should avoid is eating meat.
• “The salvation of birds and beasts, oneself included – this is the object of Shakyamuni’s religious austerities.” Zen Master Ikkyu
• “…Behold I have given you every herb bearing seed which is upon the face of all the earth and every tree in which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat…”
• I do not like eating meat because I have seen lambs and pigs killed. I saw and felt their pain. They felt the approaching death. I could not bear it. I cried like a child. I ran up a hill and could not breathe. I felt that I was choking. I felt the death of the lamb.
• “Thou shalt not kill.”
• 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 , Queen Mab Notes.
• “One should treat animals such as deer, camels, asses, monkeys, mice, snakes, birds and flies exactly like one’s own son. How little difference there actually is between children and these innocent animals.” Srimad Bhagavatam 7.14.9
• We manage to swallow flesh only because we do not think of the cruel and sinful thing that we do. Cruelty… is a fundamental sin, and admits of no arguments or nice distinctions. If only we do not allow our heart to grow callous, it protests against cruelty, is always clearly heard; and yet we go on perpetrating cruelties easily, merrily, all of us – in fact, anyone who does not join in is dubbed a crank.
Rabindranath Tagore, Nobel Prize 1913
• “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)
• “Cruelty to animals is as if man did not love God.”
Cardinal John H. Newman
• “Plant life instead of animal food is the keystone of regeneration. Jesus used bread instead of flesh and wine in place of blood at the Lord’s Supper.”
German Composer Richard Wagner (1813)
• “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. To harm the earth is to heap contempt on its creator.”
Native American Chief (1854)
• “Thou shalt not kill” does not apply to murder of one’s own kind only, but to all living beings; and this Commandment was inscribed in the human breast long before it was proclaimed from Sinai.
• “We pray on Sundays that we may have light/To guide our footsteps on the path we tread;/We are sick of war, we don’t want to fight,/And yet we gorge ourselves upon the dead.” George Bernard Shaw
• 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
• I did not become a vegetarian for my health, I did it for the health of the chickens.
Isaac Bashevis Singer , (quoted in You Said a Mouthful )
• 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.
• I have no doubt that it is a part of the destiny of the human race, in its gradual improvement, to leave off eating animals, as surely as the savage tribes have left off eating each other. Henry David Thoreau, Walden, 1854
• 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 of times.
Isaac Bashevis Singer
• “Killing is a denial of love. To kill or to eat what another has killed is to rejoice in cruelty. And cruelty hardens our hearts and blinds our vision, and we are unable to see that they whom we kill are our fellow brothers and sisters in the One Family of Creation.”
G.L. Rudd, author of Why Kill For Food?
• “Vegetarianism is a way of life that we should all move toward for economic survival, physical well-being and spiritual integrity.” Father Thomas Berry, Fordham University, New York
• “The earth affords a lavish supply of riches, of innocent foods, and offers you banquets that involve no bloodshed or slaughter; only beasts satisfy their hunger with flesh, and not even all of those, because horses, cattle, and sheep live on grass. As long as men massacre animals, they will kill each other. Indeed, he who sows the seeds of murder and pain cannot reap joy and love.” Pythagoras
• “Anyone familiar with the numerous accounts of the Buddha’s extraordinary compassion and reverence for living beings – for example his insistence that his monks strain the water they drink lest they inadvertently cause the death of any micro- organisms – could never believe that he would be indifferent to the sufferings of domestic animals caused by their slaughter of food” Roshi Philip Kapleau, ‘To Cherish All Life’
• “I have enforced the laws against killing certain animals and many others. But the greatest progress of Righteousness among men comes from the exhortation in favor of non-injury to life and abstention from killing living things. ” Pillar Edict of King Ashoka (268-233 BC)
• “…Therefore the Lord will give you meat and you shall eat. You shall not eat one day or two days, or ten days or twenty days, but till it comes out at your nostrils and becomes loathsome to you, because you have rejected the Lord…” Numbers 11:18-20
• “…Ethics has not only to do with mankind but with the animal creation as well. This is witnessed in the purpose of St. Francis of Assisi. Thus we shall arrive that ethics is reverence for all life. This is the ethic of love widened universally. It is the ethic of Jesus now recognized as a necessity of thought…Only a universal ethic which embraces every living creature can put us in touch with the universe and the will which is there manifest…”
• “Devotees of the Lord are released from all kinds of sins because they eat food which is offered first. Others, who prepare food for personal sense enjoyment, verily eat only sin.”
Bhagavad Gita 3:13
• “One who loves Krishna will give Him whatever He wants, and he avoids offering anything which is undesirable or unasked for. Thus, meat, fish and eggs should not be offered to Krishna…Vegetables, grains, fruits, milk and water are the proper foods for human beings and are prescribed by Lord Krishna Himself. Whatever else you eat, can not be offered to Him, since He will not accept it.”
His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
• “To be non-violent to human beings and to be a killer or enemy of poor animals is Satan’s philosophy. In this age there is always enmity against animals, and therefore the poor creatures are always anxious. The reaction of the poor animals is being forced on human society, and therefore there is always the strain of cold or hot war between men, individually, collectively or nationally…”
His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
• “For my part I rather wonder both by what accident and in what state of mind the first man touched his mouth to gore and brought his lips to the flesh of a dead creature, set forth tables of dead, stale bodies, and ventured to call food and nourishment the parts that had a little before bellowed and cried, moved and lived. How could his eyes endure the slaughter when throats were slit and hides flayed and limbs torn from limb? How could his nose endure the stench? How was it that the pollution did not turn away his taste, which made contact with sores of others and sucked juices and serums from mortal wounds? It is certainly not lions or wolves that we eat out of self-defense; on the contrary, we ignore these and slaughter harmless, tame creatures without stings or teeth to harm us. For the sake of a little flesh we deprive them of sun, of light, of the duration of life to which they are entitled by birth and being.”
Plutarch in his essay ‘On Eating Flesh’
• “If you declare that you are naturally designed for such a diet, then first kill for yourse
lf what you want to eat. Do it, however, only through your own resources, unaided by cleaver or cudgel or any kind of ax.”
• “The steam of meat darkens the light of the spirit…One hardly can have virtue when one enjoys meat meals and feasts…”
St. Basil (AD 320 – 79)
• “I am full of the burnt offering of rams and the fat of fed beasts. I delight not in the blood of bullocks, or of lambs, or of goats…Bring no more vain offerings… When you spread forth your hands, I will hide mine eyes though you make many prayers, and I will not hear you. For your hands are full of blood…”
• There is not an animal on the earth, or a flying creature flying on two wings, but they are peoples like unto you.”
Quran, surah 6 verse 38
• “Flesh eating is simply immoral, as it involves the performance of an act which is contrary to moral feeling: killing. By killing, man suppresses in himself, unnecessarily, the highest spiritual capacity, that of sympathy and pity towards living creatures like himself, and by violating his own feelings becomes cruel.”
• If slaughterhouses had glass walls, everyone would be a vegetarian.
• Animals are my friends… and I don’t eat my friends.
George Bernard Shaw
• 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
• One farmer says to me, “You cannot live on vegetable food solely, for it furnishes nothing to make the bones with”. And so he religiously devotes a part of his day to supplying himself with the raw material of bones; walking all the while he talks behind his oxen, which, with vegetable-made bones, jerk him and his lumbering plow along in spite of every obstacle.Henry David Thoreau
• “No matter how scrupulously the slaughterhouse is concealed, no matter how many miles away, if you eat the flesh of the animals from it there is complicity.” Ralph Waldo Emerson
• Man is the only animal that can remain on friendly terms with the victims he intends to eat until he eats them.
Samuel Butler, Note-Books, 1912
• “It is said about Lord Buddha sadaya-hrdaya darsita-pasu-ghatam. He saw the whole human race going to hell by this animal killing. So he appeared to teach ahimsa, nonviolence, being compassionate on the animals and human beings. In the Christian religion also, it is clearly stated, ‘Thou shall not kill’. So everywhere animal killing is restricted. In no religion the unnecessary killing of animals is allowed. But nobody is caring. The killing process is increasing, and so are the reactions. Every ten years you will find a war. These are the reactions.”
His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
• “We cannot separate ourselves from those whom we call the ‘lower’ animals. They are lower in the scale of evolution, but they, like us, are members of the One Family. We must not take away the life of any creature. Indeed, we must never take away that which we cannot give. And as we cannot restore a dead creature to life, we have no right to take away its’ life.”
J.P. Vaswani , Why Kill For Food?
“Maim not the brute beasts…Whoever is kind to the lesser creatures is kind to himself…He who takes pity (even) on a sparrow and spares its life. Allah will be merciful on him on the day of judgment.”
• Once someone asked George Bernard Shaw how it was that he looked so youthful. “I don’t,” Shaw retorted. “I look my age. It is the other people who look older than they are. What can you expect from people who eat corpses?”