Quotes

There have been many people who have spoken out about the (mis)treatment of our non-human neighbors in the community of life. They are the voices for the voiceless. Let these voices strengthen your convictions and inspire you to take Action for Animals. A good way to spread the word about animal rights is to add quotes to the Signature File of your email. You can also provide a link to the AFA or other websites.

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
The question is not, Can they reason? nor Can they talk? but, Can they suffer?
Jeremy Bentham (1748-1832)
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.
Neal D. Barnard, M.D., President, Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine
Who was the guy who first looked at a cow and said, 'I think I'll drink whatever comes out of these things when I squeeze 'em!'?
Calvin & Hobbes
The love for all living creatures is the most noble attribute of man.
Charles Darwin
I have from an early age abjured 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
Nothing will benefit human health and increase the chances for survival of life on Earth as much as the evolution to a vegetarian diet.
Albert Einstein
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, New York Post, 28 November 1972
About 2,000 pounds of grains must be supplied to livestock in order to produce enough meat and other livestock products to support a person for a year, whereas 400 pounds of grain eaten directly will support a person for a year. Thus, a given quantity of grain eaten directly will feed 5 times as many people as it will if it is eaten indirectly by humans in the form of livestock products.
M.E. Ensminger, Ph.D.
Wild animals never kill for sport. Man is the only one to whom the torture and death of his fellow creatures is amusing in itself.
James A. Froude (1818-1894)
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
In fact, if one person is unkind to an animal it is considered to be cruelty, but where a lot of people are unkind to animals, especially in the name of commerce, the cruelty is condoned and, once large sums of money are at stake, will be defended to the last by otherwise intelligent people.
Ruth Harrison, Animal Machines
Opinions founded on prejudice are always sustained with the greatest violence.
Hebrew Proverb
How good it is to be well-fed, healthy, and kind all at the same time.
Henry J. Heimlich
Now I can look at you in peace; I don't eat you any more.
Franz Kafka, while admiring fish in an aquarium
The philosophy behind vivisection, the sacrifice of creatures we regard as 'inferior' beings, differs little from that behind the concentration camp or the slave trader.
Aga Khan (Prince Sadruddin) (1933-2003 )
Humanity's true moral test, its fundamental test, consists of its attitude toward those who are at its mercy: animals. And in this respect, human kind has suffered a fundamental debacle, a debacle so fundamental that all others stem from it.
Milan Kundera, The Unbearable Lightness of Being
If you visit the killing floor of a slaughterhouse, it will brand your soul for life.
Howard Lyman
It should not be believed that all beings exist for the sake of the existence of man. On the contrary, all the other beings too have been intended for their own sakes and not for the sake of anything else.
Rabbi Moses ben Maimon (1135-1204)
If slaughterhouses had glass walls, everyone would be vegetarian. We feel better about ourselves and better about the animals, knowing we're not contributing to their pain.
Paul McCartney and Linda McCartney
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.
Dean Ornish, M.D.
When I was old enough to realize that all meat was killed, I saw it as an irrational power, to take a weaker thing and mutilate it. It was like bullies would take control of younger kids in the school yard.
River Phoenix
It seems disingenuous for the intellectual elite of the first world to dwell on the subject of too many babies being born in the second- and third-world nations while virtually ignoring the over-population of cattle and the realities of a food chain that robs the poor of sustenance to feed the rich a steady diet of grain-fed meat.
Jeremy Rifkin, Beyond Beef
Until he extends the circle of compassion to all living things, man will not himself find peace.
Albert Schweitzer, The Philosophy of Civilization
A man is ethical only when life, as such, is sacred to him, that of plants and animals as well as that of his fellowman, and when he devotes himself helpfully to all life that is in need of help.
Albert Schweitzer
Any religion or philosophy which is not based on a respect for life is not a true religion or philosophy.
Albert Schweitzer, Letter to a Japanese Animal Welfare Society, 1961
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, Nobel Peace Prize address: The Problem of Peace in the World Today
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, published 1951
Animals are my friends... and I don't eat my friends.
George Bernard Shaw
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
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 have no doubt that it is part of the destiny of the human race in its gradual improvement to leave off eating animals.
Henry David Thoreau
There are a thousand hacking at the branches of evil to one who is striking at the root.
Henry David Thoreau
USDA statistics show that in 1940, cows averaged 2.3 tons of milk per year. Despite large milk surpluses, Bovine Growth Hormone (BGH) was approved in 1993 to further increase milk outputs. The 1996 average was 8.3 tons per cow. Some BGH treated cows have recently produced more than 30 tons of milk in a year. (Assoc. Press)
Why Vegan
Take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented.
Elie Wiesel
More plant species in the U.S. have been eliminated or threatened by livestock grazing than by any other cause, according to the U.S. General Accounting Office (GAO).
George Wuerthner
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
But where was I to start? The world is so vast, I shall start with the country I knew best, my own. But my country is so very large. I had better start with my town. But my town, too, is large. I had best start with my street. No, my home. No, my family. Never mind, I shall start with myself.
Elie Wiesel
Auschwitz begins whenever someone looks at a slaughterhouse and thinks: they are only animals.
Theodor Adorno (1903-1969), German Marxist philosopher, sociologist, and musicologist
The worst sin toward our fellow creatures is not to hate them, but to be indifferent to them; that's the essence of inhumanity.
George Bernard Shaw
As long as there is conscious life on Earth, there will be suffering. The question becomes what to do with the existence each of us is given. We can choose to add our own fury and misery to the rest, or we can set an example by simultaneously working constructively to alleviate suffering while leading joyous, meaningful, fulfilled lives. Being a vegan isn't about deprivation or anger. It's about being fully aware so as to be fully alive.
Matt Ball, Vegan Outreach
I believe animals should be respected as citizens of this earth. They should have the right to their own freedom, their own families, and their own life.
John Feldmann, Goldfinger
It's depressing, drugs that worked really well in animals, really ought to have worked, and didn't have any efficacy in humans at all.
Jeff Mogil, professor of pain studies at McGill University in Montreal
Drinking cow milk has been linked to iron-deficiency anemia in infants and children; it has been named as the cause of cramps and diarrhea in much of the World's population and the cause of multiple forms of allergies as well.
Dr. Frank Oski, former Director of the Johns Hopkins University Dept. of Pediatrics
I think the evidence is pretty clear. If you look at various characteristics of carnivores versus herbivores, it doesn't take a genius to see where humans line up.
William C. Roberts, Editor in Chief, American Journal of Cardiology [Statement in support of his view that humans are not physiologically designed to eat meat.]
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 millions, 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.
David Coats, Old MacDonald's Factory Farm
I believe that a vegan diet causes less suffering than a diet centered around animal products. Animals are sentient creatures with their own wills, and it seems wrong to force our will onto another creature just because we're able to.
Moby
There's that word again (harvest)! �We persist in using the euphemism wherever the slaughtering of attractive animals is being talked about. Dammit, we kill them. We slaughter them, just like we slaughter cattle. �We catch them in steel traps or blow them down with shotguns. We rip off their hides and wear their furs or hang their heads on den walls. We KILL THEM, we don't harvest them!! �Someday we'll all grow up and face that reality.
Robert James Waller, author of The Bridges of Madison County
I know in my soul that to eat a creature who is raised to be eaten, and who never has a chance to be a real being, is unhealthy...You're just eating misery.
Alice Walker
Life is as dear to a mute creature as it is to man. Just as one wants happiness and fears pain, just as one wants to live and not die, so do other creatures.
His Holiness the Dalai Lama
In order to satisfy one human stomach, so many lives are taken away. We must promote vegetarianism. It is extremely important.
His Holiness the Dalai Lama
Today more than ever before life must be characterized by a sense of Universal Responsibility, not only nation to nation and human to human, but also human to other forms of life.
His Holiness the Dalai Lama
Just as you have the instinctive natural desire to be happy and overcome suffering, so do all sentient beings; just as you have the right to fulfill this innate aspiration, so do all sentient beings.
His Holiness the Dalai Lama
We are the movement and every one of us is so important. Without any one of us the movement is weaker and poorer for the loss. Without all of us the movement ceases to exist. Who will then care about the animals?
Barry Horne
Cowardice asks the question - is it safe? Expediency asks the question - is it politic? Vanity asks the question - is it popular? But conscience asks the question - is it right? And there comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular; but one must take it because it is right.
Martin Luther King Jr.
Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.
Martin Luther King Jr.
What do they know - all these scholars, all these philosophers, all the leaders of the world - about such as you? They have convinced themselves that man, the worst transgressor of all the species, is the crown of creation. All other creatures were created merely to provide him with food, pelts, to be tormented, exterminated. In relation to them, all people are Nazis; for the animals it is an eternal Treblinka.
Isaac Bashevis Singer, The Letter Writer
Unless someone like you cares a whole lot, nothing is going to get better, it's not.
Dr. Seuss, The Lorax
When non-vegetarians say that human problems come first, I cannot help wondering what exactly it is that they are doing for human beings that compels them to continue to support the wasteful, ruthless exploitation of farmed animals.
Dr. Peter Singer
Think occasionally of the suffering of which you spare yourself the sight.
Albert Schweitzer
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed, citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.
Margaret Mead
As long as people will shed the blood of innocent creatures there can be no peace, no liberty, no harmony between people. Slaughter and justice cannot dwell together.
Isaac Bashevis Singer
There will come a time when the world will look back to modern vivisection in the name of science, as they do now to burning at the stake in the name of religion.
Professor Henry J. Bigelow, M.D.
My biggest dream in the world is for everyone to become vegetarian, so that there won't be any more suffering.
Alicia Silverstone
There is no need for fur - since there are compassionate alternatives.
Joaquin Phoenix
If...the machine of government...is of such a nature that it requires you to be the agent of injustice to another, then, I say, break the law.
Henry David Thoreau
It is just like man's vanity and impertinence to call an animal dumb because it is dumb to his dull perceptions.
Mark Twain
The animals of the world exist 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, The Color Purple
To become wholly compassionate requires us to open our eyes and hearts, to behold the pain and exploitation our culture obscures, to arouse deadened emotions, and to rise above our egos.
Joanne Stepaniak
Kindness and compassion towards all living beings is a mark of a civilized society. �Racism, economic deprival, dog fighting and cock fighting, bullfighting and rodeos are all cut from the same defective fabric: violence. Only when we have become nonviolent towards all life will we have learned to live well ourselves.
Cesar Chavez