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- What humiliation, what disgrace for us all, that it should be necessary for one man to exhort other men not to be inhuman and irrational towards their fellow-creatures! Do they recognise, then, no mind, no soul in them — have they not feeling, pleasure in existence, do they not suffer pain? Do their voices of joy and sorrow indeed fail to speak to the human heart and conscience — so that they can murder the jubilant lark, in the first joy of his spring-time, who ought to warm their hearts with sympathy, from delight in bloodshed or for their ‘sport,’ or with a horrible insensibility and recklessness only to practise their aim in shooting! Is there no soul manifest in the eyes of the living or dying animal — no expression of suffering in the eye of a deer or stag hunted to death — nothing which accuses them of murder before the avenging Eternal Justice? …. Are the souls of all other animals but man mortal, or are they essential in their organisation? Does the world-idea (Welt-Idee) pertain to them also — the soul of nature — a particle of the Divine Spirit? I know not; but I feel, and every reasonable man feels like me, it is in miserable, intolerable contradiction with our human nature, with our conscience, with our reason, with all our talk of humanity, destiny, nobility; it is in frightful (himmelschreinder) contradiction with our poetry and philosophy, with our nature and with our (pretended) love of nature, with our religion, with our teachings about benevolent design — that we bring into existence merely to kill, to maintain our own life by the destruction of other life. …. It is a frightful wrong that other species are tortured, worried, flayed, and devoured by us, in spite of the fact that we are not obliged to this by necessity; while in sinning against the defenceless and helpless, just claimants as they are upon our reasonable conscience and upon our compassion, we succeed only in brutalising ourselves. This, besides, is quite certain, that man has no real pity and compassion for his own species, so long as he is pitiless towards other races of beings.
- Das Menschendasein in seinen weltewigen Zügen und Zeichen (1850); as quoted in The Ethics of Diet: A Catena of Authorities Deprecatory of the Practice of Flesh-eating by Howard Williams (London: F. Pitman, 1883), pp. 287-286.