From Wikiquote
Jump to: navigation, search
Besides agreeing with the aims of vegetarianism for aesthetic and moral reasons, it is my view that a vegetarian manner of living by its purely physical effect on the human temperament would most beneficially influence the lot of mankind. ~ Albert Einstein

Vegetarianism is the practice of abstaining from the consumption of meat (red meat, poultry, seafood, insects and the flesh of any other animal), and may also include abstention from by-products of animal slaughter.

Vegetarianism can be adopted for different reasons. Many object to eating meat out of respect for sentient life. Such ethical motivations have been codified under various religious beliefs, along with animal rights. Other motivations for vegetarianism are health-related, political, environmental, cultural, aesthetic, economic, or personal preference.

Alphabetized by author or source
A · B · C · D · E · F · G · H · I · J · K · L · M · N · O · P · Q · R · S · T · U · V · W · X · Y · Z · External links


  • The table was well spread with all manner of fruit, beans, greenstuff and good pies...but of flesh and fish there was never a sign.
  • None, so far as I know, will affirm or at least with any show of reason maintain, that anatomy, so far as that goes, is in favour of flesh eating.
  • The superiority of the diet I recommend is established beyond the possibility of debate.
  • Political economists tell us that the produce of an acre of land in wheat, corn, potatoes, and other vegetables, and in fruits, will sustain animal life sixteen times as long as when the produce of the same acre is converted into flesh, by feeding and fattening animals upon it.
  • Cruelty stares at me from the butcher’s face. I tread amidst carcasses. I am in the presence of the slain. The death-set eyes of beasts peer at me and accuse me of belonging to the race of murderers.
  • The destruction of animals for food, in its details and tendencies, involves so much cruelty as to cause every reflecting individual – not destitude of the ordinary sensibilities of nature – to shudder.
  • […] I saw that [Pythagoras] approached the altar in purity, and suffered not his belly to be polluted by partaking of the flesh of animals; and that he kept his body pure of all garments woven of dead animals refuse […] I saw that his philosophical system was in other respects oracular and truth.
  • To produce 1 lb. of feedlot beef requires 7 lbs. of feed grain, which takes 7,000 lbs. of water to grow. Pass up one hamburger, and you'll save as much water as you save by taking 40 showers with a low-flow nozzle. Yet in the U.S., 70% of all the wheat, corn and other grain produced goes to feeding herds of livestock. Around the world, as more water is diverted to raising pigs and chickens instead of producing crops for direct consumption, millions of wells are going dry. India, China, North Africa and the U.S. are all running freshwater deficits, pumping more from their aquifers than rain can replenish. As populations in water-scarce regions continue to expand, governments will inevitably act to cut these deficits by shifting water to grow food, not feed. The new policies will raise the price of meat to levels unaffordable for any but the rich. […] In the U.S., livestock now produce 130 times as much waste as people do. Just one hog farm in Utah, for example, produces more sewage than the city of Los Angeles. These megafarms are proliferating, and in populous areas their waste is tainting drinking water. In more pristine regions, from Indonesia to the Amazon, tropical rain forest is being burned down to make room for more and more cattle. Agriculture is the world's biggest cause of deforestation, and increasing demand for meat is the biggest force in the expansion of agriculture.


  • I'm a postmodern vegetarian - I eat meat ironically.
  • All these animals are put in cages, never see the sun or grass, and they leave this hell only to go to the slaughter-house. For me intensive breeding is a sign of human degeneration. If one can find that acceptable, then we humans have lost all moral value. … [How long have you been a vegetarian?] Since 1962, when I went on French television to denounce conditions of animal slaughter. That is when I became aware of the horror of factory farming, live transports and the killings of farm animals. I have always been sensitive to animal distress but from then on I refused to be involved in such inhuman industrial deaths.
  • So then Mom decided my father ought to do a vegan diet, too. Well, my father grew up on a cattle ranch, but the nice thing is, my dad’s been sitting at the same dinner table for fifty-one years, and he can’t find his way around the kitchen! He’s been relying my Mom for fifty-one years to put the plate in front of him. So Mom went to the local health food store and bought hot dogs that are called “Not Dogs” and veggie burgers – which used to taste like cardboard, but now they’re really good. She can get Canadian bacon made of a wheat derivative. It’s all vegetarian. Instead of cow’s milk, it’s soy milk, rice milk, fake eggs – all that stuff! Dad just keeps cleaning his plate. Now I’ve got two vegetarian parents, and only one of them know it!
  • I have always been an animal lover. I had a hard time disassociating the animals I cuddled with—dogs and cats, for example—from the animals on my plate, and I never really cared for the taste of meat. I always loved my Brussels sprouts!
  • It is, I think, not going to far to say that every fact connected with the human organization goes to prove that man was originally formed a frugivorous animal. This opinion is principally derived from the formation of his teeth and of his digestive organs, as well as from the character of his skin, and the general structure of his limbs.
    • Thomas Bell, Anatomy, physiology, and Diseases of the teeth.
  • They [the true instructors of the people] will accustom children to the vegetable régime. The peoples living on vegetable foods, are, of all men, the handsomest, the most vigorous, the least exposed to diseases and to passions, and they whose lives last longest. Such, in Europe, are a large proportion of the Swiss. The greater part of the peasantry who, in every country, form the most vigorous portion of the people, eat very little flesh-meat. The Russians have multiplied periods of fasting and days of abstinence, from which even the soldiers are not exempt; and yet they resist all kinds of fatigues. The negroes, who undergo so many hard blows in our colonies, live upon manioc, potatoes, and maize alone. The Brahmins of India, who frequently reach the age of one hundred years, eat only vegetable foods. It was from the Pythagorean sect that issued Epaminondas, so celebrated by for his virtues, Archytas, by his genius for mathematics and mechanics; Milo of Crotona, by his strength of body. Pythagoras himself was the finest man of his time, and, without dispute, the most enlightened, since he was the father of philosophy amongst the Greeks. Inasmuch as the non-flesh diet introduces with many virtues and excludes none, it will be well to bring up the young upon it, since it has so happy an influence upon the beauty of the body and upon the tranquillity of the mind. This regimen prolongs childhood, and, by consequence, human life.
  • I presume that very few men and very few women would be willing to go and catch hold either sheep or of oxen and themselves slaughter the creatures in order that they may eat. […] Now, I venture to submit that if people want to eat meat, they should kill the animals for themselves, that they have no right to degrade other people by work of that sort. Nor should they say that if they did not do it the slaughter would still go on. […] Every person who eats meat takes a share in that degradation of his fellow-men; on him and on her personally lies the share, and personally lies the responsibility.
    • Annie Besant, Vegetarianism in the Light of Theosophy, 1913, p. 18-20.
  • All wholesome food is caught without a net or a trap.
  • The central question about vegetarian diets used to be whether it was healthy to eliminate meat and other animal foods … Now, however, the main question has become whether it is healthier to be a vegetarian than to be a meat eater. … The answer to both questions, based on currently available evidence, seems to be yes. A properly planned vegetarian diet can provide all the essential nutrients, even for growing children … And, on the whole, vegetarians are less likely to be afflicted with the chronic diseases that are leading killers and cripplers in societies where meat is the centerpiece of the diet.
  • L'homme consomme, engloutit lui seul plus de chair que tous les animaux ensemble n'en dévorent; il est donc le plus grand destructeur, et c'est plus par abus que par nécessité; au lieu de jouir modérément des biens qui lui sont offerts, au lieu de les dispenser avec équité, au lieu de réparer à mesure qu'il détruit, de renouveler lorsqu'il anéantit, l'homme riche met toute sa gloire à consommer, toute sa grandeur à perdre en un jour à sa table plus de biens qu'il n'en faudroit pour faire subsister plusieurs familles; il abuse également et des animaux et des hommes, dont le reste demeure affamé, languit dans la misère, et ne travaille que pour satisfaire à l'appétit immodéré et à la vanité encore plus insatiable de cet homme, qui détruisant les autres par la disette, se détruit lui-même par les excès.
    • Man alone consumes and engulfs more flesh than all other animals put together. He is, then, the greatest destroyer, and he is so more by abuse than by necessity. Instead of enjoying with moderation the resources offered him, in place of dispensing them with equity, in place of repairing in proportion as he destroys, of renewing in proportion as he annihilates, the rich man makes all his boast and glory in consuming, all his splendour in destroying, in one day, at his table, more matenal than would be necessary for the support of several families. He abuses equally other animals and his own species, the rest of whom live in famine, languish in misery, and work only to satisfy the immoderate appetite and the still more insatiable vanity of this human being who, destroying others by want, destroys himself by excess.
  • Now, I'm no shrinking violet. I played hockey until half of my teeth were knocked down my throat. And I'm extremely competitive on a tennis court — I'll dive for any ball on any surface. But that experience at the slaughterhouse overwhelmed me. When I walked out of there, I knew I would never again harm an animal! I knew all the physiological, economic, and ecological arguments supporting vegetarianism, but it was that firsthand experience of man's cruelty to animals that laid the real groundwork for my commitment to vegetarianism.
    • Peter Burwash, Vegetarian Primer (New York: Atheneum, 1983), p. 75.
  • For all we know that English people are/ Fed upon beef - I won't say much of beer/ Because 'tis liquor only, /and being far/ From this my subject, has no business here; / We know too, they are very fond of war,/ A pleasure - like all pleasures - rather dear;/ So were the Cretans - from which I infer/ That beef and battle both were owing her."
  • Thus, Mahāmati, wherever there is the evolution of living beings, let people cherish the thought of kinship with them, and, thinking that all beings are [to be loved as if they were] an only child, let them refrain from eating meat. So with Bodhisattvas whose nature is compassion, [the eating of] meat is to be avoided by him. Even in exceptional cases, it is not [compassionate] of a Bodhisattva of good standing to eat meat.
  • … how can I permit my disciples, Mahāmati, to eat food consisting of flesh and blood, which is gratifying to the unwise but is abhorred by the wise, which brings many evils and keeps away many merits; and which was not offered to the Rishis and is altogether unsuitable?
    Now, Mahāmati, the food I have permitted [my disciples to take] is gratifying to all wise people but is avoided by the unwise; it is productive of many merits, it keeps away many evils; and it has been prescribed by the ancient Rishis. It comprises rice, barley, wheat, kidney beans, beans, lentils, etc., clarified butter, oil, honey, molasses, treacle, sugar cane, coarse sugar, etc.; food prepared with these is proper food. Mahāmati, there may be some irrational people in the future who will discriminate and establish new rules of moral discipline, and who, under the influence of the habit-energy belonging to the carnivorous races, will greedily desire the taste [of meat]: it is not for these people that the above food is prescribed. Mahāmati, this is the food I urge for the Bodhisattva-Mahāsattvas who have made offerings to the previous Buddhas, who have planted roots of goodness, who are possessed of faith, devoid of discrimination, who are all men and women belonging to the Śākya family, who are sons and daughters of good family, who have no attachment to body, life, and property, who do not covet delicacies, are not at all greedy, who being compassionate desire to embrace all living beings as their own person, and who regard all beings with affection as if they were an only child.
  • From eating [meat] arrogance is born, from arrogance erroneous imaginations issue, and from imagination is born greed; and for this reason refrain from eating [meat].


  • This may surprise you, because it surprised me when I found out, but the single biggest thing that an individual can do to combat climate change is to stop eating animals. Because of the huge, huge carbon footprint of animal agriculture. I was shocked to find out that animal agriculture directly or indirectly accounts for 14.5% of all greenhouse gas emissions, compared to all transportation – every ship, car, truck, plane on the planet only accounts for 13%. Less than animal agriculture. So most people think that buying a Prius is the answer, and it’s certainly not wrong, but it’s not the biggest agent of climate change.
  • We're basically a vegetarian species and should be eating a wide variety of plant foods and minimizing our intake of animal foods. … Usually, the first thing a country does in the course of economic development is to introduce a lot of livestock. Our data are showing that this is not a very smart move, and the Chinese are listening. They're realizing that animal-based agriculture is not the way to go. … Ironically, osteoporosis tends to occur in countries where calcium intake is highest and most of it comes from protein-rich dairy products. The Chinese data indicate that people need less calcium than we think and can get adequate amounts from vegetables.
  • [The animals] are now especially bred for eating purposes, and if the demand decreased, the supply would decrease also. Further, how is it that we are not overrun by wild animals of all sorts? […] People need not worry about the future welfare of the bovine race, if they would only be a little more humane in their treatment of its present representatives!
  • Were one to stop and think of what meat is, and what it was, it is doubtful if one could eat it. It is merely dead and decaying flesh — flesh from the body of an animal. […] Only by the fact that they are covered up, and their true nature concealed by cooking, and basting, and pickling, and peppering and salting can we eat them at all. If we were natural carnivorous animals, we should delight in bloodshed and gore of all kind! […] We should eat our flesh warm and quivering — just as it comes from the cow!
  • How would our society women like to spend the morning in a slaughter-house, before they could procure their meat for the evening dinner?
  • When the soil is given up to the feeding of cattle, upon which man is to feed, the given area of land would supply far less nutriment, so to speak, than would the same soil, if grains were raised upon it…
  • Yes; the stain rests upon the flesh-eaters, not upon the flesh providers!
  • To see the convulsions, agonies and tortures of a poor fellow-creature, whom they cannot restore nor recompense, dying to gratify luxury and tickle callous and rank organs, must require a rocky heart, and a great degree of cruelty and ferocity. I cannot find any great difference between feeding on human flesh and feeding on [other] animal flesh, except custom and practice.
  • In the perfect world originally designed by God, man was meant to be a vegetarian.
    • Rabbi Jacob Cohen, The Royal Table.
  • I rode across the country on a motorcycle in 1975. I remember it was the worst time of year and bloody cold. When I was going through Texas, I went through the feedlots, which I had never seen before. It was a very sobering sight—heartbreaking and awful. It's a corporate system completely out of touch with what is sustainable, what is humane, what is compassionate. At the time, I didn't even know what a vegetarian was. I just thought, "I can't eat [animals] anymore."
  • The natural food of man, to judge from his structure, appears to consit principally of the fruits, roots, and other succulent parts of vegetables.
  • True and constant vigour of body is the effect of health, which is much better preserved with watery, herbaceous, frugal, and tender food, than with vinous, abundant, hard, and gross flesh.
  • The vulgar opinion, then, which, on health reasons, condemns vegetable food and so much praises animal food, being so ill-founded, I have always thought it well to oppose myself to it, moved both by experience and by that refined knowledge of natural things which some study and conversation with great men have given me. And perceiving now that such my constancy has been honoured by some learned and wise physicians with their authoritative adhesion, I have thought it my duty publicly to diffuse the reasons of the Pythagorean diet, regarded as useful in medicine, and, at the same time, as full of innocence, of temperance, and of health. And it is none the less accompanied with a certain delicate pleasure, and also with a refined and splendid luxury, if care and skill be applied in selection and proper supply of the best vegetable food, to which the fertility and the natural character of our beautiful country seem to invite us.
  • To any thinking person, it must be obvious that there is something badly wrong in relations between human beings and the animals that human beings rely on for food; and that in the past 100 or 150 years whatever is wrong has become wrong on a huge scale, as traditional animal husbandry has been turned into an industry using industrial methods of production. [...] It would be a mistake to idealise traditional animal husbandry as the standard by which the animal-products industry falls short: traditional animal husbandry is brutal enough, just on a smaller scale. A better standard by which to judge both practices would be the simple standard of humanity: is this truly the best that human beings are capable of?
    • J.M. Coetzee, Animals can't speak for themselves - it's up to us to do it, February 22, 2007.
  • I am vegetarian. … I became one at 20 when I was working in a pig farm. I got attached to the pigs and I couldn’t stand the thought that they would have to go off to be slaughtered.
  • O wretched and unhappy Italy! Can you not see that gluttony murders every year more of your inhabitants than you could lose by the most cruel plague or by fire and sword in many battles?
  • If we each had to butcher our own meat, there would be a great increase in the number of vegetarians.
  • The natural food of man, to judge from his structure, appears to consit principally of the fruits, roots, and other succulent parts of vegetables.


  • Thousands-millions and billions-of animals are killed for food. That is very sad. We human beings can live without meat, especially in our modern world. We have a great variety of vegetables and other supplementary foods, so we have the capacity and the responsibility to save billions of lives. I have seen many individuals and groups promoting animal rights and following a vegetarian diet. This is excellent.
  • The most extraordinary workers I ever saw, the labourers in the mines of Chili, Live exclusively on vegetable food, including manny seeds of leguminous plants.
    • Charles Darwin, quoted by C.W. Leadbeater in Vegetarianism and Occultism, 1913, p. 20.
  • It is frightful wrong that other species are tortured, worried, flayed, and devored 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.
  • The butcher with his bloody apron incites bloodshed, murder. Why not? From cutting the throat of a young calf to cutting the throat of our brothers and sisters is but a step. While we are ourselves the living graves of murdered animals, how can we expect any ideal conditions on the earth?


  • Although I have been prevented by outward circumstances from observing a strictly vegetarian diet, I have long been an adherent to the cause in principle. Besides agreeing with the aims of vegetarianism for aesthetic and moral reasons, it is my view that a vegetarian manner of living by its purely physical effect on the human temperament would most beneficially influence the lot of mankind.
    • Albert Einstein, to Harmann Huth, 27 December 1930. Supposedly published in German magazine Vegetarische Warte, which existed from 1882 to 1935. Einstein Archive 46-756. Quoted in The Ultimate Quotable Einstein by Alice Calaprice (Princeton University Press, 2011), p. 453. ISBN 978-0-691-13817-6
  • So I am living without fats, without meat, without fish, but am feeling quite well this way. It always seems to me that man was not born to be a carnivore.
    • Albert Einstein, to Hans Muehsam, 30 March 1954. Einstein Archive 38-435. Quoted in The Ultimate Quotable Einstein by Alice Calaprice (2011), p. 454.


  • Therefore, in the light of the Truth that God is love, and that Jesus came to make his love manifest in the world, we cannot believe it is his will for men to eat meat, or to do anything else that would cause suffering to the innocent and helpless.
  • We need never look for universal peace on this earth until men stop killing animals for food.
    • Charles Fillmore, The Vegetarian, Unity Magazine, May 1920. Quoted in Will Tuttle, The World Peace Diet, ch. 3.
  • The same quantity of ground has been proved to be capable of sustaining a larger and stronger population on a vegetable than on a meat diet.
  • I believe I have omitted mentioning that, in my first voyage from Boston, being becalm'd off Block Island, our people set about catching cod, and hauled up a great many. Hitherto I had stuck to my resolution of not eating animal food, and on this occasion consider'd, with my [vegetarian] master Tryon, the taking every fish as a kind of unprovoked murder, since none of them had, or ever could do us any injury that might justify the slaughter. All this seemed very reasonable. But I had formerly been a great lover of fish, and, when this came hot out of the frying-pan, it smelt admirably well. I balanc'd some time between principle and inclination, till I recollected that, when the fish were opened, I saw smaller fish taken out of their stomachs; then thought I, "If you eat one another, I don't see why we mayn't eat you." So I din'd upon cod very heartily, and continued to eat with other people, returning only now and then occasionally to a vegetable diet. So convenient a thing it is to be a reasonable creature, since it enables one to find or make a reason for everything one has a mind to do.
  • Jesus' message is about love and compassion, but there is nothing loving or compassionate at factory farms and slaughterhouses, where billions of animals endure miserable lives and die violent deaths. Jesus mandates kindness and mercy for all God's creatures. He'd be appalled by the suffering that we inflict on animals today to indulge our acquired taste for their flesh.
    • Bruce Friedrich, Is Eating Meat A Catholic Sin?.


  • Most eminent physiologists declare that fruit is the natural food for man, and… we have the example of Buddha, Pythagoras, Plato, Porphyry, Ray, Daniel, Wesley, Howard, Shelley, Sir Isaac Pitman, Edison, Sir W. B. Richardson, and a host of other eminent men as vegetarians.
  • O impudence of power and might,/ Thus to condemn a hawk or kite,/When thou, perhaps, carniv'rous sinner,/Hadst pullets yesterday for dinner!'.
    • John Gay, The Fables, Volume 1 (1727), Pythagoras and the Countryman.
  • Man lives very well upon flesh, you say, but, if he thinks this food to be natural to him, why does he not use it as it is, as furnished to him by Nature? But, in fact, be shrinks in horror from seizing and rending living or even raw flesh with his teeth, and lights a fire to change its natural and proper condition . . . What is clearer than that man is not furnished for hunting, much less for eating, other animals? In one word, we seem to be admirably admonished by Cicero that man was destined for other things than for seizing and cutting the throats of other animals. If you answer, "that may be said to be an industry ordered by Nature, by which such weapons are invented," then, behold, it is by the very same artificial instrument that men make weapons for mutual slaughter. Do they this at the instigation of Nature? Can a use so noxious be called natural? Faculty is given by Nature, but it is our own fault that we make a perverse use of it.
  • Don't live to eat, eat to live.
    • Antoni Gaudi, (Gaudi was a vegetarian), Juan Bergós Massó, Gaudí, el hombre y la obra, Barcelona : Universidad Politécnica, 1974.
  • It is a specious but false reason to allege that, since man has acquired this taste, he ought to be permitted to indulge it – in the first place because Nature has not given him cooked flesh, and because several ages must have rolled away before fire was used. […] Nature, then, could have given man only raw or living flesh, and we know that it is repugnant to him over the whole extent of the earth.
  • All my life, I have been sickened by everything connected with meat-, fish-, and poultry eating. As a child, I saw apparently nice, kind people wring the necks of fowls, and I thought it foul; and I wondered if I could ever exert any influence to help bring such unworthiness to an end.
  • I do not eat meat, I do not smoke, and I do not drink, and therefore, I do not feel the cold.
  • The better sort here pretend to the utmost compassion for animals of every kind. To hear them speak, a stranger would be apt to imagine they could hardly hurt the gnat that stung them: they seem so tender and so full of pity, that one would take them for the harmless friends of the whole creation; the protectors of the meanest insect or reptile that was privileged with existence. And yet, would you believe it? I have seen the very men who have thus boasted of their tenderness, at the same time devouring the flesh of six different animals toasted up in a fricassee. Strange contrariety of conduct! they pity and they eat the objects of their compassion.
  • "Thousands of people who say they 'love' animals sit down once or twice a day to enjoy the flesh of creatures who have been utterly deprived of everything that could make their lives worth living and who endured the awful suffering and the terror of the abattoirs."
  • Today it is generally accepted that although the earliest humans probably ate some meat, it was unlikely to have played a major role in their diet. Plants would have been a much more important source of food.
  • First, how do you prove that mankind is invested with the right of killing them, and that brutes have been created for the purpose you assert them to be? Secondly, it is to be observed that the flesh of man himself possesses the same nourishing and palatable qualities? Are we then to become cannibals for that reason?
  • Comparative anatomy, therefore, proves that man is naturally a frugivorous animal, formed to subsist upon fruits, seeds, and farinaceous vegetables.


  • Based on the fossil record one big spurt in hominid cranial capacity seems to have occurred with the appearance of Homo erectus approximately 1.75 million years ago, long before red meat could have been a regular part of hominid diets.
    • Donna Hart and Robert W. Sussman, Man the Hunted, expanded edition, p. 256.
  • With respect to animal diet, let it be considered, that taking away the lives of animals, in order to convert them into food, does great violence to the principles of benevolence and compassion. This appears from the frequent hard-heartedness and cruelty found amongst those persons, whose occupations engage them in destroying animal life, as well as from the uneasiness which others feel in beholding the butchery of animals.
    • David Hartley, On Observations on Man, His Frame, His Duty, and His Expectations.
  • He who has ever turned with abhorrence from the skeleton of a beast which has been picked whole by birds or vermin, must confess that habit alone could have enabled him to endure the sight of the mangled bones and flesh of a dead carcase which every day cover his table.
  • There can be no purity whilst the flesh of creatures is partaken of and inhumanity toward animals is practiced.
  • Jews will move increasingly to vegetarianism out of their own deepening knowledge of what their tradition commands as they understand it in this age.
    • Yitzhak HaLevi Herzog. Quoted in James V. Parker, Animal Minds, Animal Souls, Animal Rights, University Press of America, 2010, p. 98
  • Man's carnivorous nature is not taken for granted or praised in the fundamental teachings of Judaism. The rabbis of the Talmud told that men were vegetarians in earliest times, between Creation and the generation of Noah... Judaism as a religion offers the option of eating animal flesh, and most Jews do, but in our own country... a whole galaxy of central rabbinic and spiritual leaders... has been affirming vegetarianism as the ultimate meaning of Jewish moral teaching. They have been proclaiming the autonomy of all living creatures as the value which our religious tradition must now teach to all of its believers...
  • "...I had negative synaesthesia eating a bacon sandwich and listening to a solo [Bryan] Ferry album, which turned me vegetarian."
  • Vegetarianism is harmless enough, though it is apt to fill a man with wind and self-righteousness.
  • The meat industry spends hundreds of millions of dollars lying to the public about their product. But no amount of false propaganda can sanitize meat. The facts are absolutely clear: Eating meat is bad for human health, catastrophic for the environment, and a living nightmare for animals.
  • Some say if animals are not used for food they will overrun the earth. In India the Hindus do not kill cows, but they are not overrun by them.
    • An eminent Hindu quoted by Ralph Waldo Trine (1866-1958) in Every Living Creature, p. 32.



  • Like my friend the Doctor, I have lived temperately, eating little animal food, and that not as an ailment, so much as a condiment for the vegetables, which constitute my principle diet.
  • How will Man, that sanguinary Tyrant, be able to excuse himself from the charge of those innumerable cruelties inflicted on his unoffending subjects, committed to his care, and placed under his authority, by their common father?
  • Just as divorce according to the Saviour's word was not permitted from the beginning, but on account of the hardness of our heart was a concession of Moses to the human race, so too the eating of flesh was unknown until the deluge. But after the deluge, like the quails given in the desert to the murmuring people, the poison of flesh-meat was offered to our teeth. … At the beginning of the human race we neither ate flesh, nor gave bills of divorce, nor suffered circumcision for a sign. Thus we reached the deluge. But after the deluge, together with the giving of the law which no one could fulfil, flesh was given for food, and divorce was allowed to hard-hearted men, and the knife of circumcision was applied, as though the hand of God had fashioned us with something superfluous. But once Christ has come in the end of time, and Omega passed into Alpha and turned the end into the beginning, we are no longer allowed divorce, nor are we circumcised, nor do we eat flesh.
    • Jerome, Against Jovinianus (trans. W.H. Fremantle, G. Lewis and W.G. Martley), book I, 18.
  • Diogenes maintains that tyrants do not bring about revolutions in cities, and foment wars civil or foreign for the sake of a simple diet of vegetables and fruits, but for costly meats and the delicacies of the table. And, strange to say, Epicurus, the defender of pleasure, in all his books speaks of nothing but vegetables and fruits; and he says that we ought to live on cheap food because the preparation of sumptuous banquets of flesh involves great care and suffering, and greater pains attend the search for such delicacies than pleasures the consumption of them. … Persons who feed on flesh want also gratifications not found in flesh. But they who adopt a simple diet do not look for flesh. … The soul greatly exults when you are content with little: you have the world beneath your feet, and can exchange all its power, its feasts, and its lusts, the objects for which men rake money together, for common food, and make up for them all with a sack-cloth shirt.
    • Jerome, Against Jovinianus (trans. W.H. Fremantle, G. Lewis and W.G. Martley), book II, 11.
  • Dicæarchus in his book of Antiquities, describing Greece, relates that under Saturn, that is in the Golden Age, when the ground brought forth all things abundantly, no one ate flesh, but every one lived on field produce and fruits which the earth bore of itself. … Xenocrates the philosopher writes that at Athens out of all the laws of Triptolemus only three precepts remain in the temple of Ceres: respect to parents, reverence for the gods, and abstinence from flesh. Orpheus in his song utterly denounces the eating of flesh. I might speak of the frugality of Pythagoras, Socrates, and Antisthenes to our confusion: but it would be tedious, and would require a work to itself.
    • Jerome, Against Jovinianus (trans. W.H. Fremantle, G. Lewis and W.G. Martley), book II, 13-14.
  • Some yoga teachers say that a vegetarian diet is not necessary.
    Pattabhi Jois: [laughing] Oh ... a new method!
    Many Indians and Westerners eat meat.
    Pattabhi Jois: They are not practicing yoga. Meat eating makes you stiff.
    What is the most important yogic practice in this time?
    Pattabhi Jois: Vegetarian diet is the most important practice for yoga.
    • K. Pattabhi Jois, interview in Sharon Gannon and David Life, Jivamukti Yoga, Ballantine Books, 2002, p. 83.


  • The Human flesh and the flesh of beasts is similar and their crimson blood is also the same.
  • Now I can look at you in peace; I don`t eat you anymore.
    • Franz Kafka (quoted by Max Brod in Franz Kafka: A Biography).
  • The factory meat industry has polluted thousands of miles of America’s rivers, killed billions of fish, pushed tens of thousands of family farmers off their land, sickened and killed thousands of U.S. citizens, and treated millions of farm animals with unspeakable and unnecessary cruelty.
  • It is interesting to note that scientific men all over the world are awakened to the fact that the flesh of animals as food is not a pure nutriment, but is mixed with poisonous substances, excrementitious in character, which are the natural results of animal life.
  • A dead cow or sheep lying in a pasture is recognized as carrion. The same sort of carcass dressed and hung up in a butchers stall passes as food.
  • How many times, for instance, have we not heard people speak with all the assurance of conviction about canine teeth and “simple stomach” of man as certain evidence of his natural adaptation for a flesh diet! At least we have demonstrated one fact – that if such arguments are valid, they apply with even greater force to the anthropoid apes, whose “canine teeth" are much longer and more powerful then those of man. [...] and yet, with the solitary exception of man, there is not one of these last that does not, in a natural condition, absolutely refuse to feed on flesh! M. pouchet observes that all the details of the digestive apparatus in man, as well as his dentition, constitute so many proofs of his frugivorous origin; an opinion shared by Owen, who remarks that the anthropoids and all quadrumana drive all their alimentation from fruits, grains, and other succulent and nutritive vegetable substances; and that the strict analogy which exists between the structure of the animals and that of man clearly demonstrates his frugivorous nature. This is, also, the view taken by Gassendi, Cuvier, Linné, Professor Lawrence, Charles Bell, Flourens, and a great number of other eminent writers.
  • The mixing of meat and milk is a grave offense, an act that is pervaded altogether with the oppression of life, an oppression of a living being-and of property.
  • The cow doesn't grow fast enough for man / So through his greed he makes a faster plan / He has drugs to make the cow grow quicker / Through the stress the cow gets sicker / Twenty-one different drugs are pumped / Into the cow in one big lump / So just before it dies, it cries / In the slaughterhouse full of germs and flies / Off with the head, they pack it, drain it, and cart it / And there it is, in your local supermarket / Red and bloody, a corpse, neatly packed / And you wonder about heart attacks?
    • KRS-One, Boogie Down Productions, 1990, Edutainment, Beef.
  • I refuse to eat animals because I cannot nourish myself by the sufferings and by the death of other creatures. I refuse to do so, because I suffered so painfully myself that I can feel the pains of others by recalling my own sufferings. I feel happy, nobody persecutes me; why should I persecute other beings or cause them to be persecuted? I feel happy, I am no prisoner, I am free; why should I cause other creatures to be made prisoners and thrown into jail? I feel happy, nobody harms me; why should I harm other creatures or have them harmed? I feel happy, nobody wounds me; nobody kills me; why should I wound or kill other creatures or cause them to be wounded or killed for my pleasure and convenience?(...) I think that men will be killed and tortured as long as animals are killed and tortured. So long there will be wars too. Because killing must be trained and perfected on smaller objects, morally and technically.
    • Edgar Kupfer-Koberwitz, Animals, My Brethren (written in the Concentration Camp Dachau, in the midst of all kinds of cruelties).
  • Perhaps a man hitched to the cart of a Martian or roasted on the spit by inhabitants of the Milky Way will recall the veal cutlet he used to slice on his dinner plate and apologize (belatedly) to the cow.


  • My mother was convinced, and on this head I have retained her firm belief, that to kill animals for the purpose of feeding on their flesh is one of the most deplorable and shameful infirmities of the human state; that it is one of those curses cast upon man either by his fall, or by the obduracy of his own perversity.
  • Until the age of twelve, then, I only lived on bread, milk-food, vegetables, and fruit. My health was not less robust on this account, nor my growth less rapid, and it was to this diet, perhaps, that I was indebted for that purity of feature, that exquisite sensibility of feeling, and that quiet gentleness of humor and character which I had preserved up to that period.
  • Yet many Americans who have reluctantly given up their gas-guzzling cars would never think of questioning the resource costs of their grain-fed-meat diet. So let me try to give you some sense of the enormity of the resources flowing into livestock production in the United States. The consequences of a grain-fed-meat diet may be as severe as those of a nation of Cadillac drivers.
  • For every 16 pounds of grain and soy fed to beef cattle in the United States we only get 1 pound back in meat on our plates. The other 15 pounds are inaccessible to us, either used by the animal to produce energy or to make some part of its own body that we do not eat (like hair or bones) or excreted.
  • [O]ne of the objections frequently brought against vegetarianism is that it is a beautiful theory, but on the working of which is impracticable, since it is supposed that a man cannot live without devoring dead flesh. That objection is irrational, and is founded upon ignorance or preversion of facts. I am myself an example of its falsity; for I have lived without the pollution of flesh food-without meat, fish or fowl-for the last thirty-eight years, and I not only still survive, but have been during all the time in remarkably good health. Nor am I in any way peculiar in this, for I know some thousands of others who have done the same thing.
  • Would the delicate ladies who devour sanguinary beef-steaks like to see their sons working as slaughtermen? If not, then they have no right to put this task upon some other woman’s son.
  • This species of food [fruits and farinacea] is that which is most suited to man...
  • Only by discarding a diet based on rotting corpses could men become sane. .
  • He who has ever turned with abhorrence from the skeleton of a beast which has been picked whole by birds or vermin, must confess that habit alone could have enabled him to endure the sight of the mangled bones and flesh of a dead carcase which every day cover his table." - John Hawkesworth, in his edition of Swift’s Works


  • It is not my purpose here to discuss the question of vegetarianism, or to meet the objections that may be urged against it; though it must be admitted that of these objections not one can withstand a loyal and scrupulous inquiry. I, for my part, can affirm that those whom I have known to submit themselves to this regimen have found its result to be improved or restored health, marked addition of strength, and the acquisition by the mind of a clearness, brightness, well-being, such as might follow the release from some secular, loathsome, detestable dungeon.
    • Maurice Maeterlinck, on The Buried Temple (le Temple Enseveli), III - The kingdoom of Matter, 5.
  • For a month now I have been an out-and-out vegetarian. The moral effect of this way of life, with its voluntary castigation of the body, causing one's material needs to dwindle away, is enormous. You can judge for yourself how utterly I [am] convinced of it, when I tell you that I expect of it no less than the regeneration of humanity. All I can tell you is: let yourself be converted to a natural way of living, but one in which you eat suitable food (compost-grown, stone-ground, wholemeal bread) and soon you will see the fruits of your endeavours.
    • Gustav Mahler, letter to Emil Freund (1 November 1880), in Gustav Mahler: New Insights into his Life, Times and Work by Alfred Mathis-Rosenzweig, translated by Jeremy Barham, Ashgate Publishing, 2007, pp. 165-166.
  • I have often thought, if it was not for this tyranny which custom usurps over us, that men of any tolerable good-nature could never be reconcil'd to the killing of so many animals for their daily food.
  • Were the belief one day to become general that man could dispense with animal food, there would ensue not only a great economic revolution--for a bullock, to produce one pound of meat, consumes more than a hundred of provender--but a moral improvement as well, not less important and certainly more sincere and more lasting than might follow a second appearance on the earth of the Envoy of the Father, come to remedy the errors and omissions of his former pilgrimage.
  • When I see bacon, I see a pig, I see a little friend, and that’s why I can’t eat it. Simple as that. But I’ll eat Linda’s veggie bacon. All her food was so good. Steve Martin came around for a barbecue once. I was grilling and he said, “Oh, no, I can’t have any of that.” I asked why not and he said, “Sorry, I’m vegetarian.” I said, “You didn’t know we are?! Everything on the grill is veggie!” He said, “Ahhh” and ate three veggie burgers and then asked where he could buy them.
  • For cruelty to animals, vegetarianism is the great thing to get rid of that. For the planet, to prevent depleting the water and the land and everything, it’s a great idea. And I think it’s a great thing for your health, and doctors nowadays agree with that. There are plenty of great books and organizations, so no matter where you are, there is someone to help you. That’s your first step, and I think your second step is just look in the supermarket for good vegetarian food, and I think it’s so much more readily available now.
  • Why is compassion not part of our established curriculum, an inherent part of our education? Compassion, awe, wonder, curiosity, exaltation, humility - these are the very foundation of any real civilization, no longer the prerogatives, the preserves of any one church,. but belonging to everyone, every child in every home, in every school.
  • Go to the meat-market of a Saturday night and see the crowds of live bipeds staring up at the long rows of dead quadrupeds. Does not that sight take a tooth out of the cannibal’s jaw? Cannibals? who is not a cannibal? I tell you it will be more tolerable for the Fejee that salted down a lean missionary in his cellar against a coming famine; it will be more tolerable for that provident Fejee, I say, in the day of judgment than for thee, civilized and enlightened gourmand, who nailest geese to the ground and feasted on their bloated livers in thy pate-de-foie-gras.
  • The symbolism of meat-eating is never neutral. To himself, the meat-eater seems to be eating life. To the vegetarian, he seems to be eating death. There is a kind of gestalt-shift between the two positions which makes it hard to change, and hard to raise questions on the matter at all without becoming embattled.
  • Simply let those, like him of Samos, live!
    Let herbs to them a bloodless banquet give.
    In beechen goblets let their beverage shine,
    Cool from the crystal spring their sober wine!
    Their youth should pass in innocence secure
    From stain licentious, and in manners pure.
  • Strange spectacle! To see a mother giving her daughter, whom but yesterday she was suckling at her breast, this gross aliment of bloody meats, and the dangerous excitant wine!
  • As for me, I could never so much as endure, without remorse and griefe, to see a poore, sillie, and innocent beast pursued and killed, which is harmelesse and voide of defence, and of whom we receive no offence at all.
  • Well Mark Waid had him as a vegetarian, he sort of ratified it and then people were really angry because they used to say in the 70s his favourite food was beef bourguignon. But I kind of think of course he would be a vegetarian, I mean he would find it hard not to be. He's a super kid who grew up with animals and I'm sure he'd empathise with them pretty early on and just not be. I don't know, I might just put it in again to annoy people.


  • I have a very strong connection to nature, and I read that if we fish the way we fish, in 2048 there will be no more fish left, which is pretty soon.
  • There's no question that largely vegetarian diets are as healthy as you can get. The evidence is so strong and overwhelming and produced over such a long period of time that it's no longer debatable.
    • Marion Nestle, reported in Nutrition Action Healthletter, October 1996 issue; as quoted in J. M. Masson, The Face on Your Plate (New York: Norton & Company, 2009), p. 172.
  • People sometimes forget that there are vegetables and vegetables. There are vegetables that have not so much nutriment in them; but there are others – all the farinaceous foods such as wheat and barley – which contain a greater amount of nutriment than beef or any other animal meat.
  • Pythagoras, one of the oldest Philosophers in Europe, after he had travelled among the Easter nations for the sake of knowledge & conversation with their Priests & Judges seen their manners, taught his scholars that all man should be friends to all man & even to dumb beasts. This was the religion of the sons of Noah established by Moses & Christ & is still in force
  • Opposers of compassion urge: 'If we should live on vegetable food, what shall we do with our cattle? What would become of them? They would grow so numerous they would be prejudicial to us - they would eat us up if we did not kill and eat them!' But there is abundance of animals in the world whom men do not kill and eat; and yet we hear not of their injuring mankind, and sufficient room is found for their abode. Horses are not usually killed to be eaten, and yet we have not heard of any country overstocked with them. [...] Because some [animals] have no compassion, feeling, or reason, are we to possess no compassion, feeling, or reason?
  • Since I stopped eating meat, I have noticed that my digestion is better, my thoughts are better, and I run instead of walking. […] I eat vegetables and all kinds of vegetarian food. I am a vegetarian. I am not a meat-eater.
  • Vegetarianism is necessary to the very rich and the very poor. The poor need it because it is cheap and nourishing, the rich to cleanse all the poisons from the corpses that have accumulated in their overfed organism.


  • I don't understand why asking people to eat a well-balanced vegetarian diet is considered drastic, while it's medically conservative to cut people open or put them on powerful cholesterol-lowering drugs for the rest of their lives … Animal products are the main culprit in what is killing us. We can absolutely live better lives without them.
    • Dean Ornish, quoted in Roberto Suro, “Hearts and Minds,” New York Times Magazine, December 29, 1991, 28; as quoted in John Robbins, Diet for a New America 25th Anniversary Edition, H J Kramer, 2012, p. 359.
  • [Our approach is] not like there was one set of dietary recommendations for reversing heart disease, a different one for reversing diabetes, and yet another for changing your genes or lengthening your telomeres. In all of our studies, people were asked to consume a whole-foods, plant-based diet … It's as though your body knows how to personalize the medicine it needs if you give it the right raw materials in your diet and lifestyle. … And what's good for you is good for our planet. To the degree we transition toward a whole-foods, plant-based diet, it not only makes a difference in our own lives; it also makes a difference in the lives of many others across the globe.
  • O mortals, from your fellows' blood abstain,
    Nor taint your bodies with a food profane:
    While corn, and pulse by Nature are bestow'd,
    And planted orchards bend their willing load;
    While labour'd gardens wholesom herbs produce,
    And teeming vines afford their gen'rous juice;
    Nor tardier fruits of cruder kind are lost,
    But tam'd with fire, or mellow'd by the frost;
    While kine to pails distended udders bring,
    And bees their hony redolent of Spring;
    While Earth not only can your needs supply,
    But, lavish of her store, provides for luxury;
    A guiltless feast administers with ease,
    And without blood is prodigal to please.
  • O impious use! to Nature's laws oppos'd,
    Where bowels are in other bowels clos'd:
    Where fatten'd by their fellow's fat, they thrive;
    Maintain'd by murder, and by death they live.
    'Tis then for nought, that Mother Earth provides
    The stores of all she shows, and all she hides,
    If men with fleshy morsels must be fed,
    And chaw with bloody teeth the breathing bread:
    What else is this, but to devour our guests,
    And barb'rously renew Cyclopean feasts!
    We, by destroying life, our life sustain;
    And gorge th' ungodly maw with meats obscene.


  • Everything of persecution and revenge between man and man, and everything of cruelty to animals is a violation of moral duty.
  • Many refined people will not kill a fly, but eat an ox.
  • Now Euxenus realized that he was attached to a lofty ideal, and asked him at what point he would begin it. Apollonius answered: "At the point at which physicians begin, for they, by purging the bowels of their patients prevent some from being ill at all, and heal others." And having said this he declined to live upon a flesh diet, on the ground that it was unclean, and also that it made the mind gross; so he partook only of dried fruits and vegetables, for he said that all the fruits of the earth are clean. … After then having thus purged his interior, he took to walking without shoes by way of adornment and clad himself in linen raiment, declining to wear any animal product.
  • Again, the practice of men sacrificing one another still exists among many nations; while, on the other hand, we hear of other human beings who did not even venture to taste the flesh of a cow and had no animal sacrifices, but only cakes and fruits dipped in honey, and similar pure offerings, but no flesh of animals; from these they abstained under the idea that they ought not to eat them, and might not stain the altars of the Gods with blood. For in those days men are said to have lived a sort of Orphic life, having the use of all lifeless things, but abstaining from all living things.
  • They will feed on barley-meal and flour of wheat, baking and kneading them, making noble cakes and loaves; these they will serve up on a mat of reeds or on clean leaves, themselves reclining the while upon beds strewn with yew or myrtle. And they and their children will feast, drinking of the wine which they have made, wearing garlands on their heads, and hymning the praises of the gods, in happy converse with one another. And they will take care that their families do not exceed their means; having an eye to poverty or war.
    But, said Glaucon, interposing, you have not given them a relish to their meal.
    True, I replied, I had forgotten; of course they must have a relish-salt, and olives, and cheese, and they will boil roots and herbs such as country people prepare; for a dessert we shall give them figs, and peas, and beans; and they will roast myrtle-berries and acorns at the fire, drinking in moderation. And with such a diet they may be expected to live in peace and health to a good old age, and bequeath a similar life to their children after them.
  • In my opinion the true and healthy constitution of the State is the one which I have described. But if you wish also to see a State at fever heat, I have no objection. For I suspect that many will not be satisfied with the simpler way of life. They will be for adding … dainties, and perfumes, and incense, and courtesans, and cakes, all these not of one sort only, but in every variety … And we shall want more servants. Will not tutors be also in request, and nurses wet and dry, tirewomen and barbers, as well as confectioners and cooks; and swineherds, too, who were not needed and therefore had no place in the former edition of our State, but are needed now? They must not be forgotten: and there will be animals of many other kinds, if people eat them.
    And living in this way we shall have much greater need of physicians than before?
    Much greater.
    And the country which was enough to support the original inhabitants will be too small now, and not enough?
    Quite true.
    Then a slice of our neighbours' land will be wanted by us for pasture and tillage, and they will want a slice of ours, if, like ourselves, they exceed the limit of necessity, and give themselves up to the unlimited accumulation of wealth?
    That, Socrates, will be inevitable.
    And so we shall go to war, Glaucon. Shall we not?
    Most certainly, he replied.
    Then without determining as yet whether war does good or harm, thus much we may affirm, that now we have discovered war to be derived from causes which are also the causes of almost all the evils in States, private as well as public.
  • I, for my part, wonder of what sort of feeling, mind or reason that man was possessed who was first to pollute his mouth with gore, and allow his lips to touch the flesh of a murdered being; who spread his table with the mangled forms of dead bodies, and claimed as daily food and dainty dishes what but now were beings endowed with movement, with perception and with voice. For the sake of some little mouthful of flesh we deprive a soul of the sun and light, and of that portion of life and time it had been born into the world to enjoy.
  • Nothing can be more shocking and horrid than one of our kitchens sprinkled with blood, and abounding with the cries of expiring victims or with the limbs of dead animals scattered or hung up here and there.
  • No member of the animal kingdom nurses past maturity, No member of the animal kingdom ever did a thing to me, Its why I don't eat red meat or white fish, Don't give me no blue cheese, Were all members of the animal kingdom, Leave your brothers and sisters in the sea.
    • Prince, Animal Kingdom lyrics, from The Truth album.
  • Human beings are meant to eat vegetarian food. The tiger does not come to eat your fruits. His prescribed food is animal flesh. But man’s food is vegetables, fruits, grains, and milk products. So how can you say that animal killing is not a sin?



  • No wonder Muddlers initially think that becoming a vegetarian is like taking a vow of culinary abstinence mixed with voluntary poverty.
    Of course, in time Muddlers discover that there is an incredibly delicious, colorful, and nutritious animal-free cuisine out there to be discovered, a menu of possibilities that includes foods from every nation and ethnicity in the world. It is the great new food we gain, not the customary old food we lose, that is the real surprise, something all of us have to discover for ourselves.
    • Tom Regan, Empty Cages: Facing the Challenge of Animal Rights, ch. 6.
  • I am experiencing an unprecedented surge of health and my energy has soared.
    • Ilya Repin, Vegetarianskoe obozrenie (after he became a vegetarian).
  • Poor little innocent creatures, if you were reasoning beings and could speak, how you would curse us! For we are the cause of your death, and what have you done to deserve it?
    • Saint Richard of Chichester, quoted in Alban Butler, Lives of the Saints, vol. II, Burns & Oates, 1956, p. 24. Also quoted by Dr. Holly Roberts in Vegetarian Christian Saints, p. 191.
  • A pitiful fellow! Such a ridiculous kind of pity his, as those silly souls have, who would not kill an innocent chicken for the world; but when killed to their hands, are always the most greedy devourers of it.
  • The ever-increasing cattle production is wreaking havoc on the earth’s ecosystems, destroying habitats on six continents. Cattle raising is a primary factor in the destruction of the word’s remaining tropical rain forests. […] Cattle are also a major cause of global warming… The devastating environmental, economic, and human toll of maintaining a worldwide cattle complex is little discussed in public policy circles… Yet, cattle production and beef consumption now rank among the gravest threats to the future well-being of the earth and its human population.
  • It is not a digression to mention the horrors of war in connection with the massacre of cattle and carnivorous banquets. The diet of individuals corresponds closely to their manners. Blood demands blood. On this point anyone who searches among his recollections of the people whom he has known will find there can be no possible doubt as to the contrast which exists between vegetarians and coarse eaters of flesh, greedy drinkers of blood, in amenity of manner, gentleness of disposition and regularity of life.
  • As human sacrifices were a natural effect of that superstitious cruelty which first produced the slaughter of animals, so is it equally natural that those accustomed to eat the brute, should not long abstain from the man : more especially as; when toasted or broiled on the altar, the appearance, savour, and taste of both would be nearly, if not entirely, the same.
  • The eating of meat without doubt focuses the physical mechanism closely to the physical system. There is nothing wrong with this. If you are trying to develop inner abilities however, and if you wish to allow yourself a mobility of focus, then moderation in this respect must be used.
    • Jane Roberts in The Early Sessions: Book 4 of the Seth Material, Session 185, p. 247.
  • This leads me of course to at least mention here the cruel methods used in the slaughtering of animals and fowls for human consumption. The creatures are treated as if they possessed no feeling or consciousness of their own - and such attitudes show a most unfortunate misreading of natural events. As a direct result, at least as many diseases develop through such procedures as would exist in a highly primitive society with unsanitary conditions.
  • Although most of us conduct our lives as omnivores, in that we eat flesh as well as vegetables and fruits, human beings have characteristics of herbivores, not carnivores. The appendages of carnivores are claws; those of herbivores are hands or hooves. The teeth of carnivores are sharp; those of herbivores are mainly flat (for grinding). The intestinal tract of carnivores is short (3 times body length); that of herbivores, long (12 times body length). Body cooling of carnivores is done by panting; herbivores, by sweating. Carnivores drink fluids by lapping; herbivores, by sipping. Carnivores produce their own vitamin C, whereas herbivores obtain it from their diet. Thus, humans have characteristics of herbivores, not carnivores.
  • The indifference of children towards meat is one proof that the taste for meat is unnatural; their preference is for vegetable foods, such as milk, pastry, fruit, etc. Beware of changing this natural taste and making children flesh-eaters, if not for their health's sake, for the sake of their character; for how can one explain away the fact that great meat-eaters are usually fiercer and more cruel than other men; this has been recognised at all times and in all places. The English are noted for their cruelty while the Gaures are the gentlest of men. All savages are cruel, and it is not their customs that tend in this direction; their cruelty is the result of their food. They go to war as to the chase, and treat men as they would treat bears. Indeed in England butchers are not allowed to give evidence in a court of law, no more can surgeons. Great criminals prepare themselves for murder by drinking blood. Homer makes his flesh-eating Cyclops a terrible man, while his Lotus-eaters are so delightful that those who went to trade with them forgot even their own country to dwell among them.
  • Grant animals a ray of reason, imagine what a frightful nightmare the world is to them: a dream of cold-blooded men, blind and deaf, cutting their throats, slitting them open, gutting them, cutting them into pieces, cooking them alive, sometimes laughing at them and their contortions as they writhe in agony. Is there anything more atrocious among the cannibals of Africa? To a man whose mind is free there is something even more intolerable in the sufferings of animals than in the sufferings of men. 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.
  • There is a popular notion that vegetarians are mild and gentle folk who would not hurt a fly. Perhaps they would not hurt a fly. As to this, I cannot speak, but their charity towards flies certainly does not extend to human beings. Perhaps the most powerful argument in favour of a vegetarian diet is the vigour and pugnacity which it gives to those who practice it.


  • I say ethical principle, because it is beyond doubt that the chief motive of Vegetarianism is the humane one. Questions of hygiene and of economy both play their part, and an important part, in a full discussion of food reform; but the feeling which underlies and animates the whole movement is the instinctive horror of butchery, especially the butchery of the more highly organized animals, so human, so near akin to man.
  • I advance no exaggerated or fanciful claim for Vegetarianism. It is not, as some have asserted, a "panacea" for human ills; it is something much more rational—an essential part of the modern humanitarian movement, which can make no true progress without it. Vegetarianism is the diet of the future, as flesh-food is the diet of the past.
  • It is often said, as an excuse for the slaughter of animals, that it is better for them to live and to be butchered than not to live at all. … In fact, if we once admit that it is an advantage to an animal to be brought into the world, there is hardly any treatment that cannot be justified by the supposed terms of such a contract. Also, the argument must apply to mankind. It has, in fact, been the plea of the slave-breeder; and it is logically just as good an excuse for slave-holding as for flesh-eating. It would justify parents in almost any treatment of their children, who owe them, for the great boon of life, a debt of gratitude which no subsequent services can repay. We could hardly deny the same merit to cannibals, if they were to breed their human victims for the table, as the early Peruvians are said to have done.
  • 28% of the greenhouse gasses come from eating meat and from raising cattle, so we can do a much better job. … Luckily we know that you can get your protein source from many different ways, you can get it through vegetables if you are a vegetarian. I have seen many body builders that are vegetarian and they get strong and healthy.
  • Until he extends the circle of his compassion to all living things, man will not himself find peace.
  • Sotion used to tell me why Pythagoras abstained from animal food, and why, in later times, Sextius did also. In each case, the reason was different, but it was in each case a noble reason. Sextius believed that man had enough sustenance without resorting to blood, and that a habit of cruelty is formed whenever butchery is practised for pleasure. Moreover, he thought we should curtail the sources of our luxury; he argued that a varied diet was contrary to the laws of health, and was unsuited to our constitutions. Pythagoras, on the other hand, held that all beings were inter-related, and that there was a system of exchange between souls which transmigrated from one bodily shape into another.
  • Why should you call me to account for eating decently? If I battened on the scorched corpses of animals, you might well ask me why I did that. Why should I be filthy and inhuman? Why should I be an accomplice in the wholesale horror and degradation of the slaughter-house?
    • George Bernard Shaw, interview "What Vegetarianism Really Means: a Talk with Mr Bernard Shaw", in Vegetarian (15 January 1898), reprinted in Shaw: Interviews and Recollections, edited by A. M. Gibbs, 1990, p. 401.
  • I was a cannibal for twenty-five years. For the rest I have been a vegetarian. It was Shelley who first opened my eyes to the savagery of my diet.
  • I was told that my diet was so poor that I could not repair the bones that were broken and operated on. So I have just had an Xradiograph taken; and lo! perfectly mended solid bone so beautifully white that I have left instructions that, if I die, a glove stretcher is to be made of me and sent to you as a souvenir.
  • The average age of a meat-eater is 63. I am on the verge of 85 and still at work as hard as ever. I have lived quite long enough and am trying to die; but I simply cannot do it. A single beef-steak; would finish me; but I cannot bring myself to swallow it. I am oppressed with a dread of living forever. That is the only disadvantage of vegetarianism.
  • When John Coltrane came to me, he looked different from his contemporaries: so clean, well-mannered and humble. About six months earlier he had apparently given up drugs and drink, become a vegetarian and taken to reading Ramakrishna's book's.
  • 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. Let the advocate of animal food, force himself to a decisive experiment on its fitness, and as Plutarch recommends, tear a living lamb with his teeth, and plunging his head into its vitals, slake his thirst with the steaming blood; when fresh from the deed ofhorror let him revert to the irresistible instincts of nature that would rise in judgment against it, and say, Nature formed me for such work as this. Then, and then only, would he be consistent.
  • There is not a single argument nor a single fact that can be offered in favour of flesh eating that cannot be offered, with equal strength, in favour of cannibalism.
  • Give up animal foods for two months, or even for a week, and I promise you will look and feel better, and you’ll want to do it forever!
  • The man who shed the blood of an Ox or a Sheep will be habituated more easily than another to witness the effusion of that of his fellow-creatures.
  • As often as Herman had witnessed the slaughter of animals and fish, he always had the same thought: in their behavior 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.
  • The only justification for killing animals is the fact that man can keep a knife or an ax in his hands and is shrewd enough and selfish enough to do slaughter for what he thinks is his own good. The Old Testament has many passages where the passion for meat is considered to be evil. According to the Bible, it was only a compromise with so-called human nature that God has allowed people to eat meat.
    • Isaac Bashevis Singer, from the Foreword to Vegetarianism: A Way of Life by Dudley Giehl (New York: Barnes & Noble, 1981).
  • Vegetarianism is my religion. I became a consistent vegetarian some twenty-three years ago. Before that, I would try over and over again. But it was sporadic. Finally, in the mid-1960s, I made up my mind. And I've been a vegetarian ever since. … This is my protest against the conduct of the world. To be a vegetarian is to disagree — to disagree with the course of things today. Nuclear power, starvation, cruelty — we must make a statement against these things. Vegetarianism is my statement. And I think it's a strong one.
  • Becoming a vegetarian is not merely a symbolic gesture. Nor is it an attempt to isolate oneself from the ugly realities of the world, to keep oneself pure and so without responsibility for the cruelty and carnage all around. Becoming a vegetarian is a highly practical and effective step one can take toward ending both the killing of nonhuman animals and the infliction of suffering upon them.
  • Those who claim to care about the wellbeing of human beings and the preservation of our environment should become vegetarians for that reason alone. They would thereby increase the amount of grain available to feed people elsewhere, reduce pollution, save water and energy, and cease contributing to the clearing of forests; moreover, since a vegetarian diet is cheaper than one based on meat dishes, they would have more money available to devote to famine relief, population control, or whatever social or political cause they thought most urgent. … when nonvegetarians 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 farm animals.
  • Quite rightly, we do not normally take the behaviour of animals as a model for how we may treat them. We would not, for example, justify tearing a cat to pieces because we had observed the cat tearing a mouse to pieces. Carnivorous fishes don’t have a choice about whether to kill other fish or not. They kill as a matter of instinct. Meanwhile, humans can choose to abstain from killing or eating fish and other animals. Alternatively, the argument could be made that is part of natural order that there are predators and prey, and so it cannot be wrong for us to play our part in this order. But this “argument from nature” can justify all kinds of inequities, including the rule of men over women and leaving the weak and the sick to fall by the wayside.
    • Peter Singer, The Ethics of What We Eat: Why Our Food Choices Matter.
  • It may indeed be doubted whether butchers' meat is anywhere a necessary of life. Grain and other vegetables, with the help of milk, cheese, and butter, or oil where butter is not to be had, it is known from experience, can, without any butchers' meat, afford the most plentiful, the most wholesome, the most nourishing, and the most invigorating diet.
  • You do not believe that souls are assigned, first to one body and then to another, and that our so-called death is merely a change of abode? You do not believe that in cattle, or in wild beasts, or in creatures of the deep, the soul of him who was once a man may linger? You do not believe that nothing on this earth is annihilated, but only changes its haunts? And that animals also have cycles of progress and, so to speak, an orbit for their souls, no less than the heavenly bodies, which revolve in fixed circuits? Great men have put faith in this idea; therefore, while holding to your own view, keep the whole question in abeyance in your mind. If the theory is true, it is a mark of purity to refrain from eating flesh; if it be false, it is economy. And what harm does it do to you to give such credence? I am merely depriving you of food which sustains lions and vultures.
  • Further, it should be clear that meat in itself as protein is not much superior to eggs or nuts and could not alter the evolution of the brain; if this were so this miracle food would have continued to enlarge humans’ brain size in succeeding years when much greater amounts of meat were consumed.
  • We used to recommend meat, poultry, and fish for children because they are rich in protein and iron. However, we now know that there are harmful effects of a meaty diet, particularly changes in the arteries and weight problems, and that these changes begin in childhood. When children develop a taste for meats, it is hard to break this habit later on. It turns out that children can get plenty of protein and iron from vegetables, beans, and other plant foods that avoid the fat and cholesterol that are in animal products.
  • "There is no logical basis to support the theory that plants feel pain. The dubious possibility that they might, however, is no justification for killing obviously sentient beings. Any rational person understands the striking difference between slitting the throat of a sentient animal and plucking a fruit or a vegetable."
  • Vegans and vegetarians are commonly baited by nonvegetarians with “what if” scenarios that typically have no relevance to or bearing on most people’s real-life situations.
  • I drink soy milk, and that’s the right thing.
  • Nothing more strongly arouses our disgust than cannibalism, nothing so surely unmortars a society; nothing, we might plausibly argue, will so harden and degrade the minds of those that practice it. And yet we ourselves make much the same appearance in the eyes of the Buddhist and the vegetarian. We consume the carcasses of creatures of like appetites, passions, and organs with ourselves; we feed on babes, though not our own; and the slaughter-house resounds daily with screams of pain and fear. We distinguish, indeed; but the unwillingness of many nations to eat the dog, an animal with whom we live on terms of the next intimacy, shows how precariously the distinction is grounded.
  • "My endurance has gone up, and I haven’t gotten tired at all during the whole season. I don’t think you should eat something that had a mother.
  • The Tiger, the Lion, in short, all flesh-eating animals seized their prey, running, swimming, or flying, and tore it in pieces with their teeth or talons, devouring it there and then upon the spot. Man cannot catch other animals this way, or tear them in pieces, and devour them as they are… Besides he has higher and not merely animal impulses.
  • Based on the fossil record one big spurt in hominid cranial capacity seems to have occurred with the appearance of Homo erectus approximately 1.75 million years ago, long before red meat could have been a regular part of hominid diets.
    • Donna Hart and Robert W. Sussman, Man the Hunted, expanded edition, p. 256.


  • We manage to swallow flesh, only because we do not think of the cruel and sinful thing we do.
  • I do not mean here absolute want of food, but want of healthful nutriment. How to provide good and plentiful food is, therefore, a most important question of the day. On the general principles the raising of cattle as a means of providing food is objectionable, because, in the sense interpreted above, it must undoubtedly tend to the addition of mass of a "smaller velocity.
    • Nikola Tesla, The Problem of Increasing Human Energy, Century Illustrated Magazine, June 1900.
  • "It is certainly preferable to raise vegetables, and I think, therefore, that vegetarianism is a commendable departure from the established barbarous habit. That we can subsist on plant food and perform our work even to advantage is not a theory, but a well-demonstrated fact. Many races living almost exclusively on vegetables are of superior physique and strength. There is no doubt that some plant food, such as oatmeal, is more economical than meat, and superior to it in regard to both mechanical and mental performance. Such food, moreover, taxes our digestive organs decidedly less, and, in making us more contented and sociable, produces an amount of good difficult to estimate. In view of these facts every effort should be made to stop the wanton and cruel slaughter of animals, which must be destructive to our morals.
  • 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 when they came in contact with the more civilized.
  • 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.
  • One farmer says to me, "You cannot live on vegetable food solely, for it furnishes nothing to make bones with;" and so he religiously devotes a part of his day to supplying his system 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.
  • How can he practice true compassion
Who eats the flesh of an animal to fatten his own flesh?
  • He who feasts on a creature's flesh and he who wields a weapon.
Goodness is never one with the minds of these two.
  • If you ask, "What is kindness and what is unkindness?"
It is not-killing and killing. Thus, eating flesh is never virtuous.
  • If the world did not purchase and consume meat,
No one would slaughter and offer meat for sale.
  • All life will press palms together in prayerful adoration
of those who refuse to slaughter or savour meat.
  • I had wished to visit a slaughter-house, in order to see with my own eyes the reality of the question raised when vegetarianism is discussed. But at first I felt ashamed to do so, as one is always ashamed of going to look at suffering which one knows is about to take place, but which one cannot avert; and so I kept putting off my visit. But a little while ago I met on the road a butcher … I asked him whether he did not feel sorry for the animals that he killed. He gave me the usual answer: 'Why should I feel sorry? It is necessary.' But when I told him that eating flesh is not necessary, but is only a luxury, he agreed; and then he admitted that he was sorry for the animals.
  • And see, a kind, refined lady will devour the carcasses of these animals with full assurance that she is doing right, at the same time asserting two contradictory propositions: First, that she is, as her doctor assures her, so delicate that she cannot be sustained by vegetable food alone, and that for her feeble organism flesh is indispensable; and, secondly, that she is so sensitive that she is unable, not only herself to inflict suffering on animals, but even to bear the sight of suffering. Whereas the poor lady is weak precisely because she has been taught to live upon food unnatural to man; and she cannot avoid causing suffering to animals — for she eats them.
  • We are not ostriches, and cannot believe that if we refuse to look at what we do not wish to see, it will not exist. This is especially the case when what we do not wish to see is what we wish to eat. If it were really indispensable, or, if not indispensable, at least in some way useful! But it is quite unnecessary … And this is continually being confirmed by the fact that young, kind, undepraved people — especially women and girls — without knowing how it logically follows, feel that virtue is incompatible with beefsteaks, and, as soon as they wish to be good, give up eating flesh.
  • Men think it right to eat animals, because they are led to believe that God sanctions it. This is untrue. No matter in what books it may be written that it is not sinful to slay animals and to eat them, it is more clearly written in the heart of man than in any books that animals are to be pitied and should not be slain any more than human beings. We all know this if we do not choke the voice of our conscience.
    • Leo Tolstoy, The Pathway of Life: Teaching Love and Wisdom (posthumous), Part I, International Book Publishing Company, New York, 1919, p. 68.
  • After looking carefully into the matter, and after some years’ experience in its non-use, I can state without hesitancy that, contrary to the prevailing opinion, the flesh of animals is not necessary as an article of food. […] We shall find numerous articles of food, as we study the matter, that, so far as body nourishing, building, and sustaining qualities are concerned, contain twice, and in some cases over twice, as much as any flesh food that can be mentioned.
    • Ralph Waldo Trine (1866-1958), Every Living Creature, p. 25-26.
  • As I cannot kill, I cannot authorize others to kill. Do you see? If you are buying from a butcher you are authorizing him to kill – to kill helpless, dumb creatures which neither you nor I could kill ourselves.
  • Refrain at all times such foods as cannot be procured without violence and oppression. For know that all the inferior Creatures, when hurt, do cry and send forth their complaints to their Maker.
    • Thomas Tryon, The Way to Health, Long Life, and Happiness, 1683.



  • (Of the mouth of man which is a tomb) there shall come forth loud noises out of the tombs of those who have died by an evil and violent death.

Though nature has given sensibility to pain to such living organisms as have the power of movement, in order thereby to preserve the members which in this movement are liable to diminish and be destroyed, the living organisms which have no power of movement do not have to encounter opposing objects, and plants consequently do not need to have a sensibility to pain, and so it comes about that if you break them they do not feel anguish in their members as do the animals.

    • Leonardo da Vinci, Leonardo da Vinci's Note-Books, Arranged and rendered into English by Edward McCurdy, 1923, p. 130.
  • [Isaac Newton] thought it a very frightful inconsistency to believe that animals feel and at the same time to cause them to suffer. On this point his morality was in accord with is philosophy. […] This compassion, which he felt for no other animals, culminated in true charity for men. In truth, without humanity, a virtue which comprehends all virtues, the name of philosopher would be little deserved.
    • Voltaire, Elements de la Philosophie de Newton.
  • There is in man a disposition to compassion as generally diffused as his other instincts. Newton had cultivated this sentiment of humanity, and he extended it to the lower animals. With Locke he was strongly convinced that God has given to them a proportion of ideas, and the same feelings, which he has to us . . . In truth, without humanity, a virtue which comprehends all virtues, the name of philosopher is little deserved.
    • Voltaire, Elémens de la Philosophie de Newton .
  • "HEN: What appalling villains! I feel faint. Oh no! they'll tear my eyes out, and cut my throat! I'll be roasted and eaten! Won't these ruffians suffer any remorse?
    COCK: No, my dear. The two priests I told you about were saying that men don't ever have any remorse for things that they're accustomed to doing."
    • Voltaire, Dialogue between the Cock and the Hen.
  • Men fed upon meat, and drinking strong drinks, have all an impoisoned and acrid blood which drives them mad in a hundred different ways. Their main insanity express in the fury of shed the blood of his brothers and to devastate fertile lands to rule over cemeteries.
    • Voltaire, On The Princess of Babylon, Chapter III.


  • Recently, while I was in the street, my eye was caught by a poulterer's shop; I stared unthinkingly at his piled-up wares, neatly and appetizingly laid out, when I became aware of a man at the side busily plucking a hen, while another man was just putting his hand in a cage, where he seized a live hen and tore its head off. The hideous scream of the animal, and the pitiful, weaker sounds of complaint that it made while being overpowered transfixed my soul with horror. Ever since then I have been unable to rid myself of this impression, although I had experienced it often before.
  • The meat industry is one of the most destructive ecological industries on the planet. The raising and slaughtering of pigs, cows, sheep, turkeys and chickens not only utilizes vast areas of land and vast quantities of water, but it is a greater contributor to greenhouse gas emissions than the automobile industry.
  • People of the future will say, “meat-eaters!” in disgust and regard us in the same way that we regard cannibals and cannibalism.
    • Dennis Weaver, quoted by Gail Davis in Vegetarian Food for Thought.
  • In all the round world of Utopia there is no meat. There used to be. But now we cannot stand the thought of slaughter-houses. And, in a population that is all educated, and at about the same level of physical refinement, it is practically impossible to find anyone who will hew a dead ox or pig. We never settled the hygienic question of meat-eating at all. This other aspect decided us. I can still remember, as a boy, the rejoicings over the closing of the last slaughter-house.
    • H. G. Wells, On A Modern Utopia Chapter the Ninth, The Samurai, Section 5.
  • A considerable number of people opposed it because it did not assert or impose on all mankind, some particular fad. Vegetarians, for example, wanted clauses to establish the legal rights of animals (pigs, etc).
  • And before we judge of them too harshly we must remember what ruthless and utter destruction our own species has wrought, not only upon animals, such as the vanished bison and the dodo, but upon its inferior races. The Tasmanians, in spite of their human likeness, were entirely swept out of existence in a war of extermination waged by European immigrants, in the space of fifty years. Are we such apostles of mercy as to complain if the Martians warred in the same spirit.
    • H.G. Wells, On The War of the Worlds, Chapter I.
  • Those who eat flesh are but eating grains and vegetables at second hand; for the animal receives from these things the nutrition that produces growth. The life that was in the grains and the vegetables passes into the eater. We receive it by eating the flesh of the animal. How much better to get it direct by eating the food that God provided for our use!
  • It has been well said … that there are steps on the way to the summit of Dietetic Reform, and, if only one step be taken, yet that single step will be not without importance and without influence in the world. The step, which leaves for ever behind it the barbarism of slaughtering our fellow-beings, the Mammals and Birds, is, it is superfluous to add, the most important and most influential of all.




  • It is strange to hear people talk on humanitarianism, who are members of societies for prevention of cruelty to children and animals, and who claim to be God-loving men and women, but who, nevertheless, encourage by their patronage the killing of animals merely to gratify the cravings of appetite.
  • Even if man were created a carnivorous animal, is there no way for him to outgrow it as he becomes more intelligent?
  • Some people seem to think that if the animals were not eaten they would multiply so rapidly as to overrun the earth. Is it not true that the more beef there is consumed the more there is raised? These people do not understand that there are men in the business who have made an effort to increase their stock by forced means.
  • If eating meat why not eat the most highly organised form of meat, which is not beef or mutton, but human flesh? If you still believe in the eating of flesh, then you must admit that at least as far as the fitness of food is concerned the cannibal has the best of the argument.

See also[edit]

External links[edit]

Wikipedia has an article about: