Jo-Anne McArthur / We Animals

Jo-Anne McArthur / We Animals

Seeking Our Better Angels

Change is unnerving, and for many people, the thought of abandoning an animal-based diet is especially so.  

A cultural ethos that celebrates the pursuit of self-interest ("I feel good when I eat meat!") underpins an out-of-sight, out-of-mind attitude toward animal cruelty.

So, when you’re tempted to turn your back on the suffering of helpless pigs, chickens, turkeys, ducks and cattle  — all of whom feel pain and emotion — reflecting on these thoughts from humankind's greatest thinkers might inspire you to do the right thing:

"All beings tremble before violence. All fear death, all love life. See yourself in others. Then whom can you hurt?  What harm can you do?" 

- Buddha

"We can judge the heart of man by his treatment of animals" 

- Immanuel Kant

“What you do makes a difference, and you have to decide what kind of a difference you want to make.” 

- Jane Goodall

"Not to hurt our humble brethren [the animals] is our first duty to them, but to stop there is not enough. We have a higher mission — to be of service to them whenever they require it." 

- St. Francis of Assisi

"The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated." 

- Gandhi

"The eating of meat extinguishes the great seed of compassion." 

- Buddha

"Because the heart beats under a covering of hair, of fur, feathers, or wings, is it, for that reason, to be of no account?" 

- Jean Paul Richter

“If we are to evolve beyond the modern industrialized animal factory mindset, we must universally adopt a worldview that puts the health and care of all involved in the food production system above short-term profits and cheap calories at any cost.” 

- Daniel Imhoff; "The CAFO Reader"

“Until one has loved an animal, a part of one’s soul remains unawakened.” 

- Anatole France

"Deliberate cruelty to our defenseless and beautiful little cousins is surely one of the meanest and most detestable vices of which a human being can be guilty."  

- William Ralph Inge

“Taking away the lives of animals in order to convert them into food does great violence to the principles of benevolence and compassion.” 

- David Hartley

"Animals are my friends, and I don’t eat my friends." 

- George Bernard Shaw

"Now I can look at you in peace; I don’t eat you anymore." 

- Franz Kafka

"If a man aspires towards a righteous life, his first act of abstinence is from injury to animals.”  

- Albert Einstein

"A small body of determined spirits fired by an unquenchable faith in their mission can alter the course of history." 

- Gandhi

"In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends." 

- Martin Luther King, Jr.

"The world is a dangerous place, not because of those who do evil, but because of those who look on and do nothing." 

- Albert Einstein

"Who can believe that there is no soul behind those luminous eyes!" 

- Theophile Gautier

“When I look into the eyes of an animal I do not see an animal. I see a living being. I see a friend. I feel a soul." 

- A.D. Williams

"If having a soul means being able to feel love, loyalty and gratitude, then animals are better off than a lot of humans.” 

- James Herriot

“You have not lived today until you have done something for someone who can never repay you.” 

- John Bunyan

"The question is not, 'Can they reason?' nor, 'Can they talk?' but rather, 'Can they suffer?'"  

- Jeremy Bentham

“You can easily judge the character of a man by how he treats those who can do nothing for him.” 

- James D. Miles

"Vegetarian food leaves a deep impression on our nature. If the whole world adopts vegetarianism, it can change the destiny of humankind." 

- Albert Einstein

"You cannot do a kindness too soon, because you never know how soon it will be too late." 

- Ralph Waldo Emerson

"I expect to pass through this world but once. Any good therefore that I can do, or any kindness or abilities that I can show to any fellow creature, let me do it now. Let me not defer it or neglect it, for I shall not pass this way again."  

- William Penn

Jo-Anne McArthur / We Animals

Jo-Anne McArthur / We Animals

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