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Animal Rights Quotes
Key words: Religious Leaders. Religion.
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Author

Source

year, (BC), birth, est.

death (BC)

notes

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humor

celeb

[St. Francis] looked upon creation with the eyes of one who could recognize in it the marvelous work of the hand of God. His solicitous care, not only towards men, but also towards animals is a faithful echo of the love with which God in the beginning pronounced his 'fiat' which brought them into existence. We too are called to a similar attitude.

Paul II, Pope John

 

 

 

 

1

 

y

A man of my spiritual intensity does not eat corpses.

Shaw, George Bernard

playwright, Nobel prize 1925

1856

1950

vegetarian

1

 

y

All national institutions of churches, whether jewish, christian, or turkish, appear to me no other than human inventions, set up to terrify and enslave mankind, and monopolize power and profit.

Paine, Thomas

American patriot and philosopher

1737

1809

from Age of Reason

1

 

y

By ethical conduct toward all creatures, we enter into a spiritual relationship with the universe.

Schweitzer, Rev. Dr. Albert

German physician, author, Nobel Peace Prize 1952

1875

1965

 

1

 

y

Even in the worm that crawls in the earth there glows a divine spark. When you slaughter a creature, you slaughter God.

Singer, Isaac Bashevis

Polish author, Nobel prize, 1978

1904

1991

 

1

 

y

God, who in creating saw that His creation was good, is the source of joy for all creatures, and above all for humankind. God the Creator seems to say of all creation: 'It is good that you exist.' And His joy spreads especially through the 'good news,' according to which good is greater than all that is evil in the world,,,, Creation was given and entrusted to humankind as a duty, representing not a source of suffering but the foundation of a creative existence in the world.

Paul II, Pope John

 

 

 

from Crossing the Threshold of Hope

1

 

y

Hear our prayer O Lord ... for animals that are overworked, underfed, and cruelly treated; for all wistful creatures in captivity that beat their wings against bars; for any that are hunted or lost or deserted or frightened or hungry; for all that must be put to death.... And for those who deal with them we ask a heart of compassion and gentle hands and kindly words. Make us true friends of the animals and so to share the blessings of the merciful.

Schweitzer, Rev. Dr. Albert

German physician, author, Nobel Peace Prize 1952

1875

1965

prayer

1

 

y

I care not much for a man's religion whose dog and cat are not the better for it.

Lincoln, Abraham

16th US President

1809

1865

 

1

 

y

The present-day mentality, more perhaps than that of people in the past, seems opposed to a God of mercy, and in fact tends to exclude from life and to remove from the human heart the very idea of mercy. The word and the concept of 'mercy' seem to cause uneasiness in man, who, thanks to the enormous development of science and technology, never before known in history, has become master of the earth and has subdued and dominated it. This dominion over the earth, sometimes understood in a one-sided and superficial way, seems to leave no room for mercy....

Paul II, Pope John

 

 

 

from The Mercy of God

1

 

y

We crossed the Embarras River and encamped on a small branch of the same about one mile west. In pitching my tent we found three massasaugas or prairie rattlesnakes, which the brethren were about to kill, but I said, ‘Let them alone—don’t hurt them! How will the serpent ever lose his venom, while the servants of God possess the same disposition and continue to make war upon it? Men must become harmless, before the brute creation; and when men lose their vicious dispositions and cease to destroy the animal race, the lion and the lamb can dwell together, and the sucking child can play with the serpent in safety.

Smith, Joseph

founder of Mormonism

1805

1844

 

1

 

y

We ought not to treat living creatures like shoes or household belongings, which when worn with use we throw away.

Plutarch

Greek biographer and moralist

46

120

 

1

 

y

When a human being kills an animal for food, he is neglecting his own hunger for justice. Man prays for mercy, but is unwilling to extend it to others. Why then should man expect mercy from God? It is unfair to expect something that you are not willing to give.

Singer, Isaac Bashevis

Polish author, Nobel prize, 1978

1904

1991

 

1

 

y

 It seems doubtful from all that has been said whether the Torah would sanction 'factory farming,' which treats animals as machines, with apparent  insensitivity to their natural needs and instincts. This is a matter for decision by halachic authorities.

Carmell, Rabbi Aryeh

Masterplan: Judaism: its Programs, Meanings, Goals (1991).

 

1991

 

1

 

 

Thier were no Slaughterhouses in the Garden of Eden.

Unknown

bible

 

 

 

1

 

 

He who harms animals has not understood or renounced deeds of sin... Those whose minds are at peace and who are free from passions do not desire to live at the expense of others.

Mahavira

enlightened Hindu teacher, founder of Jainism

(599)

(527)

 

1

 

 

 It is forbidden to tie the legs of a beast or of a bird in a manner as to cause them pain.

Jewish Law, The Code of

 

1560

 

Sephardic compilation of Jewish law

1

 

 

 When horses, drawing a cart, come to a rough road or a steep hill, and it is hard for them to draw the cart without help, it is our duty to help them, even when they belong to a non-Jew, because of the precept not to be cruel to animals, lest the owner smite them to force them to draw more than their strength permits.

Jewish Law, The Code of

 

1560

 

Sephardic compilation of Jewish law

1

 

 

"We believe that it is high time that provision should be made in the worship of our Church for the needs of our fellow creatures outside the human race to be presented in prayer to God."

Gibbon, Rev. Andrew

Anglican priest

 

 

From an ASWA publication picked up at Canterbury Cathedral in the late 1970's

1

 

 

[The apostle St.] Peter said, ‘I live on olives and bread to which I rarely only add vegetables.’ … [For] the unnatural eating of meats is as polluting as the heathen worship of devils, with its sacrifices and its impure feasts, through participation in it a man becomes a fellow eater with devils.

Homolies, Pseudo-Clementine

 

150

 

2nd century

1

 

 

A righteous man has regard for the life of his beast.

Proverbs 12:10

Bible; Mathew 25:40

800

 

 

1

 

 

Adam was not permitted meat for purposes of eating.

Babylonian Talmud

 

500

 

 

1

 

 

All beings hate pains; therefore one should not kill them. This is the quintessence of wisdom: not to kill anything.

Sutrakritanga

Jainism

(500)

 

 

1

 

 

All breathing, existing, living, sentient creatures should not be slain nor treated with violence, nor abused, nor tormented, nor driven away. This is the pure unchangeable law.

Sutrakritanga

Jainism

(500)

 

 

1

 

 

All things of creation are children of the Father and thus brothers of man. ... God wants us to help animals, if they need help. Every creature in distress has the same right to be protected.

Francis, Saint of Assisi

mystic and preacher

1181

1226

 

1

 

 

Almighty and eternal God, so draw our hearts to you, so guide our minds, so fill our imaginations, so control our wills, that we may be wholly yours, utterly dedicated to you; and then use us, we pray, as you will, and always to your glory and the welfare of your creatures; through our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Amen.

unknown

 

 

 

prayer

1

 

 

And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb-bearing seed which is upon the face of the earth, and every tree in which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed: to you it shall be as meat....

Genesis 1:29

Bible

800

 

 

1

 

 

And if your heart is straight with God, then every creature shall be to you a mirror of life and a book of holy doctrine, for there is no creature so little or so vile, that he does not represent the goodness of God.

Kempis, Thomas A.

priest and monk

1379

1471

 

1

 

 

Apparently the Torah was in principle opposed to the eating of meat. When Noah and his descendants were permitted to eat meat this was a concession conditional on the prohibition of the blood. This prohibition implied respect for the principle of life (‘for the blood is the life’) and an allusion to the fact that in reality all meat should have been prohibited. This partial prohibition was designed to call to mind the previously total one.

Cassuto, Rabbi Moses

 

1883

1951

 

1

 

 

Apprehend God in all things, for God is in all things. Every single creature is full of God and is a book about God. Every creature is a word of God.

Eckhart, Meister

Christian mystic, monk, Professor of Theology

1260

1327

 

1

 

 

As always the Church has placed herself, through the voice of her pontiff, at the head of this movement. It is for her to direct it wherever she can make herself heard.

Leo XIII, Pope

 

 

 

on becoming patron in 1870 of the French SPCA

1

 

 

As far as whether we are allowed to kill and to eat animals, there is a remarkable ordering of matters in Holy Scripture. We can read how, at first, only plants are mentioned as providing food for man. Only after the flood, that is to say, after a new breach has been opened between God and man, are we told that man eats flesh...Nonetheless...we should not proceed from this to a kind of sectarian cult of animals. For this, too, is permitted to man. He should always maintain his respect for these creatures, but he knows at the same time that he is not forbidden to take food from them. Certainly, a sort of industrial use of creatures, so that geese are fed in such a way as to produce as large a liver as possible, or hens live so packed together that they become just caricatures of birds, this degrading of living creatures to a commodity seems to me in fact to contradict the relationship of mutuality that comes across in the Bible.

Ratzinger, Joseph Cardinal

leader of the Catholic Church's Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith

 

 

 

1

 

 

Because he has pity on every living creature, therefore is a man called "holy"

Dhammapada

 

(500)

 

 

1

 

 

Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy.

Matthew 5:7

bible

 

 

 

1

 

 

Christian theology provides some of the best arguments for respecting animal life and for taking seriously animals as partners with us within God's creation. It may be ironical that this tradition, once thought of as the bastion of human moral exclusivity, should now be seen as the seed-bed for a creative understanding of animal liberation.

Linzey, Rev. Dr. Andrew

Anglican Priest & Senior Research Fellow in Theology, Oxford

 

 

 

1

 

 

Christians whose eyes are fixed on the awfulness of crucifixion are in a special position to understand the awfulness of innocent suffering. The Cross of Christ is God¹s absolute identification with the weak, the powerless and the vulnerable, but most of all with unprotected, undefended, innocent suffering. Neither are we so hardhearted as to believe that the earth was created for us alone.... Out of the dark and out of formlessness You brought forth life; Teach us to know Your greatness by Your creatures, That Your tender mercy is upon them all, Teach us to live likewise So that every living creature, Every beast of the field and fowl of the air. May praise You, and our voice be among them.

unknown

 

 

 

 

1

 

 

Christians whose eyes are fixed on the awfulness of crucifixion are in a special position to understand the awfulness of innocent suffering. The Cross of Christ is God's absolute identification with the weak, the powerless, and the vulnerable, but most of all with unprotected, undefended, innocent suffering.

Linzey, Rev. Dr. Andrew

Anglican Priest & Senior Research Fellow in Theology, Oxford

 

 

 

1

 

 

Cruelty to animals is as if man did not love God.

Newman, Cardinal John Henry

leader of the Anglican Oxford Movement, "Father of Vatican II"

1801

1890

Anglican priest who converted to Roman Catholicism

1

 

 

Do not be afraid, little flock, for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom.

Jesus

Bible; Luke 12:32

800

 

 

1

 

 

Even one thing befalleth them: as the one dieth, so dieth the other; yea, they have all one breath, so that a man hath no preeminence above a beast: for all is Vanity.

Ecclesiastes 3:19

Bible

800

 

 

1

 

 

Excerpts from an interview with Cardinal Ratzinger by German journalist Peter Seewald
Cardinal Ratzinger is the Prefect for the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, the Vatican's foremost advisor on matters of doctrine.
Seewald: Are we allowed to make use of animals, and even to eat them?
Ratzinger: That is a very serious question. At any rate, we can see that they are given into our care, that we cannot just do whatever we want with them. Animals, too, are God's creatures, and even if they do not have the same direct relation to God that man has, they are creatures of his will, creatures we must respect as companions in creation and as important elements in the creation.

Ratzinger, Joseph Cardinal

leader of the Catholic Church's Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith

 

 

 

1

 

 

Feeling unbearable compassion for all animals in the world who are killed for food, I went back before the Jowo Rinpoche [a great statue of the Buddha in Lhasa], prostrated myself, and made this vow: 'From today on, I give up the negative act that is eating the flesh of beings.

Rangdrol, Shabkar Tsogdruk

Tibetan Buddhist master

1781

1851

 

1

 

 

Flesh can not be procured without causing destruction of life; one who uses flesh, therefore, commits hisma (injury) unavoidably

Jainism

Jainism

(500)

 

 

1

 

 

God gave our first parents the food He designed that the race should eat. It was contrary to His plan to have the life of any creature taken. There was to be no death in Eden. The fruit of the trees in the garden was the food man's wants required.

White, Ellen

co-founder Seventh Day Adventists

1827

1915

 

1

 

 

Good men extend their pity, even unto the most despicable animals. The moon does not withhold the light, even from the cottage of a Chandala [outcast]. … Those who have forsaken the killing of all; those who are helpmates to all; those who are a sanctuary to all; those men are in the way of heaven. … Not to kill is a supreme duty … What is religion? Compassion for all things which have life.

Hitopadesa

 

500

 

Hindu text

1

 

 

Gracious God, the comfort of all who sorrow, the strength of all who suffer: Let the cry of those in misery and need come to you, that they may find your mercy present with them in all their afflictions; and give us, we pray, the strength to serve them for the sake of him who suffered for us, your Son Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

unknown

 

 

 

prayer

1

 

 

Great God make us friends of the animals. Make us responsible co-inhabitants with them of this fruitful planet. In our dealings with animals, may we be generous; may we exercise our power with compassion and avoid brutality; may we never debase them; may we never use their flesh or their skins wastefully to enhance our appearance; may we respect their right to a good life in their own habitat. In our dealings with animals may we remember that all life is mysterious and precious and God-given and that we are honored and blessed by their presence among us.

Tarbox, Reverend Elizabeth

Unitarian Universalist Ministry

1944

1999

prayer

1

 

 

He that slayeth an ox is as if he slew a man…

Isaiah 66:3

Bible

800

 

 

1

 

 

He who desires to augment his own flesh by eating the flesh of other creatures lives in misery in whatever species he may take his birth.

Mahabharat

Hindu text

(900)

 

 

1

 

 

Here you are faced with G-d's teaching, which obliges you not only to refrain from inflicting unnecessary pain on any animal, but to help and, when you can, to lessen the pain whenever you see an animal suffering, even through no fault of yours. … As G-d is merciful, so you also be merciful. As he loves and cares for all His creatures and His children and are related to Him, because He is their Father, so you also love all His creatures as your brethren. Let their joys be your joys, and their sorrows yours. Love them and with every power which G-d gives you, work for their welfare and benefit, because they are the children of your G-d, because they are your brothers and sisters.

Hirsch, Rabbi Samson Rafael

father of German Jewish orthodoxy, Chief Rabbi of Austria

1808

1888

Horeb, Chapter 72, Section 482

1

 

 

His Holiness is pleased at being called upon, as head of the Church, for his support in so noble an undertaking, which has the lofty object of caring for the lives and treatment of animals and which at the same time endeavours to eradicate from the hearts of men barbarous and cruel tendencies.

Pius X, Pope

 

 

 

written by his secretary, Cardinal Merry del Val

1

 

 

His Holiness rejoices to know that the object of your Society is in perfect accord with the doctrine which the Church has always taught and the Saints have always followed, leaving us innumerable beautiful examples of compassion and tenderness.The fact that the Nations have not always followed the precepts of the Church and the example of the Saints moves the Sovereign Pontiff all the more to favour all that tends (while reserving supreme honour to the King of Creation) to foster respect for these other creatures of God, which Providence forbids us to exploit without concern and enjoins us to show wisdom in our use of them …Therefore the August Pontiff trusts that you will find faithful and efficient fellow-workers in the priests of God, since it is their duty to conform to the teaching of the Church and the example of the Saints. It is for them nobly to train souls in sentiments of enlightened gentleness and fostering care and guidance, so that they may offer to the animals refuge from every suspicion of roughness, cruelty or barbarism, and lead men to understand from the beauty of creation something of the infinite perfection of the Creator.’

Benedict XV, Pope

 

 

 

in 1915 to the head of the Italian SPCA

1

 

 

I believe in my heart that faith in Jesus Christ can and will lead us beyond an exclusive concern for the well-being of other human beings to the broader concern for the well-being of the birds in our backyards, the fish in our rivers, and every living creature on the face of the earth.

Wesley, John

Anglican priest, founder of Methodism

1703

1791

 

1

 

 

I decided that God is testing us, to show us that we are no better than animals. After all, the same fate awaits man and animals alike. One dies just like the other. They are the same kind of creature. A human being is no better off than an animal … How can anyone be sure that a man's spirit goes upward while an animal's spirit goes down into the ground?

Solomon (attributed to)

Ecclesiastes 3:19, Hebrew scripture

(950)

 

 

1

 

 

I decided that God is testing us, to show us that we are no better than animals. After all, the same fate awaits man and animals alike. One dies just like the other. They are the same kind of creature. A human being is no better off than an animal, because life has no meaning for either. They are both going to the same place - the dust. They both came from it; they will both go back to it. How can anyone be sure that a man's spirit goes upward while an animal's spirit goes down into the ground?

Ecclesiastes 3:18-21

Bible

800

 

 

1

 

 

I hate, despise your festivals, and I take no delight in your solemn assemblies. Even though you offer me your burnt offerings and grain offerings, I will not accept them; and the offerings of well-being of your fatted animals I will not look upon. Take away from me the noise of your songs; I will not listen to the melody of your harps. But let justice roll down like waters and righteousness like an everflowing stream.

God

Amos 5:21-24

 

 

 

1

 

 

If you have men who will exclude any of God's creatures from the shelter of compassion and pity, you will have men who will deal likewise with their fellow men.

Francis, Saint of Assisi

mystic and preacher

1181

1226

 

1

 

 

In darkest night, blessed God, be near us and those in captivity for whom we pray. Quiet their hearts from fear and despair with the comfort of your presence. Keep them in hope and good courage. Turn the hearts and hands of their captors from violence and hate. Speedily bring those we love to liberation and homecoming. And do not forsake us in the time of waiting and great distress, we pray through Jesus your child, who also was led captive and in whom our souls find eternal freedom. Amen.

unknown

 

 

 

prayer

1

 

 

In every country in the world, killing human beings is condemned. The Buddhist precept of non-killing extends even further, to include all living beings.

Hahn, The Venerable Thich Nhat

Vietnamese Zen master

1983

 

from Interbeing: Fourteen Guidelines for Engaged Buddhism

1

 

 

In loving kindness You have redeemed us again and again, In loving kindness You brought forth Your creatures before Adam, and not one was afraid; In loving kindness You instructed Noah to build an ark and save each kind from among Your creatures.

unknown

 

 

 

prayer

1

 

 

In loving kindness You have redeemed us again and again, In loving kindness You brought forth Your creatures before Adam, and not one was afraid; In loving kindness You instructed Noah to build an ark and save each kind from among Your creatures. Neither are we so hardhearted as to believe that the earth was created for us alone.... Out of the dark and out of formlessness You brought forth life; Teach us to know Your greatness by Your creatures, That Your tender mercy is upon them all, Teach us to live likewise So that every living creature, Every beast of the field and fowl of the air May praise You, and our voice be among them.

unknown

 

 

 

prayer

1

 

 

In the context that nearly all religion's scriptures promote vegetarian diet: If one talks the talk he should walk the walk.

Finan, Joe

Nov, 1997

1997

 

 

1

 

 

Institutional Christianity seems fearful of inquiry, fearful of freedom, fearful of knowledge -- indeed, fearful of anything except its own repetitious propaganda, which has its origins in a world that none of us any longer inhabits.

Sprong, Bishop John S.

Episcopal Church

1931

 

Why Christianity Must Change or Die

1

 

 

It appears that the first intention of the Maker was to have men live on a strictly vegetarian diet. The very earliest periods of Jewish history are marked with humanitarian conduct towards the lower animal kingdom...It is clearly established that the ancient Hebrews knew and perhaps were the first among men to know, that animals feel and suffer pain.

Glazer, Rabbi Simon

 

 

 

 

1

 

 

It is forbidden, according to the law of the Torah, to inflict pain upon any living creature. On the contrary, it is our duty to relieve the pain of any creature, even if it is ownerless or belongs to a non-Jew.

Jewish Law, The Code of

 

1560

 

Sephardic compilation of Jewish law

1

 

 

It is strange to hear people talk of Humanitarianism, who are members of societies for the 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.

Ha'nish, Otoman Zar-Adusht

 

1844

1936

 

1

 

 

Jews will move increasingly to vegetarianism out of their own deepening knowledge of what their tradition commands...Man's carnivorous nature is not taken for granted or praised in the fundamental teachings of Judaism...A whole galaxy of central rabbinic and spiritual leaders...has been affirming vegetarianism as the ultimate meaning of Jewish moral teaching.

Herzog, Rabbi Isaac ha-Levi

 

 

 

 

1

 

 

Man must never hurt animals, must never ill-treat them nor torture them physically because they are sensitive creatures. If anyone told me that to achieve my purpose it would be sufficient to kill an ant, I would not do it.

John, Pope XXIII

Pope 1958-1963

 

 

 

1

 

 

May all that have life be delivered from suffering.

Buddha

 

(563)

(483)

 

1

 

 

May all that have life be delivered from suffering.

Mahavira

enlightened Hindu teacher, founder of Jainism

(599)

(527)

 

1

 

 

Meat cannot be obtained without injury to animals, and the slaughter of animals obstructs the way to Heaven; let him therefore shun the use of meat. … He who injures harmless beings from a wish to give himself pleasure, never finds happiness, neither living nor dead. He who does not seek to cause the sufferings of bonds and death to living creatures, but desires the good of all, obtains endless bliss. He who does not injure any creature, obtains without an effort what he thinks of, what he undertakes, and what he fixes his mind on. He who does not eat meat becomes dear to men, and will not be tormented by diseases. He who permits the slaughter of an animal, he who kills it, he who cuts it up, he who buys or sells meat, he who cooks it, he who serves it up, and he who eats it, are all slayers. There is no greater sinner than that man who seeks to increase the bulk of his own flesh by the flesh of other beings. … Thus having well considered the disgusting origin of meat and the cruelty of fettering and slaying of corporeal beings, let him entirely abstain from eating flesh.

Manu, The Laws of

Hindu religious text

(1500)

 

 

1

 

 

Mercy to living beings, self restraint, truth, honesty, chastity and contentment, right faith and knowledge, and austerity are but the entourage of morality.

Sila-prabhrita

Jainism

(500)

 

 

1

 

 

Most of us are able to obtain an abundance of nonflesh foods that can keep us robustly healthy our whole lives. With such a variety of nonanimal foods available, who would choose to support the slaughter mills and foster the misery involved in factory farming by continuing to eat flesh? . . . It is sad to see how many American Buddhists are managing to find a self-satisfying accommodation to eating meat . . . [In the first Bodhisattva vow of Mahayana Buddhism] we commit our compassion to all beings, not just humans. Eschewing meat is one way to express that commitment to the welfare of other creatures.

Kjolhede, Bodhin

Abbot of the Rochester Zen Center and Zen master

1994

 

from The Buddhist Review

1

 

 

My body has never been defiled by animal flesh.

Ezekiel 3 & 4

Bible

800

 

 

1

 

 

Non-injury to all living beings is the only religion. (first truth of Jainism)

Yogashastra (Jain Scripture)

 

(500)

 

 

1

 

 

Non-injury, truthfulness, freedom from theft, lust, anger and greed, and an effort to do what is agreeable and beneficial to all creatures - this is the common duty of all castes. … To be non-violent to human beings and to be a killer or enemy of the poor animals is Satan's philosophy. In this age there is always enmity against poor animals and therefore the poor creatures are always anxious. The reaction of the poor animals is being forced on human society and therefore there is always the strain of cold or hot war between men, individually, collectively or nationally.

Srimad Bhagavatam 1.10.6

Ahimsa, Hindu scriptures

(3000)

(2500)

oldest human sacred text

1

 

 

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.

Francis, Saint of Assisi

mystic and preacher

1181

1226

 

1

 

 

Of what use are all your sacrifices to Me? I have had enough of the roasted carcasses of rams and of the fat of fattened beasts. I take no pleasure in the blood of calves, lambs and goats . When you spread out your hands, I close My eyes to you; despite however much you pray, I will not listen. Your hands are full of blood! Wash yourselves clean! Put away your misdeeds from before My eyes and stop doing evil.

Isaiah 1:11, 1:15-16

Bible

800

 

 

1

 

 

One is dearest to God who has no enemies among the living beings, who is nonviolent to all creatures.

Gita, Bhagavad

 

 

 

 

1

 

 

One is dearest to God who has no enemies among the living beings, who is nonviolent to all creatures. (Sanskrit word ahimsa means non-harm to all life)

Bhagavad Gita - Lord's Song

Ahimsa, Hindu scriptures

(3000)

(2500)

oldest human sacred text

1

 

 

Our obligation and our moral duty is to Him who made (the animals) … And in giving dominion over creatures to man, He gave it subject to the condition that they should be used in conformity with His own perfections … and among those perfections, one is, most profoundly, that of eternal mercy.

Manning, Cardinal Henry

 

1808

1892

 

1

 

 

Personally, I would not give a fig for any man's religion whose horse, cat and dog do not feel its benefits. Life in any form is our perpetual responsibility.

Cadman, S. Parkes

 

 

 

 

1

 

 

St Francis was led to love all things which he knew had the same origin as he, and in which he recognised the goodness of God. For he followed his Well-Beloved everywhere and in every trace of Him to be found in His creatures, he made of all things a ladder to reach His throne.

Pius XI, Pope

 

 

 

 

1

 

 

The animal world, as all creation, is a manifestation of God’s power, His wisdom, and His goodness, and as such deserves our respect and our consideration.

Pius XII, Pope

Pope 1939-1958

 

 

 

1

 

 

The Bible's emphasis is on the good treatment of animals, and not just the forbidding of cruel treatment.

Graham, Rev. Billy

evangelist

 

 

"Top 10 Most Respected Living Men" every year since 1948

1

 

 

The church so hated these good people (the Albigenses - a "heretical" sect of thirteenth century France) whose Christ-like compassion was such a judgement on its own pagan and anti-Christian violence, that their vegetarian habits were not only represented as signs of a diabolical heresy, but were also used as a means to detect and convict them. For when prisoners were taken, sheep were led to them and knives were provided for their butchery. Those who refused to kill the animals were burnt at the stake, and the majority did refuse since to take sentient life violated the very basis of their faith.

Wynne-Tyson, Esme

English philosopher, author and editor

 

 

Wrote The Philosophy of Compassion, 1970

1

 

 

The creatures of the sense world signify the invisible attributes of God, partly because God is the origin, exemplar and end of every creature, and every effect is a sign of its cause, the exemplification of the exemplar and the path to the end, to which it leads. ... For every creature is by its nature a kind of effigy and likeness of the eternal Wisdom. Therefore, open your eyes, alert the ears of your spirit, open your lips and apply your heart so that in all creatures you may see, hear, praise, love and worship, glorify and honor your God lest the whole world rise against you.

Bonaventure, Saint

Saint

1221

1274

monk, theologian, Doctor of the Church

1

 

 

The earth is the Lord's and the fullness thereof, Oh, God, enlarge within us the sense of fellowship with all living things, our brothers the animals to whom you gave the earth as their home in common with us. We remember with shame that in the past we have exercised the high dominion of man with ruthless cruelty so that the voice of the earth, which should have gone up to you in song, has been a groan of travail. May we realize that they live not for us alone but for themselves and for you and that they love the sweetness of life.

Basil the Great, Saint

Bishop of Caesarea, Church Father, Doctor of the Church, founder of Monasticism

329

379

prayer

1

 

 

The eating of meat was unknown up to the big flood, but since the flood they have put the strings and stinking juices of animal meat into our mouths, just as they threw in front of the grumbling sensual people in the desert. Jesus Christ, who appeared when the time had been fulfilled, has again joined the end with the beginning, so that it is no longer allowed for us to eat animal meat.

Jerome, Saint

priest, monk, theologian, first translator of the Bible into Latin

340

420

 

1

 

 

The essential, but often well-disguised, purpose of intelligent design, is to preserve the myth of a separate, divine creation for humans in the belief that only that can explain who we are. But there is a destructive hubris, a fearful arrogance, in that myth. It sets us apart from nature, except to dominate it. It misses both the grace and the moral depth of knowing that humans have only the same stake, the same right, in the Earth as every other creature that has ever lived here. There is a righteousness - a responsibility - in the deep, ancestral origins we share with all of life.

Klinkenborg, Verlyn

 

 

 

from article in NY Times, Aug 23, 2005

1

 

 

The highest religion is to rise to universal brotherhood; and to consider all creatures your equals.

Nanak, Guru

 

 

 

 

1

 

 

The righteous one regards the life of his animal but the heart of the wicked is without mercy.

Solomon (attributed to)

Proverbs 12:10, Hebrew scripture

(950)

 

 

1

 

 

The sooner we recognize the fact that the mercy of the Almighty extends to every creature endowed with life, the better it will be for us as men and Christians.

Whittier, John Greenleaf

American Quaker poet and abolitionist

1807

1892

 

1

 

 

The tzaddik (righteous person) acts according to the laws of justice; not only does he act according to these laws with human beings, but also with animals.

Michel, Rabbi Meir Leibush ben Yechiel

chief Rabbi of Romania

1809

1887

important Jewish Biblical commentator

1

 

 

The unnatural eating of the Flesh of Animals is as polluting as the Heathen Worship of Devils, with its Sacrifices and its impure Feasts, man becomes a fellow eater with Devils.

Clementine Homiles

wrote early Christian documents

150

 

2nd century

1

 

 

The violence done to Lebanon shall sweep over you. the havoc done to its beasts shall break your own spirit.

Hab. 2:17

 

 

 

 

1

 

 

There are probably no creatures that require more the protective Divine word against the presumption of man than the animals, which like man have sensations and instincts, but whose body and powers are nevertheless subservient to man. In relation to them man so easily forgets that injured animal muscle twitches just like human muscle, that the maltreated nerves of an animal sicken like human nerves, that the animal being is just as sensitive to cuts, blows, and beating as man. Thus man becomes the torturer of the animal soul.

Hirsch, Rabbi Samson Rafael

father of German Jewish orthodoxy, Chief Rabbi of Austria

1808

1888

Horeb, Chapter 60, Section 415

1

 

 

There is not an animal (that lives) on the earth, nor a being that flies on its wings, but (forms part of) communities like you. Nothing have We omitted from the Book, and they (all) shall be gathered to their Lord in the end.

Sura 6:38

 

 

 

 

1

 

 

There is not an animal on the earth, nor a flying creature on two wings, but they are people like unto you.

Quran

sacred scripture of Islam

 

 

 

1

 

 

Therefore a person fully absorbed in the bodily concept of life is surely killing himself by not making spiritual progress. Such a person is called pasu-ghna. Especially excluded from spiritual life are the animal hunters, who are not interested in hearing and chanting the holy name of the Lord. Such hunters are always unhappy, both in this life and in the next. It is therefore said that a hunter should neither die nor live because for such persons both living and dying are troublesome.

Bhaktivedanta, Swami A.C.

 

 

 

 

1

 

 

They (the animals) have very positive rights because they are God’s creatures. If we have to speak with absolute accuracy we must say that God has the right to have all His creatures treated with proper respect. Nobody should therefore carelessly repeat the old saying that animals have no rights. This could easily lead to wanton cruelty … The difficulty is that many people do not realise the extent to which cruelty to animals is practised as a matter of business … The best and most experienced teachers … talk of kindness to animals. Christians have a duty not only to refrain from doing harm but also to do positive good.

Heenan, Cardinal John

 

1905

1975

 

1

 

 

This is the quintessence of wisdom; not to kill anything. All breathing, existing, living sentient creatures should not be slain, nor treated with violence, nor abused, nor tormented, nor driven away. This is the pure unchangeable Law. Therefore, cease to injure living things.

Yogashastra (Jain Scripture)

 

(500)

 

 

1

 

 

Thou shalt not kill.

Exodus 20:13

Bible

800

 

 

1

 

 

To stand for Christ is to stand against evil of cruelty inflicted on those who are weak, vulnerable, unprotected, undefended, morally innocent, and in that class we must unambiguously include animals.

Linzey, Rev. Dr. Andrew

Anglican Priest & Senior Research Fellow in Theology, Oxford

 

 

 

1

 

 

Unless we live with non-violence and reverence for all living beings in our hearts, all our humaneness and acts of goodness, all our vows, virtues, and knowledge, all our practices to give up greed and acquisitiveness are meaningless and useless.

Mahavira

enlightened Hindu teacher, founder of Jainism

(599)

(527)

 

1

 

 

We (the Christian Leaders) practice Abstinence From the Flesh of Animals to subdue our bodies..... THE UNNATURAL EATING OF FLESH MEAT OF ANIMALS IS OF DEMONICAL ORIGIN...... the eating of Flesh is Polluting.

Chrysotom, Saint John

the most authentic Christian Literary Advocate of his time

347

407

 

1

 

 

We are instructed by the Torah to feed our animals before we feed ourselves.

Newman, Herb

husband of Atty Diane Newman

 

 

 

1

 

 

We may pretend to what religion we please, but cruelty is atheism. We may boast of Christianity; but cruelty is infidelity. We may trust our orthodoxy; but cruelty is the worst of heresies.

Primatt, Rev. Humphrey

Anglican priest

1736

1779

from A Dissertation on the Duty of Mercy and the Sin of Cruelty to Brute Animals (1776)

1

 

 

We should be able to refuse to live if the price of living be the torture of sentient beings.

Gandhi, Mahatma

Indian statesman

1869

1948

 

1

 

 

What was the necessity for the entire procedure of ritual slaughter? For the sake of self-discipline. It is far more appropriate for man not to eat meat; only if he has a strong desire for meat does the Torah permit it, and even this only after the trouble and inconvenience necessary to satisfy his desire. Perhaps because of the bother and annoyance of the whole procedure, he will be restrained from such a strong and uncontrollable desire for meat.

Lunchitz, Rabbi Solomon Efraim

 

1550

1619

 

1

 

 

Whatever you do unto the least of my brothers, you do it unto me.

Mathew 25:40

bible

 

 

 

1

 

 

Whatsoever you have done to these the least of my brethren you have done unto me.

Jesus

Bible; Proverbs 12:10

800

 

 

1

 

 

When a man has pity on all living creatures then only is he noble.

Buddha

 

(563)

(483)

 

1

 

 

Which religion gives the greatest joy to God? That which inspires human beings to practice Ahimsa and compassion to all creatures.

Acharya, Vallabha

 

 

 

 

1

 

 

You are permitted to use the animals and employ them for work, have dominion over them in order to utilize their services for your subsistence, but must not hold their life cheap nor slaughter them for food. Your natural diet is vegetarian.

Cassuto, Rabbi Moses

 

1883

1951

in his commentary "From Adam to Noah"

1

 

 

God made all the creatures and gave them our love and our fear, to give sign, we and they are His children, one family here.

Browning, Robert

American poet

1812

1889

 

2

 

y

In order to satisfy one human stomach, so many lives are taken away. We must promote vegetarianism. It is extremely important.

Lama, Dalai, His Holiness

The XIV Dalai Lama of Tibet

1935

 

Live In a Better Way, 2001

2

 

y

In our approach to life, be it pragmatic or otherwise, the ultimate truth that confronts us squarely and unmistakably is the desire for peace, security and happiness. Different forms of life in different aspects of existence make up the teeming denizens of this earth of ours. And, no matter whether they belong to the higher group as human beings or to the lower group, the animals, all beings primarily seek peace, comfort and security. Life is as dear to a mute creature as it is to a man. Just as one wants happiness and fears pain, just as one wants to live and not to die, so do other creatures.

Lama, Dalai, His Holiness

The XIV Dalai Lama of Tibet

1935

 

speaking at World Vegetarian Congress, 1967

2

 

y

Killing animals for sport, for pleasure, for adventures, and for hides and furs is a phenomenon which is at once disgusting and distressing. There is no justification in indulging in such acts of brutality.

Lama, Dalai, His Holiness

The XIV Dalai Lama of Tibet

1935

 

speaking at World Vegetarian Congress, 1967

2

 

y

Vivisection is the blackest of all the black crimes that man is at present committing against God and His fair creation. It ill becomes us to invoke in our daily prayers the blessings of God, the Compassionate, if we in turn will not practice elementary compassion towards our fellow creatures.

Gandhi, Mahatma

Indian statesman

1869

1948

 

2

 

y

We are compelled by the commandment of love contained in our hearts and thought, and proclaimed by Jesus, to give rein to our natural sympathy for animals. We are also compelled to help them and spare them suffering.

Schweitzer, Rev. Dr. Albert

German physician, author, Nobel Peace Prize 1952

1875

1965

 

2

 

y

Whenever I visit a market and see the chickens crowded together in tiny cages that give them no room to move around and spread their wings and the fish slowly drowning in the air, my heart goes out to them. People have to learn to think about animals in a different way, as sentient beings who love life and fear death. I urge everyone who can to adopt a compassionate vegetarian diet.

Lama, Dalai, His Holiness

The XIV Dalai Lama of Tibet

1935

 

speech 1998

2

 

y

The current treatment of animals in the livestock trade definitely renders the consumption of meat as halachically unacceptable as the product of illegitimate means. … As it is halachically prohibited to harm oneself and as healthy, nutritious vegetarian alternatives are easily available, meat consumption has become halachically unjustifiable.

Rosen, Rabbi David

Vegetarianism: An Orthodox Jewish Perspective

 

1995

Israel has a greater % of religious vegetarians than any nation

2

 

 

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

 

(563)

(483)

 

2

 

 

Animals are God's creatures, not human property, nor utilities, nor resources, nor commodities, but precious beings in God's sight

Linzey, Rev. Dr. Andrew

Anglican Priest & Senior Research Fellow in Theology, Oxford

 

 

 

2

 

 

Gambling, eating meat, wine-bibbing, adultery, hunting, thieving, debauchery - these seven things in this world lead to the hells.

Shloka, Sanskrit

 

 

 

 

2

 

 

I know of no more beautiful prayer than that which the Hindus of old used in closing: May all that have life be delivered from suffering.

Schopenhauer, Arthur

German philosopher, from On the Basis of Morality

1788

1860

 

2

 

 

It is far better to be happy than to have your bodies act as graveyards for animals. Accordingly, the apostle [St.] Matthew partook of seeds, nuts and vegetables, without meat.

Clement, Saint of Alexandria

Church Father

150

215

 

2

 

 

James, the brother of the Lord ... was holy from his mother’s womb; and he drank no wine nor strong drink, nor did he eat meat.

Hegesippus

first church historian

180

 

quoted in Eusebius’ The Church History (325)

2

 

 

Living creatures possess a moving soul and a certain spiritual superiority which in this respect make them similar to those who possess intellect (people) and they have the power of affecting their welfare and their food and they flee from pain and death.

Nachmanides

Rabbi

1194

1270

philosopher, physician, Kabalah scholar, mystic

2

 

 

Some folks insist that believing in animal rights is like a religion. But religion asks followers to believe in things nobody can see, while animal rights advocates ask followers to see things nobody can believe.

Burton, Craig

US novelist, "A Hatful of Pain"

1949

 

 

2

 

 

The eating of meat extinguishes the seed of great compassion.

Buddha

 

(563)

(483)

 

2

 

 

The moral evils of a flesh diet are not less marked than are the physical ills. Flesh food is injurious to health, and whatever affects the body has a corresponding effect on the mind and the soul. Think of the cruelty to animals meat-eating involves, and its effect on those who inflict and those who behold it. How it destroys the tenderness with which we should regard those creatures of God!

White, Ellen

co-founder Seventh Day Adventists

1827

1915

 

2

 

 

To become vegetarian is to step into the stream which leads to nirvana.

Buddha

 

(563)

(483)

 

2

 

 

Until we can own our centuries old distortion of God's word, we will probably never really move off the dime in current distortions of God's word. There is no special merit in declaring that what we hold now is part of the "faith once delivered to the saints" or "the church's teaching from the beginning." We have been consistently right in some things -- consistently wrong in others. I believe... that our "teaching" has often been racist and misogynist -- not always through our documents, but with winks, jokes, the language of our prayers, exclusionary policies and actions and the toleration of domestic violence and violence against minorities. This is not rocket science. When we do not intervene in long patterns of abuse, we tolerate and support that abuse -- and our silence speaks our doctrine, doesn't it?

Woodward, Rev. Tom

 

2005

 

 

2

 

 

It is in the battery shed that we find the parallel with Auschwitz....To shut your mind, heart and imagination from the sufferings of others is to begin slowly, but inexorably, to die. Those Christians who close their minds and hearts to the cause of animal welfare, and the evils it seeks to combat, are ignoring the Fundamental spiritual teachings of Christ himself.

Baker, Rev. Dr. John Austin

Bishop of Salisbury, England 1982-1993

1985

 

Sermon on the World Day of Prayer for Animals, 4 October 1986

3

 

 

Yet saddest of all fates, surely, is to have lost that sense of the holiness of life altogether; that we commit the blasphemy of bringing thousands of lives to a cruel and terrifying death or of making those lives a living death -- and feel nothing.

Baker, Rev. Dr. John Austin

Bishop of Salisbury, England 1982-1993

1985

 

 

3

 

 

I believe that where the true spirit of government is watchfully attended to, a tenderness toward all creatures will be experienced, and a care felt in us that we do not lessen that sweetness of life in the animal creation which the Great Creator intends for them under our government.

Woolman, John

American colonist, Quaker theologian, abolitionist

1720

1772

 

3

 

 

O ye who believe! Kill not game while in the sacred precincts or in pilgrim garb. If any of you doth so intentionally, the compensation is an offering, brought to the Ka'ba, of a domestic animal equivalent to the one he killed, as adjudged by two just men among you; or by way of atonement, the feeding of the indigent; or its equivalent in fasts: that he may taste of the penalty of his deed. Allah forgives what is past: for repetition Allah will exact from him the penalty. For Allah is Exalted, and Lord of Retribution. Quran 5:95

sacred scripture of Islam

 

 

 

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He created the earth for all creatures... Which of your Lord's marvels can
you deny ?
Quran 55 :10,13

sacred scripture of Islam

 

 

 

1

   
Seest thou not that it is God Whose praises all beings in the heavens and on earth do celebrate, and the birds (of the air) with wings outspread? Each one knows its own (mode of) prayer and praise. And God knows well all that they do Quran 24:41

sacred scripture of Islam

 

 

 

1

   
The Prophet said, 'A man saw a dog eating mud from (the severity of) thirst. So, that man took a shoe (and filled it) with water and kept on pouring the water for the dog till it quenched its thirst. So Allah approved of his deed and made him to enter Paradise. Translation of Sahih Bukhari, Ablutions (Wudu'), Volume 1, Book 4, Number 174         1    
The Prophet said, 'A woman entered the (Hell) Fire because of a cat which she had tied, neither giving it food nor setting it free to eat from the vermin of the earth. Translation of Sahih Bukhari, Beginning of Creation, Volume 4, Book 54, Number 535         1    
Narrated Asma' bint Abi Bakr: 'The Prophet once offered the eclipse prayer. He stood for a long time and then did a prolonged bowing. He stood up straight again and kept on standing for a long time, then bowed a long bowing and then stood up straight and then prostrated a prolonged prostration and then lifted his head and prostrated a prolonged prostration. And then he stood up for a long time and then did a prolonged bowing and then stood up straight again and kept on standing for a long time. Then he bowed a long bowing and then stood up straight and then prostrated a prolonged prostration and then lifted his head and went for a prolonged prostration. On completion o the prayer, he said, "Paradise became s near to me that if I had dared, I would have plucked one of its bunches for you and Hell became so near to me that said, 'O my Lord will I be among those people?' Then suddenly I saw a woman and a cat was lacerating her with it claws. On inquiring, it was said that the woman had imprisoned the cat till it died of starvation and she neither fed it no freed it so that it could feed itself.' Translation of Sahih Bukhari, Characteristics of Prayer, Volume 1, Book 12, Number 712         1