Dr. Albert Schweitzer
German Alsatian theologian, musician, philosopher, physician and Nobel
Peace Prize winner in 1952
“A man is truly ethical only when he obeys the compulsion to help
all life he is able to assist and shrinks from injuring anything that
"The thinking man must oppose all cruel customs no
matter how deeply rooted in tradition and surrounded by a halo. When we
have a choice, we must avoid bringing torment and injury into the life
of another, even the lowliest creature; to do so is to renounce our
manhood(womanhood) and shoulder a guilt which nothing justifies."
"Ethics are complete, profound and alive only when
addressed to all living beings. Only then are we in spiritual connection
with the world".
"We must fight against the spirit of unconscious cruelty
with which we treat the animals. Animals suffer as much as we do. True
humanity does not allow us to impose such sufferings on them. It is our
duty to make the whole world recognize it. Until we extend our circle of
compassion to all living things, humanity will not find peace."
Quote from The Philosophy of Civilization.
“The human spirit is not dead. It lives on in secret....
It has come to believe that compassion, in which all ethics must take
root, can only attain its full breadth and depth if it embraces all
living creatures and does not limit itself to mankind.”
Quote from his Novel Peace Prize address,
The Problem of Peace in the World Today
"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."
“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.”
“Let no one regard as light the burden of his responsibility. While
so much ill-treatment of animals goes on, while the moans of thirsty
animals in railway trucks sound unheard, while so much brutality
prevails in our slaughterhouses ... we all bear guilt. Everything that
lives has value as a living thing, as one of the manifestations of the
mystery that is life.”
"I must interpret the life about me as I interpret the life that is
my own. My life is full of meaning to me. The life around me must be
full of significance to itself. If I am to expect others to respect my
life, then I must respect the other life I see, however strange it may
be to mine. . . We need a boundless ethics which will include the
"The thinking man must oppose all cruel customs no matter how deeply
rooted in tradition and surrounded by a halo. When we have a choice, we
must avoid bringing torment and injury into the life of another, even
the lowliest creature; to do so is to renounce our manhood and shoulder
a guilt which nothing justifies."
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