"I am conscious that meat eating is not in accordance with the finer
feelings, and I abstain from it whenever I can."
"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."
"Until he extends the circle of his compassion to all living things,
man will not himself find peace."
"It is man's sympathy with all creatures that first makes him
truly a man."
"[After almost being pressured by other boys to sling rocks at
birds.] From that day onward I took courage to emancipate myself from
the fear of men, and whenever my inner convictions were at stake I let
other people's opinions weigh less with me than they had done
previously. I tried also to unlearn my former dread of being laughed at
by my school-fellows. This early influence upon me of the commandment
not to kill or to torture other creatures is the great experience of my
youth. By the side of that all others are insignificant."
"The exhibiting of trained animals I abhor. What an amount of
suffering and cruel punishment the poor creatures have to endure in
order to give a few moments of pleasure to men devoid of all thought and
is ethical only when life, as such, is sacred to him, that of plants and
animals as well as that of his fellowman, and when he devotes himself
helpfully to all life that is in need of help."
"A man is really
ethical only when he obeys the constraint laid on him to aid all life
which he is able to help, and when he goes out of his way to avoid
injuring anything living. He does not ask how far this or that life
deserves sympathy as valuable in itself, not how far it is capable of
feeling. To him life as such is sacred....."
"The time will come when public opinion will no longer tolerate
amusements based on the mistreatment and killing of animals. The time
will come, but when? When will we reach the point that hunting, the
pleasure of killing animals for sport, will be regarded as a mental
"A man is truly ethical
only when he obeys the compulsion to help all life which he is able to
assist, and shrinks from injuring anything that lives."
"Anyone who has accustomed himself to regard the life of any
living creature as worthless is in danger of arriving also at the
idea of worthless human lives."
"We must never permit the voice of humanity within us to be silenced.
It is man's sympathy with all creatures that first makes him truly a
"We need a boundless ethic which will include animals also."
"The thinking man must oppose all cruel customs no matter how deeply
rooted in tradition or surrounded by a halo...We need a boundless ethic
which will include the animal also."
"Think occasionally of the suffering of which you spare yourself the
"Very little of the great cruelty shown by men can really be
attributed to cruel instinct. Most of it comes from thoughtlessness or
inherited habit. The roots of cruelty therefore, are not so much strong
as widespread. But the time must come when inhumanity protected by
custom and thoughtlessness will succumb before humanity championed by
thought. Let us work that this time may come."
When we have a choice, we must avoid bringing torment and injury
into the life of another..."
"The deeper we look into nature the more we recognize that it
is full of life, and the more
profoundly we know that all life is a secret, and we are all
united to all this life."
"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."
~ Albert Schweitzer, Nobel Peace Prize Address,
"The Problem of Peace in the World Today"
"As far back as I can remember I was saddened by the amount of misery
I saw in the world around me. Youth's unqualified joie de vivre I never
and I believe that to be the case with many children, even though they
appear outwardly merry and quite free from care.
One thing that
specially saddened me was that the unfortunate animals had to suffer so
much pain and misery. The sight of an old limping horse, tugged forward
by one man while another kept beating it with a stick to get it to the
knacker's yard at Colmar, haunted me for weeks.
It was quite incomprehensible to me--this was before I began going to
school--why in my evening prayers I should pray for human beings only.
So when my mother had prayed with me and had kissed me goodnight, I used
to add silently a prayer that I had composed myself for all living
It ran thus: 'O, heavenly Father, protect and bless all things that
have breath; guard them from all evil, and let them sleep in peace.'"
- Excerpt from "The Light Within Us"
"By ethical conduct toward all creatures, we enter into a spiritual
relationship with the universe."
"The man who has become a thinking being feels a compulsion to give
every will-to-live the reverence for life that he gives his own.
"I would daily throw out crumbs for the sparrows in the neighborhood.
I noticed that one sparrow was injured, so that it had difficulty
getting about. But I was interested to discover that the other sparrows,
apparently by mutual agreement, would leave the crumbs which lay nearest
their crippled comrade, so that he could get his share, undisturbed."
"Let me give you a definition of ethics: It is good to maintain
and further life it is bad to damage and destroy life."
"By having reverence for life, we enter into a spiritual
relation with the world."
"There are two means of refuge from the miseries of life: music and
"Hear our humble prayer, O God, for our friends, the animals.
Especially for animals who are suffering; for any that are hunted or
lost or deserted or frightened or hungry; for all that must be put to
We entreat for them, all thy mercy and pity, and for those who deal
with them, we ask a heart of compassion and gentle hands and kindly
words. Make us, ourselves, to be true friends to animals and so to share
the blessings of the merciful."
"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.
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