"Many people consider the ethical reasons the most important of all for
becoming vegetarian. The beginning of ethical vegetarianism is the
knowledge that other creatures have feelings, and that their feelings are
similar to ours. This knowledge encourages one to extend personal
awareness to encompass the suffering of others.
In an essay titled "The Ethics of Vegetarianism," from the journal of the
North American Vegetarian Society, the conception of "humane animal
slaughter" is refuted. "Many people nowadays have been lulled into a sense
of complacency by the thought that animals are now slaughtered
'humanely', thus presumably removing any possible humanitarian
objection to the eating of meat. Unfortunately, nothing could be further
from the actual facts of life...and death.
The entire life of a captive 'food animal' is an unnatural one of artificial
breeding, vicious castration and/or hormone stimulation, feeding of an
abnormal diet for fattening purposes, and eventually long rides in intense
discomfort to the ultimate end. The holding pens, the electric prods and
tail twisting, the abject terror and fright, all these are still very much a
part of the most 'modern' animal raising, shipping, and slaughtering. To accept
all this and only oppose the callous brutality of the last few seconds of the
animal's life, is to distort the word 'humane'."
The truth of animal slaughter is not at all pleasant-commercial
slaughterhouses are like visions of hell. Screaming animals are stunned by
hammer blows, electric shock, or concussion guns. They are hoisted into
the air by their feet and moved through the factories of death on
mechanized conveyor systems. Still alive, their throats are sliced and their
flesh is cut off while they bleed to death. Why isn't the mutilation and
slaughter of farm animals governed by the same stipulations intended for
the welfare of pets and even the laboratory rat?
Many people would no doubt take up vegetarianism if they visited a
slaughterhouse, or if they themselves had to kill the animals they ate. Such
visits should be compulsory for all meat eaters.
....When we lose respect for animal life, we lose respect for human life as
well. Twenty-six hundred years ago, Pythagoras said, "Those that kill
animals to eat their flesh tend to massacre their own." We're fearful of
enemy guns, bombs, and missiles, but can we close our eyes to the pain
and fear we ourselves bring about by slaughtering, for human
consumption, over 1.6 billion domestic mammals and 22.5 billion poultry a
year. The number of fish killed each year is in the trillions. And what ot
speak of the tens of millions of animals killed each year in the
"torture-camps" of medical research laboratories, or slaughtered for their
fur, hide, or skin, or hunted for "sport". Can we deny that this brutality
makes us more brutal too?"
"The Hare Krishna Book of Vegetarian Cooking"
By Adiraja Dasa
Bhaktivedanta Book Trust
"Vegetarian food leaves a deep impression on our nature. If the whole world adopts vegetarianism, it can change the destiny of humankind."
"If man wants freedom why keep birds and animals in cages? Truly man is the king of beasts, for his brutality exceeds them. We live by the death of others. We are burial places! I have since an early age abjured the use of meat."
"Flesh eating is unprovoked murder."
"Behold, a virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel. He shall eat butter and honey, so that he may know the evil from the good."
"...Behold I have given you every herb bearing seed which is upon the face of all the earth and every tree in which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat..."
"Thou shalt not kill."
"One should treat animals such as deer, camels, asses, monkeys, mice, snakes, birds and flies exactly like one's own son. How little difference there actually is between children and these innocent animals."
Srimad Bhagavatam 7.14.9
"To avoid causing terror to living beings, let the disciple refrain from eating meat...the food of the wise is that which is consumed by the sadhus (holy men), it does not consist of meat... There may be some foolish people in the future who will say I permitted meat-eating and that I partook of meat myself, but meat-eating I have not permitted to anyone, I do not permit, I will not permit meat-eating in any form in future, in any manner and in any place. It is unconditionally prohibited for all."
"We pray on Sundays that we may have light
To guide our footsteps on the path we tread;
We are sick of war, we don't want to fight,
And yet we gorge ourselves upon the dead."
George Bernard Shaw
"Every act of irreverence for life, every act which neglects life, which is indifferent to and wastes life, is a step towards the love of death. This choice man must make at every minute. Never were the consequences of the wrong choice as total and as irreversible as they are today. Never was the warning of the Bible so urgent: "I have put before you life and death, blessing and curse. Choose life, that you and your children may live."
Erich Fromm (on Deuteronomy 30:19)
"Cruelty to animals is as if man did not love God."
Cardinal John H. Newman
"Plant life instead of animal food is the keystone of regeneration. Jesus used bread instead of flesh and wine in place of blood at the Lord's Supper."
German Composer Richard Wagner (1813)
"Man did not weave the web of life: he is merely a strand in it. Whatever he does to the web, he does to himself. To harm the earth is to heap contempt on its creator."
Red Indian Chief (1854)
"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."
St. Francis of Assisi
"Killing is a denial of love. To kill or to eat what another has killed is to rejoice in cruelty. And cruelty hardens our hearts and blinds our vision, and we are unable to see that they whom we kill are our fellow brothers and sisters in the One Family of Creation."
G.L. Rudd, author of Why Kill For Food?
"Vegetarianism is a way of life that we should all move toward for economic survival, physical well-being and spiritual integrity."
Father Thomas Berry, Fordham University, New York
"I do feel that spiritual progress does demand at some stage that we should cease to kill our fellow creatures for the satisfaction of our bodily wants."
"To be non-violent to human beings and to be a killer or enemy of poor animals is Satan's philosophy. In this age there is always enmity against 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...
"The earth affords a lavish supply of riches, of innocent foods, and offers you banquets that involve no bloodshed or slaughter; only beasts satisfy their hunger with flesh, and not even all of those, because horses, cattle, and sheep live on grass. As long as men massacre animals, they will kill each other. Indeed, he who sows the seeds of murder and pain cannot reap joy and love."
"For my part I rather wonder both by what accident and in what state of mind the first man touched his mouth to gore and brought his lips to the flesh of a dead creature, set forth tables of dead, stale bodies, and ventured to call food and nourishment the parts that had a little before bellowed and cried, moved and lived. How could his eyes endure the slaughter when throats were slit and hides flayed and limbs torn from limb? How could his nose endure the stench? How was it that the pollution did not turn away his taste, which made contact with sores of others and sucked juices and serums from mortal wounds? It is certainly not lions or wolves that we eat out of self-defense; on the contrary, we ignore these and slaughter harmless, tame creatures without stings or teeth to harm us. For the sake of a little flesh we deprive them of sun, of light, of the duration of life to which they are entitled by birth and being."
"If you declare that you are naturally designed for such a diet, then first kill for yourself what you want to eat. Do it, however, only through your own resources, unaided by cleaver or cudgel or any kind of ax."
"The steam of meat darkens the light of the spirit...One hardly can have virtue when one enjoys meat meals and feasts..."
"...Ethics has not only to do with mankind but with the animal creation as well. This is witnessed in the purpose of St. Francis of Assisi. Thus we shall arrive that ethics is reverence for all life. This is the ethic of love widened universally. It is the ethic of Jesus now recognized as a necessity of thought...Only a universal ethic which embraces every living creature can put us in touch with the universe and the will which is there manifest..."
"I am full of the burnt offering of rams and the fat of fed beasts. I delight not in the blood of bullocks, or of lambs, or of goats...Bring no more vain offerings... When you spread forth your hands, I will hide mine eyes though you make many prayers, and I will not hear you. For your hands are full of blood..."
"I will have mercy and not sacrifice, the knowledge of God rather than burnt offerings..."
"...Therefore the Lord will give you meat and you shall eat. You shall not eat one day or two days, or ten days or twenty days, but till it comes out at your nostrils and becomes loathsome to you, because you have rejected the Lord..."
"...He who gives permission, he who kills the animal, he who sells the slaughtered animal, he who cooks the animal, he who administers the distribution of the flesh, and at last he who eats the flesh are all murderers and all of them are punishable under the law of karma."
The Laws of Manu (5:55)
"Meat can never be obtained without injury to living creatures, and injury to sentient beings is detrimental to the attainment of heavenly bliss; let him therefore shun the use of meat."
The Laws of Manu
"Having well considered the disgusting origin of flesh and the cruelty of fettering and slaying of corporeal beings, let him entirely abstain from eating flesh."
The Laws of Manu
"Those who never harm others by (physical deeds), by thought and speech, in whatever condition they may be, do not go to Yama's abode. Men who harm other creatures do not go to heaven, in spite of their reciting Vedas, giving gifts, practicing austerities or performing sacrifices. Harmlessness is a great form of piety. Harmlessness alone is a great penance. Harmlessness is a great gift. This what the sages say."
Padma Purana III 31-25-28
"Whoever eats raw or cooked flesh, and whoever destroys a fetus shall be destroyed by us from here."
Atharva Veda 8.6.23
"A cruel and wretched person who maintains his existence at the cost of others' lives deserves to be killed for his own eternal well being, otherwise he will go down by his own actions."
Srimad Bhagavatam 1.7.37
"The devotees of the Lord are released from all kinds of sins because they eat food which is offered first for sacrifice. Others, who prepare food for personal sense enjoyment, verily eat only sin."
Bhagavad Gita 3:13
"One who loves Krishna will give Him whatever He wants, and he avoids offering anything which is undesirable or unasked for. Thus, meat, fish and eggs should not be offered to Krishna...Vegetables, grains, fruits, milk and water are the proper foods for human beings and are prescribed by Lord Krishna Himself. Whatever else you eat, can not be offered to Him, since He will not accept it."
His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
"It is the order of the True Lord to the entire body of the Khalsa...that they shall abstain from bhang, tobacco, opium, alcohol and desist from eating meat, fish, onions, nor indulge in theft and lust..."
"All tremble at Violence; all fear death. Putting oneself in the place of another, one should not kill or cause another to kill."
"He who has renounced all Violence towards all living beings, weak or strong, who neither kills nor causes other to kill - him do I call a holy man"
"It is said about Lord Buddha sadaya-hrdaya darsita-pasu-ghatam. He saw the whole human race going to hell by this animal killing. So he appeared to teach ahimsa, nonviolence, being compassionate on the animals and human beings. In the Christian religion also, it is clearly stated, 'Thou shall not kill'. So everywhere animal killing is restricted. In no religion the unnecessary killing of animals is allowed. But nobody is caring. The killing process is increasing, and so are the reactions. Every ten years you will find a war. These are the reactions."
His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
"We cannot separate ourselves from those whom we call the 'lower' animals. They are lower in the scale of evolution, but they, like us, are members of the One Family. We must not take away the life of any creature. Indeed, we must never take away that which we cannot give. And as we cannot restore a dead creature to life, we have no right to take away its' life."
J.P. Vaswani, Why Kill For Food?
"There is not an animal on the earth, nor a flying creature flying on two wings, but they are peoples like unto you."
Koran, surah 6 verse 38
"Therewith He causes crops to grow for you, and the olive and the date-palm and grapes and all kinds of fruit. Lo! Herein is indeed a portent for people who reflect."
Koran, surah 16, verse 11
"A token unto them is the dead earth. We revive it, and we bring forth from it grain so that they will eat thereof. And we have placed therein gardens of the date-palm and grapes, and We have placed therein. That they may eat of the fruit thereof, and their hands created it not. Will they not, then, give thanks?"
Koran, surah 36, verses 33-35
"Maim not the brute beasts...Whoever is kind to the lesser creatures is kind to himself...He who takes pity (even) on a sparrow and spares its life. Allah will be merciful on him on the day of judgement."
Once someone asked George Bernard Shaw how it was that he looked so youthful. "I don't," Shaw retorted. "I look my age. It is the other people who look older than they are. What can you expect from people who eat corpses?"
"A diet consisting of any staple grain with milk, milk products and green leafy vegetables contains not only the right kind and amount of protein but everything else the body needs for health, strength and well-being."
Sir Robert McCarrison
"Flesh eating is simply immoral, as it involves the performance of an act which is contrary to moral feeling: killing. By killing, man suppresses in himself, unnecessarily, the highest spiritual capacity, that of sympathy and pity towards living creatures like himself, and by violating his own feelings becomes cruel."