Vegan Outreach Booklets Save Animals—Your Donation Will Put Booklets into More People’s Hands
 VO Instagram VO Twitter VO Facebook
Vegan Outreach: Working to End Cruelty to Animals
Request a FREE Starter Guide with Recipes
Sign up for VO’s FREE Weekly Enewsletter

Vegan Outreach is a 501(c)(3)
nonprofit organization dedicated to
reducing the suffering of farmed animals
by promoting informed, ethical eating.

Donations to VO are fully tax-deductible.
VO’s tax identification no. is 86-0736818.

Vegan Outreach
POB 1916, Davis, CA 95617-1916

Share

Vegan and Vegetarian Quotes

Including a URL (such as VeganOutreach.org) or quotation at the end of your email signature is an easy way to increase awareness about veganism. Below are some examples of quotes from famous people.

Compassion

The world, we are told, was made especially for man – a presumption not supported by all the facts.… Why should man value himself as more than a small part of the one great unit of creation?
—John Muir, naturalist and explorer (1838–1914)

Until he extends the circle of his compassion to all living things, man will not himself find peace.
—Albert Schweitzer, French philosopher, physician, and musician (Nobel 1952)

Whenever people say “We mustn’t be sentimental,” you can take it they are about to do something cruel. And if they add “We must be realistic,” they mean they are going to make money out of it.
—Brigid Brophy (1929–1995)

 

Animal Rights

[I]t is difficult to picture the great Creator conceiving of a program of one creature (which He has made) using another living creature for purposes of experimentation. There must be other, less cruel ways of obtaining knowledge.
—Adlai Stevenson, American statesman (1835–1914)

There is no fundamental difference between man and the higher animals in their mental faculties.… The lower animals, like man, manifestly feel pleasure and pain, happiness, and misery.
—Charles Darwin, naturalist and author (1809–1882)

The difference in mind between man and the higher animals, great as it is, certainly is one of degree and not of kind.
—Charles Darwin, The Descent of Man

Even in the worm that crawls in the earth there glows a divine spark. When you slaughter a creature, you slaughter God.
—Isaac Bashevis Singer, writer and Nobel laureate (1902–1991)

As long as people will shed the blood of innocent creatures there can be no peace, no liberty, no harmony between people. Slaughter and justice cannot dwell together.
—Isaac Bashevis Singer, writer and Nobel laureate (1902–1991)

I don’t hold animals superior or even equal to humans. The whole case for behaving decently to animals rests on the fact that we are the superior species. We are the species uniquely capable of imagination, rationality, and moral choice – and that is precisely why we are under an obligation to recognize and respect the rights of animals.
—Brigid Brophy (1929–1995)

The love for all living creatures is the most noble attribute of man.
—Charles Darwin, English naturalist (1809–1882)

Wild animals never kill for sport. Man is the only one to whom the torture and death of his fellow creatures is amusing in itself.
—James A. Froude, English historian (1818–1894)

If you visit the killing floor of a slaughterhouse, it will brand your soul for life.
—Howard Lyman, author of Mad Cowboy

A man can live and be healthy without killing animals for food; therefore, if he eats meat, he participates in taking animal life merely for the sake of his appetite. And to act so is immoral.
—Leo Tolstoy, Russian novelist (1828–1910)

In fact, if one person is unkind to an animal it is considered to be cruelty, but where a lot of people are unkind to animals, especially in the name of commerce, the cruelty is condoned and, once large sums of money are at stake, will be defended to the last by otherwise intelligent people.
—Ruth Harrison, author of Animal Machines

The beef industry has contributed to more American deaths than all the wars of this century, all natural disasters, and all automobile accidents combined. If beef is your idea of “real food for real people,” you’d better live real close to a real good hospital.
—Neal D. Barnard, MD, President, Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine

About 2,000 pounds of grains must be supplied to livestock in order to produce enough meat and other livestock products to support a person for a year, whereas 400 pounds of grain eaten directly will support a person for a year. Thus, a given quantity of grain eaten directly will feed 5 times as many people as it will if it is eaten indirectly by humans in the form of livestock products.…
—M.E. Ensminger, PhD

Now I can look at you in peace; I don’t eat you anymore.
—Franz Kafka, while admiring fish in an aquarium

Poor animals! How jealously they guard their pathetic bodies…that which to us is merely an evening’s meal, but to them is life itself.
—T. Casey Brennan (1948–)

Life is life – whether in a cat, or dog or man. There is no difference there between a cat or a man. The idea of difference is a human conception for man’s own advantage.
—Sri Aurobindo (1872–1950)

Humanity’s true moral test, its fundamental test…consists of its attitude towards those who are at its mercy: animals. And in this respect humankind has suffered a fundamental debacle, a debacle so fundamental that all others stem from it.
—Milan Kundera, The Unbearable Lightness of Being, 1984

What is it that should trace the insuperable line?… The question is not, Can they reason? nor, Can they talk? but, Can they suffer?
—Jeremy Bentham (1748–1832)

Can you really ask what reason Pythagoras had for abstaining from flesh? For my part I rather wonder both by what accident and in what state of soul or mind the first man did so, touched his mouth to gore and brought his lips to the flesh of a dead creature, he who 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 the sores of others and sucked juices and serums from mortal wounds?… It is certainly not lions and 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, creatures that, I swear, Nature appears to have produced for the sake of their beautyand grace. But nothing abashed us, not the flower-like tinting of the flesh, not the persuasiveness of the harmonious voice, not the cleanliness of their habits or the unusual intelligence that may be found in the poor wretches. No, 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.
—Plutarch

I abhor vivisection. It should at least be curbed. Better, it should be abolished. I know of no achievement through vivisection, no scientific discovery, that could not have been obtained without such barbarism and cruelty. The whole thing is evil.
—Charles Mayo, founder of the Mayo Clinic

Truly man is the king of beasts, for his brutality exceeds them. We live by the death of others. We are burial places.
—Leonardo Da Vinci (1452–1519)

As long as men massacre animals, they will kill each other. Indeed, he who sows the seeds of murder and pain cannot reap the joy of love.
—Pythagoras

When a man wants to murder a tiger, he calls it sport; when a tiger wants to murder him, he calls it ferocity.
—George Bernard Shaw, writer and Nobel laureate (1856–1950)

It is my view that the vegetarian manner of living, by its purely physical effect on the human temperament, would most beneficially influence the lot of mankind.
—Albert Einstein (1879–1955)

A human being is a part of the whole, called by us the “Universe,” a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings, as something separate from the rest – a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty. Nobody is able to achieve this completely, but the striving for such achievement is in itself a part of the liberation and a foundation for inner security.
—Albert Einstein (1879–1955)

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.
—Isaac Bashevis Singer, writer and Nobel laureate (1902–1991)

A dead cow or sheep lying in the pasture is recognized as carrion. The same sort of carcass dressed and hung up in a butcher’s stall passes as food.
—J. H. Kellogg, American physician (1852–1943)

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.
—Mahatma Gandhi (1869–1948)

 

Activism

The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists to adapt the world to himself. Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man.
—George Bernard Shaw, writer and Nobel laureate (1856–1950)

There may be times when we are powerless to prevent injustice, but there must never be a time when we fail to protest.
—Elie Wiesel, writer and Nobel laureate (1928–)

The fact that an opinion has been widely held is no evidence that it is not utterly absurd; indeed, in view of the silliness of the majority of mankind, a widespread belief is more often likely to be foolish than sensible.
—Bertrand Russell, Marriage and Morals, 1929

Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed, citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.
—Margaret Mead, American cultural anthropologist (1901–1978)

Each snowflake in an avalanche pleads not guilty.
—Stanislaw Jerzy Lec, Polish poet and aphorist (1909–1966)

In matters of conscience, the law of majority has no place.
—Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi (1869–1948)

To forgive and accept injustice is cowardice.
—Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi (1869–1948)

The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.
—Martin Luther King, Jr. (1929–1968)

There are a thousand hacking at the branches of evil to one who is striking at the roots.
—Henry David Thoreau, Walden, 1854

It takes two to speak the truth: one to speak, and another to hear.
—Henry David Thoreau (1817–1862)

Loyalty to a petrified opinion never yet broke a chain or freed a human soul.
—Mark Twain, American author (1835–1910)

There is nothing more frightful than ignorance in action.
—Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, German writer (1749–1832)

What would we do if we didn’t try? We have to try.
—Lyle Lovett

None so blind as those who will not see.
—Matthew Henry, English clergyman (1662–1714)

[A] long habit of not thinking a thing wrong, gives it a superficial appearance of being right, and raises at first a formidable outcry in defense of custom. But the tumult soon subsides. Time makes more converts than reason.
—Thomas Paine, Common Sense

Ultimately, an unbiased observer of human behavior must conclude that most action is not shaped by theory, but rather theories are shaped to conform to actions we have no intention of changing.
—Marjorie Spiegel, The Dreaded Comparison

All of us cherish our beliefs. They are, to a degree, self-defining. When someone comes along who challenges our belief system as insufficiently well-based – or who, like Socrates, merely asks embarrassing questions that we haven’t thought of, or demonstrates that we’ve swept key underlying assumptions under the rug – it becomes much more than a search for knowledge. It feels like a personal assault.
—Carl Sagan, The Demon-Haunted World

To cultivate kindness is a valuable part of the business of life.
—Samuel Johnson, English author (1709–1784)

Man’s mind stretched to a new idea never goes back to its original dimensions.
—Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr., American jurist (1841–1935)

All truth passes through three stages. First, it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as being self-evident.
—Arthur Schopenhauer, German philosopher (1788–1860)

Those who will not reason, are bigots, those who cannot, are fools, and those who dare not, are slaves.
—George Gordon Noel Byron (Lord Byron), English Romantic poet (1788–1824)

The conventional view serves to protect us from the painful job of thinking.
—John Kenneth Galbraith, Canadian-American economist (1908–2006)