"Buddhism teaches us that all our suffering issues from our
desires. A desirous mind state generates harmfulness in all its forms, both toward others, and toward ourselves. As
has been witnessed throughout the millennia in both monastic and strong lay practice in several traditions, when
one goes without meat or fish, one may well find oneself released from the desire for these foods (although not
instantly, of course) and one may even "soften" to the suffering of all creatures through a closer identity with
them. Vegetarianism can be an aid to learning to live a life of actions taken outside the realm of doing harm. It
is hard to say, in fact, which may come first, and which way the cycle may spiral, non meat eating leading to
sympathy for the plight of animals, or growing sympathy arising from deep and dedicated spiritual practice leading
to a gathering unwillingness to cause harm by supporting animal slaughter. But it becomes clear, along the road to
vegetarianism, that the less meat one desires, the closer one feels toward all life, the more harmless one feels,
and the more aware of the suffering of the helpless beasts one is. If, and possibly only if, vegetarianism is
supported by involved and sincere spiritual practice, it serves to soften us up. It actually (forgive me)
~ Sensei Sevan Ross - Vegetarianism and Zen
"Veganism is simply letting compassion guide our
choice of food. As such, it is a basic Buddhist practice that ought to be expected of everyone who takes refuge
~ Norm Phelps - The Great Compassion: Buddhism
& Animal Rights
"We have enslaved the rest of animal creation
and have treated our distant cousins in fur and feathers so badly that beyond doubt, if they were to formulate a
religion, they would depict the Devil in human form."
~ William Ralph Inge, British
"The awful wrongs and sufferings forced upon the
innocent, helpless, faithful animal race form the blackest chapter in the whole world's history."
~ Edward Freeman, English Historian and Commentator
"Nothing living should ever be treated with
contempt. Whatever it is that lives, a man, a tree, or a bird, should be touched gently, because the time is short.
Civilization is another word for respect for life."
Goudge, author of The Joy of the
"Our treatment of animals is important to our
own internal state. If we are to expand our horizons, to grow to understand what the relatedness of each and every
thing means, then our love and appreciation of all life is essential. Our respect and reverence for all living
things will be reflected in our own living."
~ Bill Schul, Author of The
Psychic Power of Animals
"It seems to me of great importance to teach
children respect for life. Towards this end, experiments on living animals in classrooms should be stopped. To
encourage cruelty in the name of science can only destroy the finer emotions of affection and sympathy, and breed
an unfeeling callousness in the young towards suffering in all living creatures."
~ Eleanor Roosevelt, former First Lady
of the United States of America
"Our treatment of animals will someday be
considered barbarous. There cannot be perfect civilization until man realizes that the rights of every living
creature are as sacred as his own."
~ Dr. David Starr Jordan, American
Biologist and Educator