For those who consider themselves open-minded, progressive and willing to think deeply and be challenged, I have assembled the following quotes:
“Being an activist really just means you are willing to speak out for what’s important to you, even when others disagree. It means using your voice against injustice is more important than keeping everyone comfortable. You don’t have to be angry. You don’t have to shout. You can speak with love. You just can’t be silent.”
“I have been gravely disappointed with the white moderate...who prefers a negative peace which is the absence of tension to a positive peace which is the presence of justice; who constantly says: "I agree with you in the goal you seek, but I cannot agree with your methods…”
Martin Luther King Jr.
“We can see quite plainly that our present civilization is built on the exploitation of animals, just as past civilizations were built on the exploitation of slaves, and we believe the spiritual destiny of man is such that in time he will view with abhorrence the idea that men once fed on the products of animals’ bodies.”
"If a man is one step ahead of the crowd, he is a leader. If two steps ahead, he is a disturber. If three steps ahead, he is a fanatic and not to be trusted."
Loving and Leaving the Good Life
“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.”
“Being vegan is easy. Are there social pressures that encourage you to continue to eat, wear, and use animal products? Of course there are. But in a patriarchal, racist, homophobic, and ableist society, there are social pressures to participate and engage in sexism, racism, homophobia, and ableism. At some point, you have to decide who you are and what matters morally to you. And once you decide that you regard victimizing vulnerable nonhumans is not morally acceptable, it is easy to go and stay vegan”
Gary L. Francione
“For as long as man continues to be the ruthless destroyer of lower living beings, he will never know health or peace. For 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.”
“At the moment our human world is based on the suffering and destruction of millions of non-humans. To perceive this and to do something to change it in personal and public ways is to undergo a change of perception akin to a religious conversion. Nothing can ever be seen in quite the same way again because once you have admitted the terror and pain of other species you will, unless you resist conversion, be always aware of the endless permutations of suffering that support our society.”
Sir Author Conan Doyle
“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.”
“Humans–who enslave, castrate, experiment on, and fillet other animals–have had an understandable penchant for pretending animals do not feel pain. A sharp distinction between humans and “animals” is essential if we are to bend them to our will, make them work for us, wear them, eat them–without any disquieting tinges of guilt or regret. It is unseemly of us, who often behave so unfeelingly toward other animals, to contend that only humans can suffer. The behavior of other animals renders such pretensions specious. They are just too much like us.”
“Emotionally and culturally—which is to say, both as individuals and as a society—we are more deeply invested in animal slavery and slaughter than we ever were in the oppression of women or people of color….The emotional power of meat, eggs and dairy is multiplied because it is the material out of which so many of our defining rituals are constructed, from joyous family dinners during holidays to prayer breakfasts and power lunches, all of which are centered on meat”
"A truth's initial commotion is directly proportional to how deeply the lie was believed. When a well-packaged web of lies has been sold gradually to the masses over generations, the truth will seem utterly preposterous and its speaker, a raving lunatic."
“We know through painful experience that freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor; it must be demanded…”
Martin Luther King Jr.
"If we pursue our habit of eating animals, and if our neighbor follows a similar path, will we not have need to go to war against our neighbor to secure greater pasturage, because ours will not be enough to sustain us, and our neighbor will have a similar need to wage war on us for the same reason?"
"I have from an early age abjured the use of meat, and the time will come when men such as I will look on the murder of animals as they now look on the murder of men."
Leonardo Da Vinci
"I have no doubt that it is a part of the destiny of the human race, in its gradual improvement, to leave off eating animals, as surely as the savage tribes have left off eating each other."
Henry David Thoreau
"Until he extends the circle of his compassion to all living things, man will not himself find peace.
“Ethical veganism results in a profound revolution within the individual; a complete rejection of the paradigm of oppression and violence that she has been taught from childhood to accept as the natural order. It changes her life and the lives of those with whom she shares this vision of nonviolence. Ethical veganism is anything but passive; on the contrary, it is the active refusal to cooperate with injustice”
Gary L. Francione
"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."
“I struggle to understand why animal lovers with their compassion and love for animals, would want to dine on their bodies.”