Great Minds on Eating Animals
Einstein, Gandhi, Leonardo da Vinci and George Bernard Shaw are some of the great minds who advocated vegetarianism for moral reasons.
Brian Greene, Witten’s foremost protégé. He refuted Einstein’s theory that space can stretch but not tear, and by age nine, could multiply thirty-digit numbers in his head. In an interview on science, morality, and vegetarianism, Greene stated:
Q: Why do you think so many of the greatest geniuses have been vegetarian?
G: From my limited experience, vegetarians typically are people who are willing to challenge the usual, accepted order of things. Moreover, they’re often people willing to sacrifice their own pleasures in pursuit of what they believe is right. These same qualities are often what’s needed to make great breakthroughs in the arts and sciences.
Q: Why do you think other scientists are still not vegetarian?
G: I would ask, more generally, why the vast majority of people are not vegetarian. I think the answer is that most people don’t question the practice of eating meat since they always have. Many of these people care about animals and the environment, some deeply. But for some reason—force of habit, cultural norms, resistance to change—there is a fundamental disconnect whereby these feelings don’t translate into changes of behavior.
Q: What inspired you to become a vegetarian?
G: Quite literally, it was a dish—spare ribs—that my mother cooked when I was nine years old. The ribs made the connection between the meat and the animal from which it came direct; I was horrified and declared I’d never eat meat again. And I never have. Going vegan happened later. I visited an animal rescue farm in upstate New York and learned much about the dairy industry which was so disturbing that I could not continue to support it. Within days I gave up all dairy.
Thoughts from other intelligent minds
“Besides agreeing with the aims of vegetarianism for aesthetic and moral reasons, it is my view that a vegetarian manner of living by its purely physical effect on the human temperament would most beneficially influence the lot of mankind.” ~ Albert Einstein
“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
“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
“For as long as men massacre animals, they will kill each other. Indeed, those who sow the seed of murder and pain cannot reap joy and love.” ~ Pythagoras
"I am in favor of animal rights as well as human rights. That is the way of a whole human being" ~ Abraham Lincoln
"The day may come when the rest of animal creation may acquire those rights which could never have been withheld from them but by the hand of tyranny...a full-grown horse or dog is beyond comparison a more rational, as well as a more conversable animal, than an infant of a day, or a week or even a month old. But suppose the case were otherwise, what would it avail? The question is not, can they reason? Nor can they talk? But can they suffer?” ~ Jeremy Bentham
“I have from an early age abjured the use of meat, and the time will come when men such as I will look upon the murder of animals as they now look upon the murder of men.” ~ Leonardo da Vinci
“Non-violence leads to the highest ethics, which is the goal of all evolution. Until we stop harming all other living beings, we are still savages.” ~ Thomas Edison
“He who is cruel to animals becomes hard also in his dealings with men. We can judge the heart of a man by his treatment of animals.” ~ Immanuel Kant
“Animals are my friends... and I don't eat my friends.” ~ George Bernard Shaw
“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.” ~ Carl Sagan
“On general principles the raising of cattle as a means of providing food is objectionable. It is certainly preferable to raise vegetables, and I think, therefore, that vegetarianism is a commendable departure from the established barbarian habit. That we can subsist on plant food and perform our work even to advantage is not a theory but a well-demonstrated fact. Many races living almost exclusively on vegetables are of superior physique and strength. There is no doubt that some plant food, such as oatmeal, is more economical than meat, and superior to it in regard to both mechanical and mental performance. Such food, moreover, taxes our digestive organs decidedly less, and in making us more contented and sociable, produces an amount of good difficult to estimate. In view of these facts every effort should be made to stop the wanton, cruel slaughter of animals, which must be destructive to our morals.” ~ Nikola Tesla
“Isn't man an amazing animal? He kills wildlife - birds, kangaroos, deer, all kinds of cats, coyotes, beavers, groundhogs, mice, foxes and dingoes - by the million in order to protect his domestic animals and their feed. Then he kills domestic animals by the billion and eats them. This in turn kills man by the million, because eating all those animals leads to degenerative - and fatal- health conditions like heart disease, kidney disease, and cancer. So then man tortures and kills millions more animals to look for cures for these diseases. Elsewhere, millions of other human beings are being killed by hunger and malnutrition because food they could eat is being used to fatten domestic animals. Meanwhile, some people are dying of sad laughter at the absurdity of man, who kills so easily and so violently, and once a year, sends out cards praying for "Peace on Earth.” ~ from Old MacDonald's Factory Farm by C. David Coats
“The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.” ~Mahatma Gandhi