Fostering a Gentler, Healthier and more Compassionate World for all Living Beings

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"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) tenderizes us."

~ Sensei Sevan Ross - Vegetarianism and Zen Practice

"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 vows."

~ 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 Author

"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."

~ Elizabeth Goudge, author of The Joy of the Snow

Respect for all Life

"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

Butterfly - Oneness with all Life

"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

Turtle - All living beings are Sacred


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