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Quotations and Poetry - Life/Death

All beings hate pains; therefore one should not kill them. This is the quintessence of wisdom: not to kill anything.
Sutrakritanga (Jainism)

Viler than unbelievers are those cruel ones who make the law that teaches killing.
Yogashastra (Jainism)

Beings which kill others should not be killed in the belief that the destruction of one of them leads to the protection of many others.
Purushartha Siddhyupaya (Jainism)

For as long as men massacre animals, they will kill each other. Indeed, he who sows the seed of murder and pain cannot reap joy and love.
Pythagoras (6th century BC)

Not to kill is a supreme duty.
Hitopadesa (Hindu)

Those who have forsaken the killing of all; those who are helpmates to all; those who are a sanctuary to all; those men are in the way of heaven.
Hitopadesa (Hindu)

Let him not destroy, or cause to be destroyed, any life at all, nor sanction the acts of those who do so. Let him refrain from even hurting any creature, both those that are strong and those that tremble in the world.
Suita-Nipata (Buddhist)

One act of pure love in saving life is greater than spending the whole of one's time in religious offerings to the gods ...
Dhammapada (Buddhist)

He who, seeking his own happiness, punishes or kills beings who also long for happiness, will not find happiness after his death.
Dhammapada (Buddhist)

But for the sake of some little mouthful of flesh we deprive a soul of the sun and light, and of that proportion of life and time it had been born into the world to enjoy.
Plutarch (c.AD 46-c.120)

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

The Utopians feel that slaughtering our fellow creatures gradually destroys the sense of compassion, which is the finest sentiment of which our human nature is capable.
Thomas More (1478-1535)

From thence the beasts be brought in, killed and clean washed by the hands of their bondsmen. For they permit not their free citizens to accustom themselves to the killing of beasts, through the use whereof they think clemency, the gentlest affection of our nature, by little and little to decay and perish.
Thomas Moore (1478-1535)

After they had accustomed themselves at Rome to the spectacles of the slaughter of animals, they proceeded to those of the slaughter of men, to the gladiators.
Michel de Montaigne (1533-1592)

Fishing is a pleasure of retirement, yet the angler has the power to let the fish live or die.
Hung Tzu-ch'eng (1593-1665)

It is a cruel folly to offer up to ostentation so many lives of creatures, as to make up the state of our treats.
William Penn (1644-1718)

How do we know that we have a right to kill creatures that we are so little above, as dogs, for our curiosity or even for some use to us?
Alexander Pope (1688-1744)

You have just dined, and however scrupulously the slaughterhouse is concealed in the graceful distance of miles, there is complicity.
Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882)

No humane being, past the thoughtless age of boyhood, will wantonly murder any creature which holds its life by the same tenure that he does.
Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862)

If he be really and seriously seeking to live a good life, the first thing from which he will abstain will always be the use of animal food, because ...its use is simply immoral, as it involves the performance of an act which is contrary to the moral feeling -- killing.
Leo Tolstoy (1828-1910)

The very emphasis of the commandment: Thou shalt not kill, makes it certain that we are descended from an endlessly long chain of generations of murderers, whose love of murder was in their blood as it is perhaps also in ours.
Sigmund Freud (1856-1939)

While we ourselves are the living graves of murdered beasts, how can we expect any ideal conditions on this earth?
George Bernard Shaw (1856-1950)

To a man whose mind is free there is something even more intolerable in the sufferings of animals than in the sufferings of man. For with the latter it is at least admitted that suffering is evil and that the man who causes it is a criminal. But thousands of animals are uselessly butchered every day without a shadow of remorse. If any man were to refer to it, he would be thought ridiculous. And that is the unpardonable crime.
Romain Rolland (1866-1944)

To my mind, the life of a lamb is no less precious than that of a human being. I should be unwilling to take the life of a lamb for the sake of the human body.
Mohandas Gandhi (1869-1948)

Late upon the third day, at the very moment when, at sunset... there flashed upon my mind, unforseen and unsought, the phrase 'Reverence for Life'.
Dr Albert Schweitzer (1875-1965)

A man is ethical only when life, as such, is sacred to him, that of plants and animals as well as that of his fellowman, and when he devotes himself helpfully to all life that is in need of help.
Dr Albert Sweitzer (1875-1965)

The man who has become a thinking being feels a compulsion to give every will-to-live the reverence for life that he gives his own.
Dr Albert Sweitzer (1875-1965)

Any religion or philosophy which is not based on a respect for life is not a true religion or philosophy.
Dr Albert Schweitzer (1875-1965)

A single death is a tragedy, a million deaths is a statistic.
Joseph Stalin (1879-1953)

The man who regards his own life and that of his fellow creatures as meaningless is not merely unhappy but hardly fit for life.
Albert Einstein (1879-1955)

My prayer is that what we have gone through [World War One] will startle the world into some new realisation of the sanctity of life, animal as well as human.
Christopher Morley (1890-1957)

We cannot have peace among men whose hearts find delight in killing any living creature.
Rachel Carson (1907-1964)

To inflict cruelties on defenceless creatures, or condone such acts, is to abuse one of the cardinal tenets of a civilized society - reverence for life.
Jon Evans (1917- )

Life is life's greatest gift. Guard the life of another creature as you would your own because it is your own. On life's scale of values, the smallest is no less precious to the creature who owns it than the largest ...
Lloyd Biggle Jr. (1923- )

Killing an animal to make a coat is a sin. It wasn't meant to be and we have no right to do it. A woman gains status when she refuses to see anything killed to be put on her back. Then she's truly beautiful!
Doris Day (1927- )

I don't myself believe that, even when we fulfil our minimum obligations not to cause pain, we have the right to kill animals. I know I would not have the right to kill you, however painlessly, just because I liked your flavour, and I am not in a position to judge that your life is worth more to you than the animal's to it.
Brigid Brophy (1929- )

We don't eat anything that has to be killed for us. We've been through a lot and we've reached a stage where we really value life.
Paul McCartney (1942- )


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