List of notable vegetarians

See also: Wikipedians/Vegetarians; Vegetarianism

What some notable vegetarians had to say on the subject of vegetarianism, in chronological order

"Oh, my fellow men, do not defile your bodies with sinful foods. We have corn, we have apples bending down the branches with their weight, and grapes swelling on the vines. There are sweet-flavored herbs, and vegetables which can be cooked and softened over the fire, nor are you denied milk or thyme-scented honey. The earth affords a lavish supply of riches, of innocent foods, and offers you banquets that involve no bloodshed or slaughter: only beasts satisfy their hunger with flesh, and not even all of those, because horses, cattle, and sheep live on grass."

"Can you really ask what reason Pythagoras had for abstinence from flesh? For my part I rather wonder both by what accident and in what state of mind the first man touched his mouth to gore and brought his lips to the flesh of a dead creature, set forth tables of dead, stale bodies, and ventured to call food and nourishment the parts that has a little before bellowed and cried, moved and lived. How could eyes endure the slaughter when throats were slit and hides flayed and limbs torn from limb. How could his nose endure the stench? How was it that the pollution did not turn away his taste, which made contact with sores of others and sucked juices and serums from mortal wounds? It is certainly not lions or wolves that we eat out of self-defense; on the contrary, we ignore these and slaughter harmless, tame creatures without stings or teeth to harm us. For the sake of a little flesh we deprive them of sun, of light, of the duration of life to which they are entitled by birth and being."
"If you declare that you are naturally designed for such a diet, then first kill for yourself what you want to eat. Do it, however, only through your own resources, unaided by cleaver or cudgel or any kind of ax."

"He who does not value life does not deserve it."
"Endless numbers of these animals shall have their little children taken from them, ripped open, and barbarously slaughtered."

"Let the advocate of animal food force himself to a decisive experiment on its fitness, and as Plutarch recommends, tear a living lamb with his teeth and, plunging his head into its vitals, slake his thirst with the steaming blood ... then, and then only, would he be consistent."

"man suppresses in himself, unnecessarily, the highest spiritual capacity - that of sympathy and pity towards living creatures like himself - and by violating his own feelings becomes cruel."

"Is it not a reproach that man is a carnivorous animal? True, he can and does live, in a great measure, by preying on other animals; but this is a miserable way - as any one who will go to snaring rabbits, or slaughtering lambs, may learn - and he will be regarded as a benefactor of his race who shall teach man to confine himself to a more innocent and wholesome diet. Whatever my own practice may be, 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 when they came in contact with the more civilized."

"It is necessary to correct the error that vegetarianism has made us weak in mind, or passive or inert in action. I do not regard flesh-food as necessary at any stage."
"I hold flesh-food to be unsuited to our species. We err in copying the lower animal world if we are superior to it."
"spiritual progress does demand at some stage that we should cease to kill our fellow creatures for the satisfaction of our bodily wants."

''"We pray on Sundays that we may have light
To guide our footsteps on the path we tread;
We are sick of war, we don't want to fight,
And yet we gorge ourselves upon the dead."''

"In all the round world of Utopia there is no meat. There used to be. But now we cannot stand the thought of slaughterhouses. And, in a population that is all educated, and at about the same level of physical refinement, it is practically impossible to find anyone who will hew a dead ox or pig ... I can still remember as a boy the rejoicings over the closing of the last slaughterhouse."

"We are all God's creatures - that we pray to God for mercy and justice while we continue to eat the flesh of animals that are slaughtered on our account is not consistent."
"Even if eating flesh was actually shown to be good for you, I would certainly still not eat it."
"Various philosophers and religious leaders tried to convince their disciples and followers that animals are nothing more than machines without a soul, without feelings. However, anyone who has ever lived with an animal - be it a dog, a bird, or even a mouse - knows that this theory is a brazen lie, invented to justify cruelty."

Adolf Hitler was NOT a vegetarian. Those who are opposed to vegetarianism often, incorrectly, state that Adolf Hitler was a vegetarian - thus implying that vegetarianism is somehow related to murderous authoritarianism. In Robert Payne's biography of Hitler he writes, "Hitler's asceticism played an important part in the image he projected over Germany. According to the widely believed legend, he neither smoked nor drank, nor did he eat meat or have anything to do with women. Only the first was true. He drank beer and diluted wine frequently, had a special fondness for Bavarian sausages..." The Bavarian sausages that Hitler ate were made from the flesh of animals, and are certainly not consistent with a vegetarian diet.

Paul and his wife Linda became outspoken vegetarians and animal-rights activists after owning cattle and watching them outside the window as they cooked and ate meat; in 1991, Linda introduced her own line of vegetarian meals to the general market.

Vegetarian Christians

The following Christians practice or practiced vegetarianism believing it to be spiritually beneficial:




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