Quotes: Vegetarianism
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Vegetarianism A man of my spiritual intensity does not eat corpses. George Bernard Shaw, Quoted in: Hesketh Pearson, Bernard Shaw: His Life and Personality (1942) Shaw, Pearson reported, believed vegetarians had radically different experiences from meat-eaters: “The odd thing about being a vegetarian is, not that the things that happen to other people don’t happen to me—they all do—but that they happen differently: pain is different, pleasure different, fever different, cold different, even love different.”   Behold I have given you every herb bearing seed which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat. Hebrew Bible Genesis 1:29. But in a later context, God told the disgraced Adam, “and thou shalt eat the herb of the field” (Genesis 3:18)   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. Henry David Thoreau (1817–62), U.S. philosopher, author, naturalist. Walden, “Higher Laws” (1854) Thoreau believed that “every man who has ever been earnest to preserve his higher or poetic faculties in the best condition has been particularly inclined to abstain from animal food, and from much food of any kind” (same source).   It is impossible that had Buonaparte descended from a race of vegetable feeders that he could have had either the inclination or the power to ascend the throne of the Bourbons. Percy Bysshe Shelley, “A Vindication of Natural Diet”, a note in Queen Mab (1813) Shelley became a vegetarian in 1812, remaining so until his death.   Most vegetarians I ever see looked enough like their food to be classed as cannibals. Finley Peter Dunne, Mr. Dooley’s Philosophy, “Casual Observations” (1900)   Never would it occur to a child that a sheep, a pig, a cow or a chicken was good to eat, while, like Milton’s Adam, he would eagerly make a meal off fruits, nuts, thyme, mint, peas and broad beans which penetrate further and stimulate not only the appetite but other vague and deep nostalgias. We are closer to the Vegetable Kingdom than we know; is it not for man alone that mint, thyme, sage, and rosemary exhale “crush me and eat me!”— for us that opium poppy, coffee-berry, teaplant and vine perfect themselves? Their aim is to be absorbed by us, even if it can only be achieved by attaching themselves to roast mutton. Cyril Connolly, The Unquiet Grave (1944)   One farmer says to me, “You cannot live on vegetable food solely, for it furnishes nothing to make bones with”; and so he religiously devotes a part of his day to supplying his system with the raw material of bones; walking all the while he talks behind his oxen, which, with vegetable-made bones, jerk him and his lumbering plow along in spite of every obstacle. Henry David Thoreau,Walden, “Economy” (1854)
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