Holy Lance

Saturday, August 06, 2011


An overwhelming love and compassion for all living creatures, both man and beast, is the highest virtue that could be conceived of. Vegetarian food is intended not only for the cleansing of the body, but also for the purification of the soul. It is a universally accepted principle that vegetarian food is conducive to a healthier and happier life among nations - S. Sankararayara Rao

As long as there are slaughterhouses there will be battlefields. A vegetarian diet is the acid test of humanitarianism - Leo Tolstoy

It is my view that the vegetarian manner of living, by its purely physical effect on the human temperament, would most beneficially influence the lot of mankind - Albert Einstein

Nothing will benefit human health and increase chances for survival on earth as much as the evolution to a vegetarian diet - Albert Einstein

Vegetarian food leaves a deep impression on our nature. If the whole world adopts vegetarianism, it can change the destiny of humankind - Albert Einstein

The vegetarian movement ought to fill with gladness the souls of those who have at heart the realisation of God's kingdom upon earth - Leo Tolstoy


In fact my best year of track competition was the first year I ate a vegan diet. I've found that a person does not need protein from meat to be a successful athlete - Carl Lewis, US athlete and multiple Olympic gold medal winner

(Indisputably the greatest hurdler of all time, double Olympic gold medal winner Edwin Moses, won 122 consecutive races and remained undefeated for a world record breaking 9 years, 9 months and 9 days - and he did it all on an entirely vegetarian diet.)

My strength is my compassion - Patrik Baboumian, world record holding vegan weightlifter


But for the sake of some small 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

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

If slaughterhouses had glass walls, we'd all be vegetarian - Albert Einstein

Nightmare in the slaughterhouse: Think occasionally of the suffering of which you spare yourself the sight - Albert Schweitzer

"If any one who eats flesh could be taken to a shambles to watch the agonized struggles of the terrified victims as they are dragged to the spot where knife or mallet slays them; if he could be made to stand with the odours of the blood reeking in his nostrils; if there, his astral vision could be opened so that he might see the filthy creatures that flock round to feast on the loathsome exhalations, and see also the fear and horror of the slaughtered creatures as they arrive in the astral world and send back thence currents of dread and hatred that flow between man and animals in continually re-fed streams; if a man could pass through these experiences, he, at least, would be cured of meat-eating for ever. These things ARE, though men do not see them, and they befoul and degrade the world." - Dr. Annie Besant (1847-1933)

(Fish)... Crushed and suffocated to death in a trawlerman's net. It's a horrible way to die.
Nightmare beneath the waves, and all because YOU want fish for your supper - H. Lancre


In a lunch session in a slaughterhouse, a lamb jumped out of its pen and came unnoticed up to some slaughtermen, who were sitting in a circle eating their sandwiches; the lamb approached and nibbled a small piece of lettuce that a man was holding in his hand. The men gave the lamb some more lettuce and when the lunch period was over they were so affected by the action of the lamb that not one of them was prepared to kill this creature, and it had to be sent away elsewhere - showing that within each human soul there is an element of pity, compassion and love in varying degrees. It is our duty to encourage the higher qualities in each individual to bloom and blossom wherever possible.
If Britain adopted a vegetarian way of life, many of her problems would recede and dissolve...If this way of living were adopted, a great deal of cruelty would cease; compassion, pity and consideration for others would grow and there would be happier and healthier conditions in the world and on this island. It is change not of legislation that is wanted, but a change of heart of the people. - Dr. Gordon Latto (Reproduced by kind permission of The Vegetarian Society.)


Well, sonny! Come along,
Swinging your little tail!
This is the price you have to pay
For being born a male.

Moo, moo old cow!
And start a hunger-strike.
Lots of us have to do
Things that we don't like.

Lots of us have to suffer;
Don't let it spoil your meal.
This is the price you have to pay;
Somebody wants some veal.

Don't take it too hard, old cow;
I'm sorry you've got so wild;
But somebody's got an appetite
And wants to eat your child
- Henry Bailey Stevens


Separating the calf from its mother shortly after birth undoubtedly inflicts anguish on both. Maternal care for the young is highly developed in cattle, and it is only necessary to observe the behaviour of the cow and the calf when they are separated to appreciate this. - Extract from the Brambell Report.


The best thing about being a vegan? Being able to look a cow in the eye and not feel ashamed. - H. Lancre


The whole nation sympathises with the distress of parents when a child goes missing or is abducted. Yet humans regularly cause the same suffering to other mothers - the millions of cows and sheep that are caught up in the cruel livestock farming industry. Dairy cows cry for days when their calves are taken away to be killed at just a day old and beef cows suffer the same anguish when they are parted from their offspring. Ewes stand bleating and looking for their lambs which have been taken away to be slaughtered.
The general public is usually far removed from the heart-wrenching cries of these animals. We hope that once informed, people will think differently about the food they put on their plates and opt for the cruelty-free alternatives that are now readily available - Hillside News, Summer 2009


This was a horrible proposal ( that the then eight-year-old Albert Schweitzer join a friend in killing birds with a sling)...but I dared not refuse for fear he would laugh at me. So we came to a tree which was still bare, and on which the birds were singing out gaily in the morning, without any fear of us. Then stooping over like an Indian on the hunt, my companion placed a pebble in the leather of his sling and stretched it. Obeying his peremptory glance I did the same, with frightful twinges of conscience, vowing firmly that I would shoot when he did. At that very moment the church bells began to sound, mingling with the song of the birds in the sunshine. It was the warning bell that came a half-hour before the main bell. For me it was a voice from Heaven. I threw the sling down, scaring the birds away, so that they were safe from my companion's sling, and fled home. And ever afterwards when the bells of Holy Week ring out amidst the leafless trees in the sunshine I remember with moving gratitude how they rang into my heart at that time the commandment: Thou shalt not kill.
- Albert Schweitzer


I could not have slept tonight, if I had left that helpless little creature to perish on the ground - Abraham Lincoln (Response to friends who rebuked him for delaying them by stopping to return a fallen fledgling to its nest.)


They were shooting pigeons. What an image of our condition, the loud report, the poor flopping bundles upon the ground, trying desperately, helplessly, vainly to rise again. Through tears I saw the stricken birds tumbling over and over down the sloping roofs of warehouses. I saw and heard their sudden weight, their pitiful surrender to gravity. How hardening to the heart it must be to do this thing; to change an innocent, soaring being into a bundle of struggling rags and pain - Iris Murdoch. (Extract from 'The Black Prince', reproduced by kind permission of Ed Victor Ltd.)


A perfect roar of guns fills the air; louder tap and yell the beaters, while above the din can be heard the heart-rending cries of wounded hares and rabbits, some of which can be seen dragging themselves away, with legs broken, or turning round and round in their agony before they die! And the pheasants! They are on every side, some rising, some dropping; some lying dead, but the great majority fluttering on the ground wounded; some with both legs broken and a wing; some with both wings broken and a leg; others merely winged, running to hide; others mortally wounded, gasping out their last breath amidst the hellish uproar which surrounds them. And this is called 'sport'! - Lady Florence Dixie


The recent research concerning fish feeling pain verifies the earlier extensive research carried out at the University of Utrecht, which concluded that fish do suffer and feel pain, and also experience fear at the hands of anglers.
This also justifies official RSPCA policy which states: 'The RSPCA believes that current practices in angling do involve the infliction of pain and suffering on fish.'
But we don't need any scientist to tell us that fish feel pain - of course they do! Any species that was immune to pain would be oblivious to life threatening dangers and would soon become extinct. Besides, what does the correspondent think fish have central nervous systems for? Decoration?
What galls me about these angling people is that they are perfectly happy to torment, hurt and kill an unwilling opponent, that is much smaller than they are and is unable to defend itself, and they call it "sport" and they think it is wonderful! But if someone were to impale a barbed metal hook in their mouth, drag them along, reel them up into the air etc. etc., as anglers do to fish, they'd be crying like a baby and begging for help and mercy. And isn't that just the impalatable truth of it!
'Sportsmen'? Huh! Cowardly bullies more like. Ban the lot of them! - H. Lancre (Letter to the Western Morning News)

I often read of people who say that when they retire, they will go fishing. It never occurs to them for a moment that innocent beings will suffer and die from this 'innocent' little sport - Isaac Bashevis


Reading the letter about crabs feeling pain reminded me of when I was a schoolgirl in Norfolk and had a friend whose dad was a fishmonger. After school, I would play with her at the back of her dad's shop. One day, the man who worked there was washing crabs and then putting them into a copper of cold water. When he had finished, he lit a fire under the copper.
After a while, a noise started which got louder, and then I could hear the crabs running round faster and faster inside until the water got so hot that they died. Then there was silence. So it doesn't seem they were "lulled to sleep".
After leaving school in the Thirties, I went to work at a large hall which had the same fishmonger as a regular supplier. One day, the cook brought three lobsters into the kitchen from the cold room, with their claws tied, and there was a large cauldron of boiling water on the stove. She lifted the lid and dropped the lobsters in. When the last one touched the water, it jumped back and hit her in the face. She swore and threw it back into the water, quickly putting on the lid.
I was so horrified to see and hear what happened to those poor creatures that I have never eaten a crab or lobster - D.C Cochrane (Letter to the Daily Mail)


Time was running out for the mother whale and her calf as they lay beached on a sandbank. Wildlife volunteers had tried four times to drag them into deeper water but four times they came back. In such circumstances, stricken whales are often humanely killed to end further suffering.
But then up bobbed Moko the dolphin - a playful creature familiar to bathers off the east coast of New Zealand's North Island. In an astonishing display of communication between species, she and the whales were heard to call to one another before she led the 12 ft pygmy sperm whale and her 4 ft male calf out to open sea.
"I never cease to be amazed by some wondrous events in the animal world, but this beats them all", said Malcolm Smith from the New Zealand Conservation Department. "Moko is a real heroine because there is absolutely no doubt she learned of the whales' plight through some kind of telepathy and then got them out of trouble."
Mr Smith and his team had raced to the beach at Mahia, near Gisbourne, after receiving reports about the stranded whales. The group managed to get a sling under the distressed animals and haul them off the sand bar but they became disorientated and kept returning. "It seems they were reluctant to move off shore, fearing they would become trapped on the sand bar, but they were in just as much danger being so close to the beach," said Mr. Smith. "I was starting to get cold and wet and they were becoming tired. I was at the stage where I was thinking it was about time to give up - I'd done as much as I could."
To the disbelief of Mr. Smith and his team, they then heard different sounds from beneath the water and suddenly realised it was the whales returning Moko's contact call.
"There's no other explanation for it. Within no time, we could see Moko turning and then we watched open-mouthed as the whales began following her away from the beach. She escorted them for about 200 metres parallel with the beach to the edge of the sand bar. Then she did a right-angle turn through quite a narrow channel, which the whales would not have found on their own, and led them out to sea. We haven't seen them since. Just what that communication was between them I don't know. In fact, I was not even aware that dolphins could communicate with pgymy sperm whales, but that is obviously what happened today." - Daily Mail 13th March 2008


I am the voice of the voiceless;
Through me the dumb shall speak,
Till the deaf world's ear be made to hear
The wrongs of the wordless weak.

From street, from cage and from kennel,
From stable, and zoo, the wail
Of my tortured kin proclaims the sin
Of the mighty against the frail.

Oh, shame on the mothers of mortals,
Who have not stooped to teach
Of the sorrow that lies in dear, dumb eyes,
The sorrow that has no speech.

The same force formed the sparrow
That fashioned man the king;
The God of the whole gave a spark of soul
To furred and feathered thing.

And I am my brother's keeper
And I will fight his fight,
And speak the word for beast and bird,
Till the world shall set things right.

- Ella Wheeler Wilcox (1850 - 1919)


It is the fate of every truth to be an object of ridicule when it is first acclaimed. It was once considered foolish to suppose that black men were really human beings and ought to be treated as such. What was once foolish has now become a recognized truth. Today it is considered an exaggeration to proclaim constant respect for every form of life as being the serious demand of a rational ethic. But the time is coming when people will be amazed that the human race existed so long before it recognized that thoughtless injury to life is incompatible with real ethics. Ethics is in its unqualified form extended responsibility to everything that has life - Albert Schweitzer

I want to realise brotherhood or identity, not merely with the beings called human, but with all life, even with such things as crawl upon earth - Mahatma Gandhi

Buy captive creatures and set them free. Hold fast to vegetarianism and abstain from taking life.
Whenever taking a step, always watch for ants and insects. Prohibit the building of fires outside, lest insects be killed... - Wen Ch'ang (5th century)

Crush not yonder ant as it draggeth along its grain; for it too liveth, and its life is dear to it.
A shadow there must be, and a stone upon the heart, that could wish to sorrow the heart even of an ant.
Strike not with the hand of violence the head of the feeble; for one day, like the ant, thou mayest fall under the foot thyself - Sadi (13th century)

" I'll not hurt thee", says Uncle Toby, rising with the fly in his hand. "Go", he says, opening the window to let it escape. "Why should I hurt thee? This world is surely wide enough to hold both thee and me" - Laurence Sterne (From 'Tristram Shandy')

Caring about the smallest: A tiny insect, just think of it. A living, breathing, thinking, feeling creature, with a fully functioning digestive and reproductive system etc. A masterpiece in miniature! If a scientist had created such a life form, people would come from all over the world just to see it and to shake the scientist's hand and tell him what a marvellous fellow he was! Insects are a wondrous creation of God. Let us not turn a blind eye to their sufferings, for after all, all life is sacred and pain is still pain, suffering is still suffering, regardless of whoever - or whatever, is the victim.

Kind heart, gentle heart: Rescue the drowning insect; carry the snail on the pavement to safety; return the helpless worm, writhing on concrete, to the sanctuary of Mother Earth.
Render help and kindness, wherever it is needed, to all life, great or small. Suffering has no boundaries, neither should compassion.


(Re - the gathering environmental crisis.) How could I look my grandchildren in the eye and say I knew about this and I did nothing? - Sir David Attenborough

The moral attitude of the Old Testament, which was that the world was there for us to plunder and we could take what we liked from it, has governed our thinking until now. What we need to recognise is that the world is NOT there for plundering. It is a moral issue for us not to waste energy - Sir David Attenborough

We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors, we borrow it from our children - Native American proverb

What is man without the beasts? If the beasts were gone, man would die from a great loneliness of spirit. For whatever happens to the beasts, soon happens to man. All things are connected.
This we know. The earth does not belong to man; man belongs to the earth.
This we know. All things are connected like the blood which unites one family. All things are connected.
Whatever befalls the earth befalls the sons of the earth. Man did not weave the web of life, he is merely a strand in it. Whatever he does to the web, he does to himself.- Chief Seattle (speaking in 1854)


The other day, walking along Westminster Embankment, I picked up a little stone or pebble, that had perhaps fallen from some lorry carrying a load of gravel. It was so smooth and beautiful with its strange markings that I slipped it into my pocket. I have carried it about ever since, bringing it out at odd moments to look at it and meditate upon its mystery - Krishnamurti


One does not need to be a psychic to see God in the petal of a rose - Peggy Mason

A flower is beauty itself. You see that it is a lovely colour, that it emanates sweet scent and that it is soft to the touch. It influences you to be gentle. Surround yourself with flowers and watch the results. Flowers are vibratory and give off radiations of a positive kind - Al Koran

Through flowers a state of happiness can be achieved beyond the power of most of us to understand.
When people you know suddenly ignore you or when they try to pick a quarrel, don't tell them off or send a nasty letter. Send flowers. Flowers bring harmony and peace. They have a power all their own and you can 'say it with flowers' - Al Koran

Harry Wheatcroft, probably the most celebrated rose grower, says, "He who would grow good roses, must have roses in his heart".
And he is a pacifist. "I deplore beyond all measure the thousands of millions spent to create implements to destroy mankind. With all that money, everybody in the world could grow roses. The world could be so beautiful, if only people..."
Yes, if only people had roses in their hearts, there would be no more wars, no more misery, just beauty and goodness - Al Koran (Quotes from 'Bring Out The Magic In Your Mind')