This page is part of the section: Animal Rights: A History
"Meat cannot be obtained without injury to animals, and the slaughter of animals obstructs the way to Heaven; let him therefore shun the use of meat.”
The Laws of Manu
"Having well considered the origin of flesh-foods, and the cruelty of fettering and slaying corporeal beings, let man entirely abstain from eating flesh."
In India over eighty percent of the population are Hindu. Hinduism is an ancient spiritual tradition. The term "Hinduism" refers to a cultural tradition which encompasses a wide range of practices and beliefs based on the Vedas.
The Vedas, a sanskrit word meaning knowledge, are sacred texts that originated in ancient India and are the oldest scriptures of Hinduism. According to the Vedas and other Hindu scripture the attainment of spiritual knowledge and development begins with vegetarianism.
Hinduism teaches respect for all creatures and compassion towards all beings is a basic principle of Hindu practice. Cows are revered and considered as particularly sacred and vegetarianism is the ideal. Like Jainism and Buddhism Ahimsa plays an integral role in the spiritual and ethical practices of Hinduism. Ahimsa, a sanskirt term, means to do no harm, literally the avoidance of violence - himsa. It is a rule of conduct prohibiting the killing or injuring of any living being and is associated with the belief that all kinds of violence result in negative karma. Ahimsa is an important tenet of the ancient religions that originated in India namely Buddhism, Hinduism and Jainism.
Hindus believe in reincarnation (rebirth) which is determined by the law of Karma; a high or low incarnation is determined by how we live our lives. The more righteous life will result in a more favourable incarnation. Hindus believe that like us non human animals have souls and are evolving towards a higher level of consciousness.
"One is dearest to God who has no enemies among the living beings, who is nonviolent to all creatures."
We observe November 25 worldwide as Meatless Day because of the cruelty involved. Hundreds of thousands of animals are being slaughtered every day; but they love life as much as you and I do, as much as those people do who eat them up. I believe it is injustice, because creation is one family. The breath that animals take is the same breath that we take. They are our kindred, our kin. It is the duty of man to protect his younger brothers and sisters in the one family of creation. And I believe animals should be given their rights. Today wherever I go, they talk of animal welfare. Animal welfare is not the answer -- animal rights are needed. . . Every animal has certain fundamental rights and the first right of every animal is the right to live; for you must not take away what you cannot give. And since you cannot give life to a dead creature, you have no right to take away the life of a living one. The 18th century gave rights to man, the 19th century gave rights to slaves, and the 20th century gave rights to women. The 21st century, I verily believe, will give rights to animals, and that will be a glorious day in the history of humanity. I believe there will be no peace on Earth unless we stop all killing.
Dada J. P. Vaswani Spiritual Head, Sadhu Vaswani Mission in an interview in Hinduism Today
Read more quotations on this website from Hinduism concerning the treatment of animals
Why Animals Rights Matter A religious and Philosophical perspective quotations: Hinduism
Information about Hinduism and it's beliefs concerning the treatment of animals
An explanation of Ahimsa
An heart warming story about the dedication of a statue built to commemorate Emily a cow who escaped the slaughter house. The statue adorned with a blanket and flowers, Hindu signs of respect, stands at her eternal resting place, where Emily the Cow will live on as a symbol of vegetarianism, humanity and nonviolence.
Important please note:
I am not an animal expert of any kind just your average person who loves animals, all animals, and feels deeply about the plight of many of our fellow creatures. Neither am I a writer, or any other expert. Therefore please keep in mind that the information included in this website has been researched to the best of my ability and any misinformation is quite by accident but of course possible.
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