Their diverse natures and abilities have inspired the human imagination, and our greatest thinkers have taught us to treat them with compassion. Throughout history, prominent individuals like Mahatma Gandhi, Alice Walker, Albert Einstein, Albert Schweitzer and Leonardo da Vinci, in addition to their great achievments in human rights, science, philosophy and the arts, all had a deep concern for the rights and well-being of animals. They urged others to view animals as viable individuals with feelings, interests and needs of their own.
Yet today more than ever, human civilization inflicts great harm and suffering on the world's creatures, and itself, through industries and attitudes that exploit animals, destroy wildlife
The response to this injustice is the crystallization of a movement -- the Animal Rights Movement. It has become the vehicle for millions who seek justice and compassion for animals. Animal rights is an affirmation of all life, an affirmation of humanity's ability and need to nurture and protect the sanctity of life in all species, human and non-human alike.
"Our task must be to free ourselves by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty."
"The animals of the world exist for their own reasons. They were not made for humans any more than black people were made for whites, or women created for men."
"We need to work twice as hard to help people understand that the animals are fellow creatures, that we must protect them and love them as we love ourselves...We know we cannot be kind to animals until we stop exploiting them - exploiting animals in the name of science, exploiting animals in the name of sport, exploiting them in the name of fashion, and yes, exploiting animals in the name of food."
"The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated. ...I hold that, the more helpless a creature, the more entitled it is to protection by man from the cruelty of man."