Goodreads helps you follow your favorite authors. Be the first to learn about new releases!
Start by following Peter Singer.

Peter Singer Peter Singer > Quotes


Peter Singer quotes (showing 1-30 of 207)

“To protest about bullfighting in Spain, the eating of dogs in South Korea, or the slaughter of baby seals in Canada while continuing to eat eggs from hens who have spent their lives crammed into cages, or veal from calves who have been deprived of their mothers, their proper diet, and the freedom to lie down with their legs extended, is like denouncing apartheid in South Africa while asking your neighbors not to sell their houses to blacks.”
Peter Singer, Animal Liberation
“All the arguments to prove man's superiority cannot shatter this hard fact: in suffering the animals are our equals.”
Peter Singer
“If possessing a higher degree of intelligence does not entitle one human to use another for his or her own ends, how can it entitle humans to exploit non-humans?”
Peter Singer, Animal Liberation
“What one generation finds ridiculous, the next accepts; and the third shudders when it looks back on what the first did.”
Peter Singer
“The notion that human life is sacred just because it is human life is medieval.”
Peter Singer
“We are, quite literally, gambling with the future of our planet- for the sake of hamburgers”
Peter Singer, Animal Liberation
“If it is in our power to prevent something bad from happening, without thereby sacrificing anything of comparable moral importance, we ought, morally, to do it.”
Peter Singer
“Hebrew word for "charity" tzedakah, simply means "justice" and as this suggests, for Jews, giving to the poor is no optional extra but an essential part of living a just life.”
Peter Singer, The Life You Can Save: Acting Now to End World Poverty
“Were we incapable of empathy – of putting ourselves in the position of others and seeing that their suffering is like our own – then ethical reasoning would lead nowhere. If emotion without reason is blind, then reason without emotion is impotent.”
Peter Singer, Writings on an Ethical Life
“Forests and meat animals compete for the same land. The prodigious appetite of the affluent nations for meat means that agribusiness can pay more than those who want to preserve or restore the forest. We are, quite literally, gambling with the future of our planet – for the sake of hamburgers”
Peter Singer, Animal Liberation
“To give preference to the life of a being simply because that being is a member of our species would put us in the same position as racists who give preference to those who are members of their race.”
Peter Singer, Practical Ethics
“We have to speak up on behalf of those who cannot speak for themselves.”
Peter Singer, Animal Liberation
“As far as food is concerned, the great extravagance is not caviar or truffles, but beef, pork and poultry. Some 38 percent of the world's grain crop is now fed to animals, as well as large quantities of soybeans. There are three times as many domestic animals on this planet as there are human beings. The combined weight of the world's 1.28 billion cattle alone exceeds that of the human population. While we look darkly at the number of babies being born in poorer parts of the world, we ignore the over-population of farm animals, to which we ourselves contribute...[t]hat, however, is only part of the damage done by the animals we deliberately breed. The energy intensive factory farming methods of the industrialised nations are responsible for the consumption of huge amounts of fossil fuels. Chemical fertilizers, used to grow the feed crops for cattle in feedlots and pigs and chickens kept indoors in sheds, produce nitrous oxide, another greenhouse gas. Then there is the loss of forests. Everywhere, forest-dwellers, both human and non-human, can be pushed out. Since 1960, 25 percent of the forests of Central America have been cleared for cattle. Once cleared, the poor soils will support grazing for a few years; then the graziers must move on. Shrub takes over the abandoned pasture, but the forest does not return. When the forests are cleared so the cattle can graze, billions of tons of carbon dioxide are released into the atmosphere. Finally, the world's cattle are thought to produce about 20 percent of the methane released into the atmosphere, and methane traps twenty-five times as much heat from the sun as carbon dioxide. Factory farm manure also produces methane because, unlike manured dropped naturally in the fields, it dies not decompose in the presence of oxygen. All of this amounts to a compelling reason...for a plant based diet.”
Peter Singer, Practical Ethics
“People may hope that the meat they buy came from an animal who died without pain, but they do not really want to know about it. Yet those who, by their purchases, require animals to be killed do not deserve to be shielded from this or any other aspect of the production of the meat they buy.”
Peter Singer, Animal Liberation
“Philosophy ought to question the basic assumptions of the age. Thinking through, critically and carefully, what most of us take for granted is, I believe, the chief task of philosophy, and the task that makes philosophy a worthwhile activity.”
Peter Singer, Animal Liberation
“I would not question the sincerity of vegetarians who take little interest in Animal Liberation because they give priority to other causes; but when nonvegetarians say that "human problems come first" I cannot help wondering what exactly it is that they are doing for human beings that compels them to continue to support the wasteful, ruthless exploitation of farm animals.”
Peter Singer, Animal Liberation
“Extreme poverty is not only a condition of unsatisfied material needs. It is often accompanied by a degrading state of powerlessness. ”
Peter Singer, The Life You Can Save: Acting Now to End World Poverty
“The prescription of the equality of human beings is not a description of an alleged actual equality among humans: it is a prescription of how we should treat human beings.”
Peter Singer, Animal Liberation
“Arguments for preservation based on the beauty of wilderness are sometimes treated as if they were of little weight because they are "merely aesthetic". That is a mistake. We go to great lengths to preserve the artistic treasures of earlier human civilisations. It is difficult to imagine any economic gain that we would be prepared to accept as adequate compensation for, for instance, the destruction of the paintings in the Louvre. How should we compare the aesthetic value of wilderness with that of the paintings in the Louvre? Here, perhaps, judgment does become inescapably subjective; so I shall report my own experiences. I have looked at the paintings in the Louvre, and in many of the other great galleries of Europe and the United States. I think I have a reasonable sense of appreciation of the fine arts; yet I have not had, in any museum, experiences that have filled my aesthetic senses in the way that they are filled when I walk in a natural setting and pause to survey the view from a rocky peak overlooking a forested valley, or by a stream tumbling over moss-covered boulders set amongst tall tree-ferns, growing in the shade of the forest canopy, I do not think I am alone in this; for many people, wilderness is the source of the greatest feelings of aesthetic appreciation, rising to an almost mystical intensity.”
Peter Singer, Practical Ethics
“By ceasing to rear and kill animals for food, we can make so much extra food available for humans that, properly distributed, it would eliminate starvation and malnutrition from this planet. Animal Liberation is Human Liberation too.”
Peter Singer, Animal Liberation
“In an earlier stage of our development most human groups held to a tribal ethic. Members of the tribe were protected, but people of other tribes could be robbed or killed as one pleased. Gradually the circle of protection expanded, but as recently as 150 years ago we did not include blacks. So African human beings could be captured, shipped to America, and sold. In Australia white settlers regarded Aborigines as a pest and hunted them down, much as kangaroos are hunted down today. Just as we have progressed beyond the blatantly racist ethic of the era of slavery and colonialism, so we must now progress beyond the speciesist ethic of the era of factory farming, of the use of animals as mere research tools, of whaling, seal hunting, kangaroo slaughter, and the destruction of wilderness. We must take the final step in expanding the circle of ethics. -”
Peter Singer
“Helping is not, as conventionally thought, a charitable act that is praiseworthy to do but not wrong to omit. It is something that everyone ought to do.”
Peter Singer, Practical Ethics
“Faith cannot tell us who is right and who is wrong, because each will simply assert that his or her faith is the true one.”
Peter Singer
“It is easy to take a stand about a remote issue, but speciesists, like racists, reveal their true nature when the issue comes nearer home. To protest about bullfighting in Spain, the eating of dogs in South Korea, or the slaughter of baby seals in Canada, while continuing to eat eggs from hens who have spent their lives crammed into cages, or veal from calves who have been deprived of their mothers, their proper diet, or the freedom to lie down with their legs extended, is like denouncing apartheid in South Africa while asking your neighbors not to sell their houses to blacks.”
Peter Singer, Animal Liberation
“Personal purity isn’t really the issue. Not supporting animal abuse – and persuading others not to support it – is.”
Peter Singer, The Way We Eat: Why Our Food Choices Matter
“As for the cages themselves, an ordinary citizen who kept dogs in similar conditions for their entire lives would risk prosecution for cruelty. A pig producer who keeps an animal of comparable intelligence in this manner, however, is more likely to be rewarded with a tax concession or, in some countries, a direct government subsidy.”
Peter Singer, Animal Liberation
“It takes twenty-one pounds of protein fed to a calf to produce a single pound of animal protein for humans. We get back less than 5 percent of what we put in.”
Peter Singer, Animal Liberation
“The plucked and dressed bodies of the chickens will then be sold to millions of families who will gnaw on their bones without pausing for an instant to think that they are eating the dead body of a once living creature, or to ask what was done to that creature in order to enable them to buy and eat its body.”
Peter Singer, Animal Liberation
“Cheats prosper until there are enough who bear grudges against them to make sure they do not prosper.”
Peter Singer, The Expanding Circle: Ethics and Sociobiology
“The animals themselves are incapable of demanding their own liberation, or of protesting against their condition with votes, demonstrations, or bombs. Human beings have the power to continue to oppress other species forever, or until we make this planet unsuitable for living beings. Will our tyranny continue, proving that we really are the selfish tyrants that the most cynical of poets and philosophers have always said we are? Or will we rise to the challenge and prove our capacity for genuine altruism by ending our ruthless exploitation of the species in our power, not because we are forced to do so by rebels or terrorists, but because we recognize that our position is morally indefensible? The way in which we answer this question depends on the way in which each one of us, individually, answers it.”
Peter Singer

« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7

All Quotes | Add A Quote
Play The 'Guess That Quote' Game
Animal Liberation Animal Liberation
5,570 ratings
The Life You Can Save: Acting Now to End World Poverty The Life You Can Save
2,770 ratings
Open Preview
The Way We Eat: Why Our Food Choices Matter The Way We Eat
3,368 ratings
Practical Ethics Practical Ethics
2,224 ratings
Open Preview