50 Vegan Quotes from Plant-Based Pioneers (Past and Present)

vegan quotes, from plant based pioneers

There’s nothing like a a good collection of vegan quotes to get you feeling like you’re part of something bigger than yourself…

Sometimes, making certain lifestyle choices can leave you feeling a little isolated. Dietary related decisions are up there with the most controversial.

Veganism is not always the most socially acceptable stance to take, in a world where there’s a burger joint around every corner, and bacon is hailed a food from the gods (I was always more of chicken kinda guy).

Below I’ve compiled a list of vegan quotes from some of the pioneers in the plant based movement. There’s athletes, teachers, doctors, musicians, and even the odd spiritual leader too. People from all walks of life, with one thing in common – the food they put on their plate.

So if you’re looking for some inspiration to help you through the process of changing your eating habits, or you just want to feel like you’re not completely alone, go check them out.

But before you get started:

Download your free plant based diet plan: Kickstart your healthy eating habits with three days of delicious, nutritious, plant based meals. Get your free download here.

50 Vegan Quotes from Plant-Based Pioneers



First Up: The Early Birds

The people who paved the way, and lit the fire underneath the plant-powered movement.


“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

“Non-violence leads to the highest ethics, which is the goal of all evolution. Until we stop harming all other living beings, we are still savages.”

― Thomas A. Edison

“By eating meat we share the responsibility of climate change, the destruction of our forests, and the poisoning of our air and water. The simple act of becoming a vegetarian will make a difference in the health of our planet.”

― Thích Nhất Hạnh

“Nothing will benefit human health and increase the chances for survival of life on Earth as much as the evolution to a vegetarian diet.”

―  Albert Einstein

”Let food be thy medicine, and medicine be thy food.”

―  Hippocrates

“One should not kill a living being, nor cause it to be killed, nor should one incite another to kill. Do not injure any being, either strong or weak, in the world.”

―  Buddha

“I hold that the more helpless a creature, the more entitled it is to protection by man from the cruelty of man”

―  Mohandas Gandhi

For as long as men massacre animals, they will kill each other. Indeed, he who sows the seed of murder and pain cannot reap joy and love.”

―  Pythagoras

“He who fights with monsters should look to it that he himself does not become a monster. And when you gaze long into an abyss the abyss also gazes into you.”

―  Friedrich Nietzsche

“The Gods created certain kinds of beings to replenish our bodies; they are the trees and the plants and the seeds.”

―  Plato

“Cows scream louder than carrots.”

―  Alan Watts

“A human body in no way resembles those that were born for ravenousness; it hath no hawk’s bill, no sharp talon, no roughness of teeth, no such strength of stomach or heat of digestion, as can be sufficient to convert or alter such heavy and fleshy fare.”

―  Plutarch

“We cannot have peace among men whose hearts find delight in killing any living creature.”

― Rachel Carson

“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 animals in the name of fashion, and yes, exploiting animals in the name of food.”

― César Chávez

Vegan Quotes from Plant-Powered Athletes

The people who are proving that you don’t need animal products to perform at the highest level. You can thrive on plants.

“I always say that eating a plant based diet is the secret weapon of enhanced athletic performance.”

-And a bonus one-


―  Rich Roll

“We can live as we were meant to live – simply, joyously, of and on the earth. We can live with all our effort and with pure happiness.”

― Scott Jurek

“Being vegan doesn’t make you a stronger, better athlete. But it allows you to make yourself a stronger, better athlete.”

―  Brendan Brazier

“As a vegan body-builder I want to show others that it is possible to gain significant muscle and strength on a vegan diet and I want to inspire others to follow this lifestyle. I love being vegan and knowing that I am having a positive impact on our society.”

―  Robert Cheeke

“If you truly care about animal rights and have a passion for it, take some action. Whether it’s hands-on or political, just go for it. No matter what path you choose in life or what you decide to do, you can use your voice to educate other people and help the cause.”

― Mac Danzig

“The vegan diet is healthy and leads to a compassionate lifestyle. I’ve gotten so many benefits. My weight is easily maintained, my skin glows, I sleep better and I feel more energized.”

―  Meagan Duhamel

“Nothing has benefited me more physically, mentally and most important spiritually, then adapting a vegan diet. The best decision I have made as a human for me and the planet.”

― Tim Shieff

“I thought I was healthy and strong before, but after adopting a plant-based diet, I started to feel energetic and I was having quicker recovery after training”

― Frank Medrano

“Just carb the f**k up!”

― Durian Rider & Freelee

“This is a message to all those out there who think that you need animal products to be fit and strong. Almost two years after becoming vegan I am stronger than ever before and I am still improving day by day.”

― Patrik Baboumian

“I’ve found that a person does not need protein from meat to be a successful athlete. In fact, my best year of track competition was the first year I ate a vegan diet.”

― Carl Lewis

“Initially, I just wanted to eat more vegetables. Those things are super good for you, and they’re delicious. Being vegetarian and vegan made me more conscious of how many servings I was getting a day (or not).”

― Michaela Copenhaver

“I decided to become a vegan because it was the right thing to do. I don’t believe God put these precious creatures here for us to exploit and murder. As a cancer survivor, I appreciate that a plant based diet is proven to be the best way to prevent cancer cells from growing. And the fact that I’m lean, strong and healthier than ever, well those are just very exciting perks!”

― Amanda Riester

“Don’t eat bear balls. Eat healthy, delectable, plant-based foods so that you will never fall over on your cat.”

― Rip Esselstyn


Ask the Doctors & Nutritionists

The people providing the science and research to back up your choices.  

“The beef industry has contributed to more American deaths than all the wars of this century, all natural disasters, and all auto-mobile accidents combined. If beef is your idea of “real food for real people” you’d better live real close to a real good hospital.”

― Neal D. Barnard

“The most ethical diet just so happens to be the most environmentally sound diet and just so happens to be the healthiest.”

― Dr. Michael Greger

“The human body has no more need for cows’ milk than it does for dogs’ milk, horses’ milk, or giraffes’ milk.”

― Dr. Michael Klaper

“People feel poorly because they are nourished by foods you wouldn’t feed to your dog and cat. The rich western diet is full of fat, sugar, cholesterol, salt, animal protein — all the wrong foods for people.” ― Dr. John McDougall

“Collectively the media; the meat, oil, and dairy industries; most prominent chefs and cookbook authors; and our own government are not presenting accurate advice about the healthiest way to eat.” ― Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn

“Everything in food works together to create health or disease. The more we think that a single chemical characterizes a whole food, the more we stray into idiocy.”

― T. Colin Campbell

“Food is really and truly the most effective medicine.”

― Joel Fuhrman

“My diet is a whole food, plant based or vegan diet. So, basically I want you to eat whole grains, legumes, tonnes of vegetables and fruits, nuts and seeds. No meat whatsoever, and no processed foods. It’s amazing what it can do for your body, and it reduces your risk for chronic disease.”

― Julianna Hever

“History has demonstrated that a diet of specific vegan foods, eaten in a specific caloric ratio, will meet all those criteria. For healing inflammatory bowel diseases, other gut disorders and most other illnesses, I have learned which are the most beneficial foods of all. Those food comprise what I call the Vegan Healing Diet.”

― Dr. David Klein


Finally, the Celebrity Vegan Quotes

The ones who help spread the message to the masses.

“Even as a junkie I stayed true to vegetarianism – ‘I shall have heroin, but I shan’t have a hamburger.’ What a sexy little paradox.”

― Russell Brand

“If slaughterhouses had glass walls, the whole world would be vegetarian.”

― Linda McCartney

“I do it because I love animals and I saw the reality. And I just couldn’t ignore it anymore. I’m healthier for it, I’m happier for it. I can’t imagine that if you’re putting something in your body that is filled with fear or anxiety or pain, that that isn’t somehow going to be inside of you.”

― Ellen DeGeneres

“Every time sitting at a dining table, we make a choice. Please choose vegetarianism. Do it for the animals. Do it for the environment and for the sake of your own health.”

― Alec Baldwin

“Raw food is the best way to have the cleanest energy. We take so much care about what kind of fuel we put in our car, what kind of oil. We care about that sometimes more than the fuel that we’re looking at putting in our bodies. It’s cleaner burning fuel.”

― Woody Harrelson

“It takes nothing away from a human to be kind to an animal.”

― Joaquin Phoenix

“Basically we should stop doing those things that are destructive to the environment, other creatures, and ourselves and figure out new ways of existing.”

— Moby

“Initially, my decision to stop eating meat was motivated by fear of spiritual consequences, but right away I found that not eating meat made me feel good about myself. It increased my self-esteem, which I found so rewarding, I wanted to do more.”

― Steve-O

“Being vegan is not always easy and accessible. But it’s a way of life and makes me as a person feel really good and physically look better.”

― Olivia Wilde

“It’s upsetting to me that so many people think of themselves as environmentalists and still eat meat and dairy products. I think it’s something people should be considering given the emergency situation we’re in regarding water supplies, global warming, and the destruction of ecosystems. There’s a lot of overlap between animal rights and the environment.”

― Emily Deschanel

“I am a firm believer in eating a full plant-based, whole food diet that can expand your life length and make you an all-around happier person. It is tricky dining out, but I just stick to what I know — veggies, fruit and salad — then when I get home I’ll have something else.”

― Ariana Grande

“I’m a vegan. I respect the environment, and I do my best to spread the importance of such an issue.” ― Jared Leto

“Animals on factory farms all face pain and fear, just like the animals we share our homes with, yet are repeatedly abused in shocking ways.”

― Peter Dinklage

Any others that you would add to the list? Let me know in the comments section below!

Healthy Eating, Made Simple

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Luke Jones
Luke Jones is a mover, blogger and wellness enthusiast. He spends his time exploring and sharing ideas in mindful movement, healthy living and adventure.

20 Responses to “50 Vegan Quotes from Plant-Based Pioneers (Past and Present)

  • I’m surprised that you didn’t include Dr. Douglas Graham. He has been a Raw Vegan for over 20 years and has written one of the top selling, internationally distributed books – The 80/10/10 Diet on plant-based. He is also a well known athlete and trainer/mentor of pro athletes such as tennis legend Martina Navratilova and NBA Player Ronnie Grandison.

    • Hi Dave! Yeah my mistake, I completely forgot about Doug! I read his book 80-10-10 last year – he definitely makes some good points!

  • I love these quotes. Surely there are hundreds more – too many to all include here. My favorite Gandhi quote is: “The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.”

  • Thank you for this collection of quotes.

  • Valerie
    2 years ago

    Love these quotes. Thanks for sharing!

  • The Leonardo da Vinci quote is in fact not one…
    It came out of a mistake from a work of fiction.

    It’s a shame, because it’s very powerful but there is no record anywhere of him having actually said those words.

    • Interesting! Thanks for sharing Mia. Tis a shame – I like that one too! Will make sure to edit it out next time I update the post. Did you have any other favourites that might be suitable to replace it with?

  • These quotes are great and very helpful for creating “talking points” when sharing the benefits of a plant based diet. I’m sharing this with my facebook group called “10 Minute Plant Based / Vegan Activism.” I give a Tip each weekday for activism that can be done in 10 minutes or less and these quotes will make a valuable Tip.

  • Thanks for this Luke, I believe wholeheartedly in a plant based and a gluten free diet that I started to look into manufacturing plant based gluten free products, we launched 1 month ago. I can say that changing my diet 3 years ago has had a profound effect on my life. Keep up the great work and keep sharing.

  • While Edison is right in his quote, I find it quite hypocritical that he said that, haha. When he was battling Tesla, he would host public demonstrations where he’d shock dogs with AC current in an attempt to disprove Tesla.

  • Thank you! Maybe you can select something from my book, The Sacred Art of Eating. 🙂

  • I loved these! Thank you for sharing 🙂

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    […] provide you with some quotes of the people on whos shoulders most vegans stand. I found them ->HERE I hope you take some of them to heart and pass them […]

    2 years ago

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