Swamiji did not say anything directly related to animal rights, but the following quotations might be relevant.
- I hear, Western people say, “The world was created for us.” If tigers could write books, they would say, man was created for them and that man is a most sinful animal, because he does not allow him (the tiger) to catch him easily. The worm that crawls under your feet today is a God to be.[Source]
- . . . it is difficult for Europeans to appreciate the sentiment. Other nations kill animals by wholesale and kill one another; they exist in a sea of blood. A European said that the reason why in India animals were not killed was because it was supposed that they contained the spirits of ancestors. This reason was worthy of a savage nation who are not many steps from the brute.[Source]
- Men may have given millions of dollars and fed rats and cats, as some do in India. They say that men can take care of themselves, but the poor animals cannot. . .[Source]
- The poor are God’s representatives; anyone that suffers is His representative. Without giving, he who eats and enjoys eating, enjoys sin. Fifth, our duty to the lower animals. It is diabolical to say that all animals are created for men to be killed and used in any way man likes. It is the devil’s gospel, not God’s. Think how diabolical it is to cut them up to see whether a nerve quivers or not, in a certain part of the body. I am glad that in our country such things are not countenanced by the Hindus, whatever encouragement they may get from the foreign government they are under. One portion of the food cooked in a household belongs to the animals also. They should be given food every day; there ought to be hospitals in every city in this country for poor, lame, or blind horses, cows, dogs, and cats, where they should be fed and taken care of.[Source]
- There are people who are foolish in another way: they teach us that all these animals were created for us to kill and eat, and that this universe is for the enjoyment of men. That is all foolishness. A tiger may say, “Man was created for me” and pray, “O Lord, how wicked are these men who do not come and place themselves before me to be eaten; they are breaking Your law.” If the world is created for us, we are also created for the world. That this world is created for our enjoyment is the most wicked idea that holds us down. This world is not for our sake. Millions pass out of it every year; the world does not feel it; millions of others are supplied in their place. Just as much as the world is for us, so we also are for the world.[Source]
Swami Vivekananda, like many traditional Hindu teachers, believed in the concept of “ahimsa” or non-violence towards all living beings. He believed that all living beings have the same right to live and that it is our duty to protect and care for them.
Vivekananda taught that the abuse of animals is a direct violation of the principle of ahimsa, and that it is the duty of human beings to be kind and compassionate towards all living beings. He believed that the treatment of animals reflects the spiritual and moral condition of a society and that a society that mistreats animals is not truly civilized.
In his lectures and writings, Vivekananda emphasized the importance of treating animals with kindness and respect. He encouraged people to be mindful of the impact of their actions on animals and to make conscious choices that minimize harm to animals. He also taught that by treating animals with kindness, we can develop compassion and empathy, which are essential for spiritual growth and self-realization.
Vivekananda also believed that animals are part of the divine creation and are manifestations of the same consciousness that pervades all living beings. He taught that all living beings, including animals, are interconnected and that by harming animals, we harm ourselves and the entire ecosystem.
In summary, Swami Vivekananda believed in the principle of “ahimsa” or non-violence towards all living beings, he taught that the abuse of animals is a direct violation of the principle of ahimsa, and that it is the duty of human beings to be kind and compassionate towards all living beings. He believed that the treatment of animals reflects the spiritual and moral condition of a society and that a society