quote by Oliver Sacks

Above all, I have been a sentient being, a thinking animal, on this beautiful planet, and that in itself has been an enormous privilege and adventure.

— Oliver Sacks

Empowering Sentient quotations

I became a vegetarian after realizing that animals feel afraid, cold, hungry and unhappy like we do. I feel very deeply about vegetarianism and the animal kingdom. It was my dog Boycott who led me to question the right of humans to eat other sentient beings.

There is a simple way to become buddha: When you refrain from unwholesome actions, are not attached to birth and death, and are compassionate toward all sentient beings, respectful to seniors and kind to juniors, not excluding or desiring anything, with no designing thoughts or worries, you will be called a buddha. Do not seek anything else.

We torture and kill two billion sentient living beings every week.

10,000 entire species are wiped out every year because of the actions of one, and we are now facing the sixth mass extinction in cosmological history. If any other organism did this, a biologist would consider them a virus.

Fools! You think of "god" as a sentient being.

God is the word used to represent a force. This force created nothing, it just helps things along. It does not answer prayers, although it may make you think of a way to solve a problem. It has the power to influence you, but not decide for you.


All suffering is caused by ignorance.

People inflict pain on others in the selfish pursuit of their happiness or satisfaction.

When we finally know we are dying, and all other sentient beings are dying with us, we start to have a burning, almost heartbreaking sense of the fragility and preciousness of each moment and each being, and from this can grow a deep, clear, limitless compassion for all beings.

A child raised on a desert island, alone, without social interaction, without language, and thus lacking empathy, is still a sentient being.

The idea that we have the right to inflict suffering and death on other sentient beings for the trivial reasons of palate pleasure and fashion is, without doubt, one of the most arrogant and morally repugnant notions in the history of human thought.

The tree is happy because it is scarcely sentient;

the hard rock is happier still, it feels nothing: there is no pain as great as being alive, no burden heavier than that of conscious life.


The writer of these lines has nothing whatsoever to teach anyone;

his words are just his contribution to our common discussion of what must inevitably be for us the most important subject which could be discussed by sentient beings.

Cruelty to animals is an enormous injustice;

so is expecting those on the lowest rung of the economic ladder to do the dangerous, soul-numbing work of slaughtering sentient beings on our behalf.

May all that have life be delivered from suffering.

All sentient beings should have at least one right—the right not to be treated as property

We call them dumb animals, and so they are, for they cannot tell us how they feel, but they do not suffer less because they have no words.


Worship is the proper response of all moral, sentient beings to God, ascribing all honor and worth to their Creator-God precisely because he is worthy, delightfully so.

What do you mean, blindly? That baby is a very sentient creature… That baby sees the world with a completeness that you and I will never know again. His doors of perception have not yet been closed. He still experiences the moment he lives in.

The context of the general teachings is one of talking to a sentient being who is experiencing uninterrupted bewilderment – one thought or emotion after another like the surface of the ocean in turmoil, without any recognition of mind essence. This confusion is continuous, without almost any break, life after life.

Wordless is not the same of expressionless.

All phenomenon of the universe, audible and inaudible, tangible and intangible, sentient and insentient, are the clear and ceaseless expression of the buddha nature.

The true miracle lies in our eagerness to allow, appreciate, and honor the uniqueness, and freedom of each sentient being to sing the song of their heart.


We're cognizant, curious beings, capable of philosophical thought, nuclear physics, repeating Nerf weapons, global consciousness, Glade air fresheners, and sentient automobiles. But we're assholes first.

I believe all suffering is caused by ignorance.

Animals are sentient creatures. I love them very much. I do not feel that we have the right to torture, murder, and abuse them for our own disgusting dietary and fashion wants and needs.

We do not have to be ashamed of what we are.

As sentient beings we have wonderful backgrounds. These backgrounds may not be particularly enlightened or peaceful or intelligent. Nevertheless, we have soil good enough to cultivate; we can plant anything in it.

The really valuable thing in the pageant of human life seems to me not the political state, but the creative, sentient individual, the personality; it alone creates the noble and the sublime, while the herd as such remains dull in thought and dull in feeling.


Music is intended and designed for sentient beings that have hopes and purposes and emotions.

Even if a bodhisattva investigates the highest wisdom, one is not a proper bodhisattva unless one applies skillful means for the benefit of other sentient beings.

Now, if anything at all can be known to be wrong, it seems to me to be unshakably certain that it would be wrong to make any sentient being suffer eternally for any offence whatever.

Years of cultural programming have taught us to love some animals while eating others, when in all reality, all animals are sentient beings with the capacity to feel, both physically and emotionally.

If a man loses one-third of his skin he dies;

if a tree loses one-third of its bark, it too dies. If the Earth is a 'sentient being', would it not be reasonable to expect that if it loses one-third of its trees and vegetable covering, it will also die?


I experienced an ecstasy of unity. I not only saw the connectedness, I felt it and experienced it sentiently. The restraints and boundaries of flesh and bone fell away.

Unceasing change turns the wheel of life, and so reality is shown in all it's many forms. Dwell peacefully as change itself liberates all suffering sentient beings and brings them great joy.

The main point for me is moral; animals are sentient beings. I know for some this is a hard argument to accept, but we're not built to eat a lot of meat.

Refraining from all evil, not clinging to birth and death, working in deep compassion for all sentient beings, respecting those over you and pitying those below you, without any detesting or desiring, worrying or lamentation - this is what is called Buddha. Do not search beyond it.

It's probably weird to think about an addiction like it's a sentient being, but that's how it feels. Like it's something living inside you. Something you can't get rid of because killing it means killing you.

famous quotes