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Leonardo Da Vinci: The First Animal Rights Activist?

Leonardo Da Vinci: The First Animal Rights Activist?

The Guardian recently published an interesting article covering the new exhibition Leonardo da Vinci: Painter at the Court of Milan at the National Gallery in London and discusses Da Vinci’s love and respect for animals. The article reveals that he defended the rights of animals long before such ideas had gained widespread acceptance.

It is believed that Da Vinci loved animals so much that he bought caged birds (sold in Italy at that time as food and as pets) simply to let them go.

Animal rights is also a theme that is repeated in his notebooks. He wrote “humanity is not “king of the animals” but merely “king of the beasts”, that is, a more powerful beast than the rest: and he goes on to rage that we use our power to raise animals for slaughter.

In Leonardo: Discovering the Life of Leonardo da Vinci, Serge Bramly wrote, “Leonardo loved animals so much, it seems, that he turned vegetarian.”

Sigmund Freud once said “Leonardo da Vinci was like a man who awoke too early in the darkness, while the others were all still asleep,” which truly captures the essence of this brilliant man. While he is best known for his art, Da Vinci was also an architect, engineer, scientist, mathematician, musician and perhaps history’s first animal rights activist.

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One comment on “Leonardo Da Vinci: The First Animal Rights Activist?”

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Vegan Cat
6 Years Ago

If you ever studied the Essenes, the very first gnostic Christians, you'd learn that Jesus was the first animal rights activist. The roman empire/catholics made sure those teachings, that killing and eating animals would not be tolerated by the Roman Empire, and murdered the Essenes by throwing them to the lions or burning alive. Jesus taught, in a nutshell, killing and eating animals is giving you, a death sentence of your soul and an invitation to disease. With all the depression, fear and anxiety in this world, these mental anguish ailments stems from the energy imprint of how that animal was raised and died. So with the murder of animals, their stress and horror and pain they have endured all their life and to end heinously, you are eating all that anxiety, all that pain, all that fear, and all that horror. Stop eating meat, dairy and eggs, you stop the anxiety, the stress, the pain, and the fear. You stop heart disease, cancer and a host of multiple physical ailments. Eating meat desensitizes your relationship with animals, it creates indifference, muddles your judgement and logic. People end up defending stupidity and perpetuate the ugliness by continuing their carnivorous ways because it is convenient, it tastes good and it is 'socially' acceptable. I've been told I was nutz, such a drama queen but it couldn't be further from the truth on this issue. If anything, there is no way to be dramatic about this intentionally, it is what it is. Eat meat, you are eating dead tortured animals and it is a karmic response to your mind and body for what you receive from eating death and torture. Check out the writings of the Essenes. The Gospel of Peace I, II, III, IV, The Book of Enoch, The Gospel of the Holy Twelve and more.


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