Nonviolence Toward Nonhuman Animals

  • James Kellenberger
Part of the Palgrave Frontiers in Philosophy of Religion book series (PFPR)


This chapter addresses the scope of pacifism’s nonviolence. Pacifism repudiates the violence of war and all forms of violence toward human beings, including psychological violence. But, this chapter asks, is nonviolence limited to human beings? Does it also apply to nonhuman animals? In the religious traditions of Hinduism, Jainism, and Buddhism the nonviolence of ahimsā extends to all sentient beings. While the concept of ahimsā does not inform the teaching of Jesus, Paul, and early Christianity, it can be argued that nonviolence toward nonhuman animals, with the vegetarianism or veganism that it entails, is implicit in “the ethic of Jesus.” So Albert Schweitzer argued. His argument and the religious sensibility it expresses are presented and explored in this chapter.

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • James Kellenberger
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PhilosophyCalifornia State UniversityNorthridgeUSA

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