Prominent Vegetarian Philosophers
- Plato describes two ideal societies in The Republic, the first, healthy one which practised vegetarianism and sophrosyny (self-control), and the second, feverish one which indulged in luxuries, including meat-eating. Plato apparently preferred the first one.
- Richard D. Ryder coined the term 'speciecism' in 1971, denoting the belief in human superiority above all other forms of life, an attitude he compared to racism and sexism.
- Peter Singer authored Animal Liberation (1975), the 'Bible' of the animal liberation movement, a utilitarian justification of our responsibilities to other animals.
- Tom Regan wrote The Case for Animal Rights (1983), a deontological argument for animal rights.
- Paola Cavalieri and Peter Singer founded The Great Ape Project (1994) to lobby for the rights of the great apes, namely, the right to life, the protection of individual liberty, and the prohibition of torture.
- Jacques Derrida, while he couldn't bring himself to abstain from eating animal flesh, did challenge the rationalistic basis of Anglo-American animal ethics and promoted, like J.M. Coetzee, compassion towards animals, a concept alien to most philosophical debates on animal rights.