Tony Benn Will Be Missed

Posted by 3 years ago | Permalink | Comments (10)

Today, we, like many other people across Britain, were saddened to hear about the death of the legendary Tony Benn, who was a great friend to animals.

Famous for always speaking his mind and standing up for what he believed and described by Ed Miliband as a “champion of the powerless”, Benn always fought for those without a voice in society – including animals. He protested against laboratories that test on animals, voted in Parliament against fox hunting, lent his support to animal rights groups, including PETA – and practiced what he preached every day by sticking to a vegetarian diet.

Here are a few of our favourite quotes from this remarkable man, who will be sorely missed.

On giving up meat:

I never liked meat and my son Hilary, 30 years ago, said: “If the world ate the grain instead of feeding it to animals and killing them, there would be enough food for everybody.” That moment my wife and I became vegetarian and I never touched meat since.

On animal rights:

Tony Benn CC copy

Tony Benn” by Glastonbury Left Field | CC BY-SA 2.0

On animal testing:

The tide is turning fast against those who still cling on to the view that experimentation and testing of drugs on animals is valid and necessary.

On cruelty:

Unquestioning brutality like slaughter and capital punishment does corrupt you and is a blot on the civilizing of society.

On the bill to ban fox hunting:

The support [for the bill] comes from people young and old–it is not confined to the young, although it is very strong among them–who believe that cruelty to entertain is wrong, and I share that view… As a vegetarian and someone who has always supported animal rights, I feel that we have a duty in a representative assembly to reflect properly the feeling that exists.

On changing the world:

Tony Benn” by Regent’s University London  | CC BY 2.0


Rest in peace Mr Benn.


  • Donald Simkiss commented on March 14, 2014 at 2:03 pm

    Anthony Wedgewood Benn as he was first known as in Politics,*Later Tony Benn* was not only a GREAT STATESMAN BUT one of the FEW in politics that was a TRUE FRIEND OF THE ANIMALS. R.I.P. Tony. The animals will ALL miss your voice.

  • Lisa commented on March 14, 2014 at 2:16 pm

    Amazing <3

  • Austin Fletcher commented on March 14, 2014 at 7:44 pm

    Animal rights and human rights are one and the same. True morality and compassion have no boundaries. The fight for a genuinely civilised and democratic society is also the fight against cruelty, slaughter and violence.

  • Dora Sweetman commented on March 14, 2014 at 7:50 pm

    A true Christian who spoke up for and supported all creatures in need

  • Anne Bentley commented on March 14, 2014 at 11:01 pm

    An inspironational man. Stood up for what h believed, a fellow vegetarian, with good principles RIP

  • L Nicoll commented on March 15, 2014 at 12:10 am

    A really honest and caring man. Dont believe there are many left like him.

  • Olivia commented on March 15, 2014 at 4:11 am

    :'( you will be missed

  • pauline ann whetton commented on March 15, 2014 at 2:02 pm

    a great man who will be missed by most humans and all animals.
    R.I.P. Tony.

  • Marisa commented on March 17, 2014 at 12:45 pm

    I thought he was a vegan, not a vegetarian! (BIG difference!) Am I wrong? 🙁

  • Anneka commented on March 24, 2014 at 2:12 pm

    My grandma passed away on Christmas eve just gone and was a huge labour supporter. She knocked on doors her whole life trying to persuade people to join the party and support local issues. I have pictures of my Grandma doing many animal rights marches. She once campaigned tirelessly to stop fox hunters (when it was still legal) bringing their hunt near local primary schools because she didn’t think young children should be exposed to such cruelty.

    She always supported the ban. I remember her telling me once that she was at a country fair and noticed a cruel farmer using an electric prod to get his pigs into the truck, he was kicking the animals and shouting at them. She proceeded to jump over the fence and use the prod, on the farmer. Needless to say this isn’t behaviour to be encouraged.. but she taught me a lot about respecting animals. She used to show me how to stroke the back of a bumblebee and how to learn to love all the different types of butterfly.
    Tony Benn was great friends with my Grandma, we have pictures of him sitting in her big armchair. He used to visit every week and fall asleep after tea and grandmas homemade cake (and of course his pipe).

    I have only learnt about his great contribution to animal issues since Grandma passed as we learn more and more about different causes she supported and people like Tony Benn that she knew.

    It’s quite amazing to know that such a huge national figure like Tony Benn and such a huge local figure like Grandma actually used their politics and passion to make a change in the world of animal welfare.


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