Janez Drnovšek, 2009.
He lived from May 17, 1950 to February 23, 2008. He
died at the age of 57. He was a Slovenian liberal politician. He was the
President of Yugoslavia (1989-1990), Prime Minister of Slovenia
(1992-2002) and President of Slovenia (2002-2007). He was fluent in the
languages Slovene, Serbo_Croatian, English, Spanish, French and German.
In 1999, he was diagnosed with cancer. In 2002 he
stepped down from his job as Prime Minister, to be elected to the less
demanding job of President. He moved to a mountain hut near the village
of Zaplana where he grew organic vegetables and baked his own bread. He
first omitted red meat from his diet, then poultry, then fish and in
2005 he became vegan. When asked how he felt after switching to a
vegetarian diet, he answered: "I feel great - they say I have too much
In 2006, he left the Liberal Democracy of Slovenia and
founded the Movement for Justice and Development.
|When asked about his views and aspirations for the
Movement for Justice and Development, he answered:
|"My objective was to raise the
consciousness of the people, not only in Slovenia, but around
the world. I think that we need a critical mass of conscious
people to change the present state of the world. There is too
much suffering in the world and we destroy our planet, day by
day. Only when most of the
people of the world become conscious enough, then I think that
politics will move and things will start to change."
Other quotes by Janez Drnovšek:
|When asked why he became vegetarian, he
|"Because I feel vegetarian food is better,
better quality. We eat meat because it's the way we had been
brought up. I have been a vegetarian for a few years and just
recently I have become a vegan, which means I don't eat milk,
dairy products or eggs. There is still plenty of choice, varied
vegetable foods, which are sufficient to our needs. I took this
step following my inner feeling. Some people believe that vegan
food is very limited and boring which is not true. It can be
|"We don't always realize how we treat
animals, how we manage them. They are living creatures. People
have this set idea of behavior towards animals and as result
they very rarely question what we actually cause. If we think
for a moment how man manages animals and what impact he has on
animal world, we could say he was not human at all. Just think
of all slaughterhouses and production of beef or poultry where
conditions for animals are impossible. Often animals are
transported in lorries without any water, which is extremely
cruel. It is not that people are bad they just don't think about
it. When the final product is in front of them on the plate,
they don't think what was has been before and how it got to this
|"It is a question of respecting life in
general. Animals are living creatures with feelings. Everyone
who has a domestic animal or a pet knows that animals have
|"Animals are beings who suffer and who can
be happy, as we can. They have consciousness and they are
conscious of what is going on. Animals are conscious that we are
going to kill them. They suffer, they are afraid, they feel; and
then people eat all these things."
|"I think that today we can produce enough
vegetarian food to feed everyone in the world. We don’t need to
kill animals. It is just the low consciousness of people, in
continuing this preference without thinking about it. We could
tell someone in the restaurant, "If you order a steak, they will
have to kill a cow for you. And then they have to take a part of
the cow for the meat, and the cow will suffer. But it’s not
necessary that you eat this. You have a variety of good
vegetarian foods." Many people just eat automatically. People
think this is what everyone does and they just continue with
this, without thinking. So we have to raise the consciousness
|"Education is very important. I think that
education should contribute to the formation of the
consciousness of children. This is much more important for them
than to have an accumulation of all kinds of knowledge. They
have to develop awareness in themselves, a consciousness or
feeling that we are human beings who are interdependent, who
must care for each other; that we cannot survive without this
kind of connection or solidarity with other people, other living
beings, animals, nature and so on."
|"If a person's conscience is highly
developed they will not kill or be cruel to animals. You can not
expect from such person to go to war and kill people for a
profit. People who do not kill and eat animals have a greater
chance of finding a way to live in peace in harmony. Everything
is interconnected in one's conscience. On a higher level one
comes with the other."
|"When we overcome our selfishness, then we
become whole. When we start to think good and to do good; when
we feel for other people, for other beings and nature, then we
are whole. Otherwise, we do not really live per se. And
selfishness is the point, the critical point for a human being
or an individual to overcome - his or her own selfishness. But
it’s also a critical point for humanity as a whole."
|"We need a kind of leadership for
humanity. Sometimes I say that politics ideally defend the
interests of humanity as a whole. But they are always about the
interests of some groups of people or of nations with economic
interests. We can speak about geopolitical interests, but who
defends the humanity as a whole? Who defends the earth? No one!"
|"I believe it is foolish that European
Union's main priority is one hundred percent subsidy of farming
especially meat products. The fact that EU subsidizes mass
production of meat and poultry is really the main obstacle from
the ethics point of view. Not only that but also from the point
of view of nutrition. We are frequently reminded by nature i.e.
mad cow disease, recently swine fever, bird flu. It is obvious
that something is not as it should be, something is disturbing
the balance of nature, and that should be a warning to us all."
|"Instead of using huge resources for mass
meat production we should use it for organic farming of diverse
produce from cereals, pulses, fruit and all the products that
originate from these. This would certainly be kinder to nature
as organic production means no use of chemical fertilizers or
additives. It would mean no pollution to the environment and no
chemical additives in our food. We consume these chemicals every
day in our food and they are harmful. But behind all this are
the interests of big manufacturers, lobbies, huge profits which
are the driving force for these food manufacturers'
|"The world's religions often speak about
respecting life but they only mean human life and sometimes not
even that. Looking back in the Middle Ages, the Catholics
proclaimed for a long time that native Red Indians that were
enslaved by the Spanish and Portuguese did not have a soul. This
meant that they weren't treated as living creatures with
feelings. Then they changed their mind and proclaimed that black
people don't have souls. Centuries of black slavery followed.
All this happened with the blessing of the Church."
|When asked his opinion about
the slaughtering of animals to be served on people's tables
during Christmas celebrations, he answered:
|"Jesus would be turning in his grave if he
knew that mass slaughter of animals is carried out every year in
his name. His deliverance is based on absolute respect of life
and it is very difficult to imagine that he would accept
millions of living creatures being killed in his honor."
|When asked his opinion on live
animal testing, he answered:
|"You have to ask yourself would you like
it if you were the subject of such testing. During the second
world war my father was an inmate in the concentration camp in
Dachau, where he was subjected to such medical experiments
together with thousands other people. He didn't like it one bit.
Some people would say it is necessary for the progress of
science but I am sure that in most cases alternative methods can
be used without the need for animal testing."
|"Hunting which is by definition just
chasing and killing of animals is, of course, completely
|When asked whether his dog Brodi is
vegetarian, he answered:
|"You've been informed well. You'd better
ask him personally. I'm not authorized to answer in his name."
Quotes are from his
2005 interview with Damjan Likar, Chief Editor of the Slovenian magazine
Animal Liberation and his
2007 interview with Supreme Master Television, episodes 187 and 188.