The Power of Choice: Veganism or Carnism

by Michael Corthell

''The choices you will make today could alter the course of your life 
forever -- for both you and the lives around you.''

From an ethical stand point, it is now commonly accepted that one individual's right to choose ends at the point where exercising that right does harm to another being (or shared asset such as nation or the Earth.)

So, while it might be legal and customary to carelessly kill and eat animals, it is not ethical. 

Being vegan is a choice, so is being a carnist. (See:

Life is a series of choices

I've put together the top 100 quotes on the subject of life choices, plus an excellent video that makes the argument that if we do not choose wisely, not only will we suffer, but others will suffer as well.

What do you choose? Life?

“In any given moment we have two options, to step 
forward in growth or to step back into safety.”

–– Abraham Maslow


Choice Quotes

1. “Where there is no decision there is no life.”- JJ Dewey

2. “The strongest principle of growth lies in human choice.” – George Eliot

3. “Nothing that you do will ever feel good if you let people convince you that you have no choice.” – Fiona Apple

4. “Why do we have to listen to our hearts? Because, wherever your heart is, that is where you all find your treasure.”- Paulo Coelho

5. “The most difficult thing is the decision to act, the rest is merely tenacity. The fears are paper tigers. You can do anything you decide to do. You can act to change and control your life; and the procedure, the process is its own reward.” – Amelia Earhart

6. “There are two primary choices in life; to accept conditions as they exist, or accept the responsibility for changing them.” – Denis Waitley

7. “This is as true in everyday life as it is in battle: we are given one life and the decision is ours whether to wait for circumstances to make up our mind, or whether to act, and in acting, to live.” – Omar Bradley

8. “To get anywhere, or even to live a long time, a man has to guess, and guess right, over and over again, without enough data for a logical answer.”- Robert Heinlein

9. “We are the creative force of our life, and through our own decisions rather than our conditions, if we carefully learn to do certain things, we can accomplish those goals.” – Stephen Covey

10. “What we call the secret of happiness is no more a secret than our willingness to choose life.” – Leo Buscaglia

11. “Your life changes the moment you make a new, congruent, and committed decision.” – Anthony Robbins

12. “Understand that the right to choose your own path is a sacred privilege. Use it. Dwell in possibility.” – Oprah Winfrey

13. “In every single thing you do, you are choosing a direction. Your life is a product of choices.” – Dr. Kathleen Hall

14. “You are the person who has to decide. Whether you’ll do it or toss it aside; you are the person who makes up your mind. Whether you’ll lead or will linger behind. Whether you’ll try for the goal that’s afar. Or just be contented to stay where you are.” – Edgar A. Guest

15. “The choices that we make in our life, indeed determine the kind of results that we experience and the quality of the life that we live.” – Sumeet Jain

16. “Greatness is not a function of circumstance. Greatness, it turns out, is largely a matter of conscious choice, and discipline.” – Jim Collins

17. “Regardless of what you lose or the challenges you face, you will never lose your power to make decisions”
― Jacinta Mpalyenkana

18. “If you choose not to decide, you still have made a choice.” – Neil Peart

19. “Using the power of decision gives you the capacity to get past any excuse to change any and every part of your life in an instant.”- Anthony Robbins

20. “It’s choice – not chance – that determines your destiny.” – Jean Nidetch

21. “Decision is a sharp knife that cuts clean and straight; indecision, a dull one that hacks and tears and leaves ragged edges behind it.” – Gordon Graham

22. “Look for your choices, pick the best one, then go with it.” – Pat Riley

23. “The quality of decision is like the well-timed swoop of a falcon which enables it to strike and destroy its victim.”- Sun Tzu

24. “Man’s power of choice enables him to think like an angel or a devil, a king or a slave. Whatever he chooses, mind will create and manifest.” – Frederick Bailes

25. “When we least expect it, life sets us a challenge to test our courage and willingness to change; at such a moment, there is no point in pretending that nothing has happened or in saying that we are not ready. The challenge will not wait. Life does not look back. A week is more than enough time for us to decide whether or not to accept our destiny.” – Paulo Coelho

26. “Right now you are one choice away from a new beginning – one that leads you toward becoming the fullest human being you can be.” – Oprah Winfrey

27. “When making your choice in life, do not neglect to live.” – Samuel Johnson

28. “If you chase two rabbits, both will escape.”- Unknown author

29. “A man is happy so long as he choose to be happy.” – Alexander Solzhenitsyn

30. “If you don’t design your own life plan, chances are you fall into someone else’s plan. And guess what they have planned for you? Not much.”- Jim Rohn

31. “As simple as it sounds, we all must try to be the best person we can: by making the best choices, by making the most of the talents we’ve been given.” – Mary Lou Retton

32. “When you cannot make up your mind which of two evenly balanced courses of action you should take, choose the bolder.” – William Joseph Slim

33. “Destiny is not a matter of chance, it is a matter of choice; it is not a thing to be waited for, it is a thing to be achieved.” – William Jennings Bryan

34. “We must make the choices that enable us to fulfill the deepest capacities of our real selves.” – Thomas Merton

35. “Every choice you make has an end result.” – Zig Ziglar

36. “Changing our decision sets up a bad habit. It reinforces decision-making as an expression of bewilderment and ignorance, instead of wisdom and freedom.” – Sakyong Mipham

37. “Things do not happen. Things are made to happen.” – John F. Kennedy

38. “Life presents many choices, the choices we make determine our future.” – Catherine Pulsifer

39. “I believe that we are solely responsible for our choices, and we have to accept the consequences of every deed, word, and thought throughout our lifetime.” – Elizabeth Kubler-Ross

40.) “Once you make a decision, the universe conspires to make it happen.”- Ralph Waldo Emerson

41.) “When we find inspiration, we need to take action for ourselves and for our communities. Even if it means making a hard choice, or cutting out something and leaving it in your past.” – Aron Ralston

42. “Be miserable. Or motivate yourself. Whatever has to be done, it’s always your choice.” – Wayne Dyer

43. “In every single thing you do, you are choosing a direction. Your life is a product of choices.” – Dr. Kathleen Hall

44. “Some of our important choices have a time line. If we delay a decision, the opportunity is gone forever. Sometimes our doubts keep us from making a choice that involves change. Thus an opportunity may be missed.” – James E. Faust

45. “And we have complete control over our own attitude. We are the ones we decide how we feel, how we look at things, how we react.” – Catherine Pulsifer

46. “Destiny is no matter of chance. It is a matter of choice. It is not a thing to be waited for, it is a thing to be achieved.” – William Jennings Bryan

47. “The only real failure in life is not to be true to the best one knows.” – Buddha

48. “The remarkable thing is, we have a choice everyday regarding the attitude we will embrace for that day.” – Charles R. Swindoll

49. “Each person has a choice; the choice to do as one may wish and as one wants remains with the individual. If a person sees no benefit to change, they will not change.” – Byron Pulsifer

50. “The decisions you make are a choice of values that reflect your life in every way.” – Alice Waters

51. “We all need to decide whether to “play it safe” in life and worry about the downside, or instead take a chance, by being who we really are and living the life our heart desires. Which choice are you making?” – Charlie Badenhop

52. “One of the most important things that I have learned in my 57 years is that life is all about choices. On every journey you take, you face choices. At every fork in the road, you make a choice. And it is those decisions that shape our lives.” – Mike DeWine

53. “May your choices reflect your hopes not your fears.” – Nelson Mandela

54. “Every person has free choice. Free to obey or disobey the Natural Laws. Your choice determines the consequences.” – Alfred A. Montapert

55. “You always do what you want to do. This is true with every act. You may say that you had to do something, or that you were forced to, but actually, whatever you do, you do by choice. Only you have the power to choose for yourself.” – W. Clement Stone

56. “If you’re a good choice maker, you can choose the best emotional responses and choose the best new life paths, forward and upward.” – Karen Salmansohn

57. “Big changes don’t have to be hard, but they do have to start with a choice. This is where real change begins; this is where you start taking control of your life and how you choose to live it; this is where it all starts.” – Nathalie Thompson

58. “The self is not something ready-made, but something in continuous formation through choice of action.” – John Dewey

59. “In my experience working with a variety of people over several decades, far too many individuals choose to be anonymous members of the pack, therefore suffering from the inner remorse that makes them feel like failures, filled with conflict and resentment and wondering what the meaning of life is.”- Dr. Wayne W. Dyer

60.) “Love is a choice you make from moment to moment.” – Barbara De Angelis

61.) “You can be a thousand different women. It’s your choice which one you want to be. It’s about freedom and sovereignty. You celebrate who you are. You say, ‘This is my kingdom.’ – Salma Hayek

62.) “The biggest breakthroughs in consciousness occur when things are difficult; when we have a choice to fall to the worst of ourselves or rise to the best of ourselves.” – Yehuda Berg

63. “We have a choice about how we take what happens to us in our life and whether or not we allow it to turn us. We can become consumed by hate and darkness, or we’re able to regain our humanity somehow, or come to terms with things and learn something about ourselves.” – Angelina Jolie

64. “In this new era, you have two choices: become a temp staffer (not a horrible choice) or become an artist-entrepreneur. Choose to commoditize your labor or choose yourself to be a creator, an innovator, an artist, an investor, a marketer, and an entrepreneur.” – James Altucher

65. “The history of free men is never really written by chance but by choice; their choice!” – Dwight D. Eisenhower

66. “I really do see that anywhere I am, whether it’s doing interviews a hundred in a row, that every situation I’m in, I’m at choice in the matter.” – Alanis Morissette

67. “You shape your future every day through the choices you make. That’s sort of a hard one to swallow, isn’t it? It would be much easier to say you are a victim of circumstances. Then you don’t have to act. Your choices create your reality.” – Jason Harvey

68.“Often people ask how I manage to be happy despite having no arms and no legs. The quick answer is that I have a choice. I can be angry about not having limbs, or I can be thankful that I have a purpose. I chose gratitude.” – Nick Vujicic

69. “There’s no one path. There’s every path. Every path starts with this one moment. Did you choose yourself for this moment? Can you be bold? Then all paths will lead to the same place. Right now.” – Dick Costolo

70. “Some people are cowards… I think by and large a third of people are villains, a third are cowards, and a third are heroes. Now, a villain and a coward can choose to be a hero, but they’ve got to make that choice.” – Tom Hanks

71. “To desire and strive to be of some service to the world, to aim at doing something which shall really increase the happiness and welfare and virtue of mankind – this is a choice which is possible for all of us; and surely it is a good haven to sail for.” – Henry Van Dyke

72. “Man is made or unmade by himself. By the right choice he ascends. As a being of power, intelligence, and love, and the lord of his own thoughts, he holds the key to every situation.” – James Allen

73. “I love people that work with passion and love. When you make choices that way, there’s reverberations, consequences. That’s what I’m interested in, that echo, that ripple of choice.” – Derek Cianfrance

74. “We choose what attitudes we have right now. And it’s a continuing choice.” – John C. Maxwell

75. “I think in life, you have a choice. You can either be optimistic or pessimistic, and I go for the optimism.” – Jon Anderson

76. “Attitude is a choice. Happiness is a choice. Optimism is a choice. Kindness is a choice. Giving is a choice. Respect is a choice. Whatever choice you make makes you. Choose wisely.” ― Roy T. Bennett

78. “But until a person can say deeply and honestly, “I am what I am today because of the choices I made yesterday,” that person cannot say, “I choose otherwise.” ― Stephen R. Covey

79. “Tell yourself that you have a choice, not that you are a product of your childhood, your environment, your culture, or your genes. Yes, you may have limitations, psychological damage, and a certain background, but you can make that choice every day: To be better.” – Albert Rogers

80. “In the end that was the choice you made, and it doesn’t matter how hard it was to make it. It matters that you did.” ― Cassandra Clare

81. “Transformation occurs when there has been a learning lesson and you choose to create a better choice.” – Andrea Reibmayr

82. “We’ve all got both light and dark inside us. What matters is the part we choose to act on. That’s who we really are.” ― J.K. Rowling

83. “Maturity is when you stop complaining and making excuses, and start making changes.” ― Roy T. Bennett

84. “Too many times, the majority of people choose to limit their own power and potential because they have not allowed themselves the opportunity to see the big picture of what can truly be theirs in life.” – Mark Eriksson

85. “We are our choices.” ― Jean-Paul Sartre

86. “Life is the sum of all your choices.” – Albert Camus

87. “It is not for me to judge another man’s life. I must judge, I must choose, I must spurn, purely for myself. For myself, alone.” ― Hermann Hesse

89. “There comes a time in your life when you have to choose to turn the page, write another book or simply close it.” ― Shannon L. Alder

90. “In any moment of decision, the best thing you can do is the right thing. The worst thing you can do is nothing.” ― Theodore Roosevelt

91. “Every person, all the events of your life, are there because you have drawn them there. What you choose to do with them is up to you.” – Richard Bach

92. “People pay for what they do, and still more for what they have allowed themselves to become. And they pay for it very simply; by the lives they lead.” ― James Baldwin

93. “I discovered I always have choices and sometimes it’s only a choice of attitude.” Judith M. Knowlton

94. “It’s not hard to make decisions when you know what your values are.” ― Roy Disney

95. “The right choice is hardly ever the easy choice.” ― Rick Riordan

96. “Empowerment is being aware that there is no one to blame for my choices and actions; that I have a personal choice and responsibility for my life.” – Steve Mariboli

97. “There are two primary choices in life: to accept conditions as they exist, or to accept responsibility for changing them.” – Denis Waitley

98. “Our lives are fashioned by our choices. First we make our choices. Then our choices make us.” – Anne Frank

99. “Life presents many choices, the choices we make determine our future.” – Catherine Pulsifer

100. “You shape your future every day through the choices you make. That’s sort of a hard one to swallow, isn’t it? It would be much easier to say you are a victim of circumstances. Then you don’t have to act. Your choices create your reality.” – Jason Harvey