Joanna Macy

American activist, author, and ecologist

Joanna Rogers Macy (born May 2, 1929) is an environmental activist, author, scholar of Buddhism, general systems theory, and deep ecology.

Joanna Macy in 2006


  • Only a few of us had been able to face directly the obscene conditions we inflicted on animals in our farm factories and modern slaughter houses; but most of us knew on some level that they entailed a suffering that was too much to “stomach.” We can appreciate now what it did to us to eat animals kept long in pain and terror. Because the mass methods employed to raise and kill animals for our tables were relatively new, we did not fully realize the deprivation and torture they entailed. Only a few of us guessed that the glandular responses of the cattle and pigs and chickens pumped adrenalin into their bodies and that we ate with their flesh the rage of the chickens, the terror of the pigs and cattle… Acting now with more respect for other beings, we find we have more respect for ourselves.

Quotes about Joanna Macy

  • Joanna Macy writes that until we can grieve for our planet we cannot love it—grieving is a sign of spiritual health. But it is not enough to weep for our lost landscapes; we have to put our hands in the earth to make ourselves whole again. Even a wounded world is feeding us. Even a wounded world holds us, giving us moments of wonder and joy. I choose joy over despair.
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