Reflections on an ethical way of life

by Edgar Kupfer-Koberwitz

First letter
Second letter
Third letter
Fourth letter

The following translation by Ruth Mossner was specifically requested by her to be in the public domain. Please copy freely.

This text is entirely from her translation except the very first paragraph, which is excerpted from the quotations from this same work in Radical Vegetarianism by Mark Mathew Braunstein (Los Angeles: Panjandrum Books, 1981). Evidently this first paragraph was not included in the German edition from which Mossner translated.  I also added the designations “First Letter,” “Second Letter,” etc., for clarity.

4th Edition
Waerland-Verlagsgenossenschaft eG Mannheim
Federal Republic of Germany
German title: Die Tierbrüder
Translated by Ruth Mossner by permission of the Waerland-Verlagsgenossenschaft eG Mannheim


Dedicated to Wanda Petter and to my animal brothers

“Human beings? — Those are the wild beasts who pretend to be so tame -” said the fox. –

It is said that Pythagoras passed by once, where a dog was being mistreated. And it is said that he felt compassion and said: “Stop beating him, for I recognized a friend’s soul when I hear his voice.” (Diels, Fragments of the Presocratics, Xenophanes-fragm.)

When in animals our brothers we’ll see,
much cruel injustice will cease to be;
and the days on earth will become much lighter,
as Heavenly kindness will make our world brighter.

(Poem translated by Ruth Mossner; German original:)

Wenn wir im Tier den Bruder sehen werden,
Wird viel Härte und viel Irrtum weichen,
und es wird heller auf der Erde werden,
weil wir der Güte Licht vom Himmel reichen.