Just so you know, this page has nothing to do with anime. But rather, it's about my other major interest, animals. So if you want a little break from anime stuff, and if you happen to like animals too, then I hope you'll enjoy all of my favorite animal quotes, passages, and short poems that I've complied on this page. The quotes here are taken from a lot of different literary sources by all kinds of people. Enjoy!
Much credit goes to The Quote Garden for many of these quotes!
It is an important and popular fact that things are not always what they seem. For instance, on the planet Earth, man had always assumed that he was more intelligent than dolphins because he had achieved so much - the wheel, New York, wars and so on - whilst all the dolphins had ever done was muck about in the water having a good time. But conversely, the dolphins had always believed that they were far more intelligent than man - for precisely the same reasons.
-Douglas Adams, The Hitch-Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy
Lots of people talk to animals. Not very many listen, though. That's the problem.
-Benjamin Hoff, The Tao of Pooh
Animals have these advantages over man: they never hear the clock strike, they die without any idea of death, they have no theologians to instruct them, their last moments are not disturbed by unwelcome and unpleasant ceremonies, their funerals cost them nothing, and no one starts lawsuits over their wills.
Animals are such agreeable friends - they ask no questions, they pass no criticisms.
They have no consciousness therefore. Therefore what? Therefore we are free to use them for our own ends? Therefore we are free to kill them? Why? What is so special about the form of consciousness we recognize that makes killing a bearer of it a crime while killing an animal goes unpunished?...all this discussion of consciousness and whether animals have it is just a smokescreen. At bottom we protect our own kind. Thumbs up to human babies, thumbs down to veal calves.
-J.M. Coetzee, The Lives of Animals
To insult someone we call him "bestial." For deliberate cruelty and nature, "human" might be the greater insult.
-Isaac Asimov, Isaac Asimov's Book of Science and Nature Quotations
Ask the experimenters why they experiment on animals, and the answer is: "Because the animals are like us." Ask the experimenters why it is morally okay to experiment on animals, and the answer is: "Because the animals are not like us." Animal experimentation rests on a logical contradiction.
-Charles R. Magel
…the program of scientific experimentation that leads you to conclude that animals are imbeciles is profoundly anthropocentric. It values being able to find your way out of a sterile maze, ignoring the fact that if the researcher who designed the maze were to be parachuted into the jungles of Borneo, he or she would be dead of starvation in a week….If I as a human being were told that the standards by which animals are being measured in these experiments are human standards, I would be insulted.
-J.M. Coetzee, The Lives of Animals
God loved the birds and invented trees. Man loved the birds and invented cages.
-Jacques Deval, Afin de vivre bel et bien
We have enslaved the rest of the animal creation, and have treated our distant cousins in fur and feathers so badly that beyond doubt, if they were able to formulate a religion, they would depict the Devil in human form.
-William Ralph Inge, Outspoken Essays
Thus godlike sympathy grows and thrives and spreads far beyond the teachings of churches and schools, where too often the mean, blinding, loveless doctrine is taught that animals have no rights that we are bound to respect, and were only made for man, to be petted, spoiled, slaughtered or enslaved.
The cat is the animal to whom the Creator gave the biggest eye, the softest fur, the most supremely delicate nostrils, a mobile ear, an unrivaled paw, and a curved claw borrowed from the rose-tree.
From beasts we scorn as soulless,
In forest, field and den,
The cry goes up to witness
The soullessness of men.
-M. Frida Hartley
The day may come when the rest of the animal creation may acquire those rights which never could have been witholden from them but by the hand of tyranny. The French have already discovered that the blackness of the skin is no reason a human being should be abandoned without redress to the caprice of a tormentor. It may one day come to be recognized that the number of the legs, the villosity of the skin, or the termination of the os sacrum are reasons equally insufficient for abandoning a sensitive being to the same fate. What else is it that should trace the insuperable line? Is it the faculty of reason or perhaps the faculty of discourse? But a full-grown horse or dog, is beyond comparison a more rational, as well as a more conversable animal, than an infant of a day or a week or even a month old. But suppose the case were otherwise, what would it avail? The question is not "Can they reason?" nor "Can they talk?" but "Can they suffer?"
I care not much for a man's religion whose dog and cat are not the better for it.
...there is no religion without love, and people may talk as much as they like about their religion, but if it does not teach them to be good and kind to man and beast, it is all a sham...
-Anna Sewell, Black Beauty
When I play with my cat, who knows if I am not a pastime to her more than she is to me?
-Michel de Montaigne, Essays
Personally, I would not give a fig for any man's religion whose horse, cat and dog do not feel its benefits. Life in any form is our perpetual responsibility.
-S. Parkes Cadman
No one in the world needs a mink coat but a mink.
Never wear anything that panics the cat.
Cruelty is one fashion statement we can all do without.
…there was not a well-bred young horse in my time that had not his tail docked in that shameful way, just as if the good God that made us did not know what we wanted and what looked best...fashion is one of the wickedest things in the world. Now look, for instance, at the way they serve dogs, cutting off their tails to make them look plucky, and shearing up their pretty little ears to a point to make them look sharp...Why don't they cut their own children's ears into points to make them look sharp? Why don't they cut the end off their noises to make them look plucky? One would be just as sensible as the other. What right have they to torment and disfigure God's creatures?
-Anna Sewell, Black Beauty
As long as people will shed the blood of innocent creatures there can be no peace, no liberty, no harmony between people. Slaughter and justice cannot dwell together.
-Isaac Bashevis Singer
Man, when living, is soft and tender; when dead, he is hard and tough. All animals and plants when living are tender and delicate; when dead they become withered and dry. Therefore it is said: the hard and tough are parts of death; the soft and tender are parts of life.
Dogs come when they're called; cats take a message and get back to you later.
Support your right to arm bears.
Those little nimble musicians of the air, that warble forth their curious ditties, with which nature hath furnished them to the shame of art.
-Izaak Walton (describing birds)
Why should man expect his prayer for mercy to be heard by what is above him when he shows no mercy to what is under him?
Hunting is not a sport. In a sport, both sides should know they're in the game.
People complain that we treat animals like objects, but in fact we treat them like prisoners of war...We had a war once against the animals, which we called hunting...That war went on for millions of years. We won it definitely only a few hundred years ago, when we invented guns. It is only since victory became absolute that we have been able to afford to cultivate compassion. But our compassion is very thinly spread. Beneath it is a more primitive attitude. The prisoner of war does not belong to our tribe. We can do what we want with him. We can sacrifice him to our gods. We can cut his throat, tear out his heart, throw him on the fire. There are no laws when it comes to prisoners of war.
-J.M. Coetzee, The Lives of Animals
I am in favor of animal rights as well as human rights. That is the way of the whole human being.
Man is the only creature that consumes without producing. He does not give milk, he does not lay eggs, he is too weak to pull the plough, he cannot run fast enough to catch rabbits. Yet he is lord of all the animals.
-George Orwell, Animal Farm
We ate no flesh in Eden, but afterwards, when things got hard, we forgot the peaceful kinship of that ancient kingdom. As our teeth sank into their flesh, we had to deny them. So we said they had no souls, no reason, no thumbs, no speech. We were so different. We made a chain of things to protect us — fire, medicine, our locking houses, many kinds of clothes. And we renamed them — farm product, fur crop, renewable resource. Pray that we will see their faces again in the mirror of creation, the miracle of animals, their clear eyes meaning more than profit to our own.
Why are we by all creatures waited on?
Why do the prodigal elements supply
Life and food to me, being more pure than I,
Simple, and further from corruption?
Why brook'st thou, ignorant horse, subjection?
Why dost thou, bull, and bore so seelily,
Dissemble weakness, and by one man's stroke die,
Whose whole kind you might swallow and feed upon?
Weaker I am, woe is me, and worse than you,
You have not sinned, nor need be timorous.
But wonder at a greater wonder, for to us
Created nature doth these things subdue,
But their Creator, whom sin nor nature tied,
For us, His creatures, and His foes, hath died.
-John Donne, Holy Sonnet XII
Animals give me more pleasure through the viewfinder of a camera than they ever did in the crosshairs of a gunsight. And after I've finished "shooting," my unharmed victims are still around for others to enjoy. I have developed a deep respect for animals. I consider them fellow living creatures with certain rights that should not be violated any more than those of humans.
Shoot animals with cameras, not with guns.
-As seen on a bumper sticker
God gave his creatures light and air
And water, open to the skies;
Man locks him in a stifling lair
And wonders why his brother dies.
-Oliver Wendell Holmes
If we cut up beasts simply because they cannot prevent us and because we are backing our own side in the struggle for existence, it is only logical to cut up imbeciles, criminals, enemies, or capitalists for the same reasons.
The man who is described as behaving like a beast would often in his behavior be a disgrace to any known animal.
I must say...that more unmanly, brutal treatment of a little pony it was never my painful lot to witness; and by giving way to such passion, you injure your own character as much, nay more, than you injure your horse, and remember, we shall all have to be judged according to our works, whether they be towards man or towards beast.
-Anna Sewell, Black Beauty
While we ourselves are the living graves of murdered beasts, how can we expect any ideal conditions on this earth?
-George Bernard Shaw
People are more violently opposed to fur than leather because it's safer to harass rich women than motorcycle gangs.
Though boys throw stones at frogs in sport, the frogs do not die in sport, but in earnest.
And in that hour,
The seeds of cruelty, that since have swell'd
To such gigantic and enormous growth,
Were sown in human nature's fruitful soil.
Hence date the persecution and the pain
That man inflicts on all inferior kinds,
Regardless of their plaints.
-William Cowper, The Winter Walk at Noon
Anyone who has accustomed himself to regard the life of any living creature as worthless, is in danger of arriving also at the idea of worthless human lives.
The last word in ignorance is the man who says of an animal or plant: "What good is it?"
-Aldo Leopold, Round River
For as long as men massacre animals, they will kill each other. Indeed, he who sows the seed of murder and pain cannot reap joy and love.
One reason a dog can be such a comfort when you're feeling blue is that he doesn't try to find out why.
A wonderful bird is the pelican
His bill will hold more than his belican.
He can take in his beak
Food enough for a week,
But I'm damned if I see how the helican.
-Dixon Lanier Merritt
I talk to him when I'm lonesome like; and I'm sure he understands. When he looks at me so attentively, and gently licks my hands; then he rubs his nose on my tailored clothes, but I never say naught thereat. For the good Lord knows I can buy more clothes, but never a friend like that.
-W. Dayton Wedgefarth
The squirrel that you kill in jest, dies in earnest.
-Henry David Thoreau
The abuse of a harmless thing is the essence of sin.
-A. W. Tozer
Drinking without being thirsty and making love at any time, Madame, are the only things that distinguish us from other animals.
-Pierre-Augustin Caron de Beaumarchais, The Marriage of Figaro
I ask people why they have deer heads on their walls. They always say because it's such a beautiful animal. I think my mother is attractive, but I have photographs of her.
When a man wantonly destroys one of the works of man we call him a vandal. When he destroys one of the works of god we call him a sportsman.
-Joseph Wood Krutch
Should reverence for life be a priority in our lives?...Each day around the world, humans display supreme arrogance by ordering the death of other creatures for convenience, for progress or for sport.
-Jackie Alan Giuliano, Ph.D.
I am the voice of the voiceless;
Through me the dumb shall speak,
Till the deaf world's ears be made to hear
The wrongs of the wordless weak.
And I am my brother's keeper,
And I will fight his fight;
And speak the word for beast and bird
Till the world shall set things right.
-Ella Wheeler Wilcox
Standing before you as the advocate of the lower races, I declare what I believe cannot be gainsaid...that just so soon and so far as we pour into all our schools the songs, the poems, and literature of mercy toward these lower creatures, just so soon and so far shall we reach the roots not only of cruelty, but of crime.
-George T. Angell
The dog is a gentleman; I hope to go to his heaven, not man's.
You think that these dogs will not be in Heaven! I tell you they will be there long before any of us.
-Robert Louis Stevenson
The fascination of shooting as a sport depends almost wholly on whether you are at the right or wrong end of a gun.
Wild animals never kill for sport. Man is the only one to whom the torture and death of his fellow creatures is amusing in itself.
-James Anthony Froude, Oceana
Wildlife is decreasing in the jungles, but it is increasing in the towns.
If you get to thinking you're a person of some influence, try ordering somebody else's dog around.
The more I see of man, the more I like dogs.
-Mme. de Staël
The animals of the world exist for their own reasons. They were not made for humans any more than black people were made for white, or women created for men.
Some years ago I wrote a book called The House on Eccles Street. To write this book I had to think my way into the existence of Marion Bloom...Marion Bloom was a figment of James Joyce's imagination. If I can think my way into the existence of a being who has never existed, then I can think my way into the existence of a bat or a chimpanzee or an oyster, any being with whom I share the substrate of life.
-J.M. Coetzee, The Lives of Animals
We talked of the beauty of the world of God’s and of the great mystery of it. Every blade of grass, every insect, ant, and golden bee, all so amazingly know their path, though they have not intelligence, they bear witness to the mystery of God and continually accomplish it themselves.
-Feodor Dostoevsky, The Brothers Karamazov
Let us remember with humility the loneliness of being man in a universe we do not understand and the vulnerability of the human condition. The animals could do very well without us, but we cannot do without them.
To be well used, creatures and places must be used sympathetically, just as they must be known sympathetically to be well known...The "animal scientist" to whom it is of no concern whether or not animals suffer will almost inevitably aid and abet the destruction of the decent old ideal of animal husbandry and, as a consequence, increase the suffering of animals. I hope that my country may be delivered from the remote, cold abstractions of university science.
-Wendell Berry, What Are People For?
Concern for animals is a matter of taking the side of the weak against the strong, something the best people have always done.
-Harriet Beecher Stowe
The combined outrage of the millions of creatures which have suffered at the hands of man may well combine to haunt us. We are all of the same family, though destiny has assigned us to different roles: in our relationship with animals, we should regard them as different, not inferior.
If a dog will not come to you after having looked you in the face, you should go home and examine your conscience.
As often as Herman had witnessed the slaughter of animals and fish, he always had the same thought: in their behavior toward creatures, all men were Nazis. The smugness with which man could do with other species as he pleased exemplified the most extreme racist theories, the principle that might is right.
-Isaac Bashevis Singer
Life is life - whether in a cat, or dog or man. There is no difference there between a cat or a man. The idea of difference is a human conception for man's own advantage.
In justifying cruelty to animals we put ourselves also on the animal level. We choose the jungle and must abide by our choice.
-C. S. Lewis, God in the Dock
When I was twelve, I went hunting with my father and we shot a bird. He was laying there and something struck me. Why do we call this fun to kill this creature who was as happy as I was when I woke up this morning.
It is just like man's vanity and impertinence to call an animal dumb because it is dumb to his dull perceptions.
The woods were made for the hunters of dreams,
The brooks for the fishers of song;
To the hunters who hunt for the gunless game
The streams and the woods belong.
-Sam Walter Foss
In order to keep a true perspective of one's importance, everyone should have a dog that will worship him and a cat that will ignore him.
Animals can communicate quite well. And they do. And generally speaking, they are ignored.
In an earlier stage of our development most human groups held to a tribal ethic. Members of the tribe were protected, but people of other tribes could be robbed or killed as one pleased. Gradually the circle of protection expanded, but as recently as 150 years ago we did not include blacks. So African human beings could be captured, shipped to America and sold. In Australia white settlers regarded Aborigines as a pest and hunted them down, much as kangaroos are hunted down today. Just as we have progressed beyond the blatantly racist ethic of the era of slavery and colonialism, so we must now progress beyond the speciesist ethic of the era of factory farming, of the use of animals as mere research tools, of whaling, seal hunting, kangaroo slaughter and the destruction of wilderness. We must take the final step in expanding the circle of ethics.
Get a feel for fur: Slam your fingers in a car door.
-Author Unknown(on the use of steel traps to capture fur-bearing animals)
Whether hunting is right or wrong, a spiritual experience, or an outlet for the killer instinct, one thing it is not is a sport. Sport is when individuals or teams compete against each other under equal circumstances to determine who is better at a given game or endeavor. Hunting will be a sport when deer, elk, bears, and ducks are given 12-gauge shotguns. Bet we'd see a lot fewer drunk yahoos (live ones, anyway) in the woods if that happened.
Vivisection is a social evil because if it advances human knowledge, it does so at the expense of human character.
-George Bernard Shaw
I am not interested to know whether vivisection produces results that are profitable to the human race or doesn't.... The pain which it inflicts upon unconsenting animals is the basis of my enmity toward it, and it is to me sufficient justification of the enmity without looking further.
The basis of all animal rights should be the Golden Rule: we should treat them as we would wish them to treat us, were any other species in our dominant position.
Hold then the same view of the dog which has lost his master, which has sought led and restless, goes downstairs, goes upstairs; goes from room to room, finds at last in his study the master he loves, and betokens his gladness by soft whimpers, frisks, and caresses. There are barbarians who seize this dog, who so greatly surpasses man in fidelity and friendship, and nail him down to a table andhim in all the thoroughfares with cries of sorrow, which comes into the house troub dissect him alive, to show you the mesaraic veins! You discover in him all the same organs of feeling as in yourself. Answer me, mechanist, has Nature arranged all the springs of feeling in this animal to the end that he might not feel?
Horse sense is the thing a horse has which keeps it from betting on people.
Man is only animal that blushes, or has a need to.
When a man wants to murder a tiger he calls it sport; when the tiger wants to murder him he calls it ferocity.
-George Bernard Shaw
We call them dumb animals, and so they are, for they cannot tell us how they feel, but they do not suffer less because they have no words.
-Anna Sewell, Black Beauty
We need another and a wiser and perhaps a more mystical concept of animals. Remote from universal nature and living by complicated artifice, man in civilization surveys the creature through the glass of his knowledge and sees thereby a feather magnified and the whole image in distortion. We patronize them for their incompleteness, for their tragic fate for having taken form so far below ourselves. And therein do we err. For the animal shall not be measured by man. In a world older and more complete than ours, they move finished and complete, gifted with the extension of the senses we have lost or never attained, living by voices we shall never hear. They are not brethren, they are not underlings; they are other nations, caught with ourselves in the net of life and time, fellow prisoners of the splendor and travail of the earth.
-Henry Beston, The Outermost House
Teaching a child not to step on a caterpillar is as valuable to the child as it is to the caterpillar.
Many people have sighed for the 'good old days' and regretted the 'passing of the horse,' but today, when only those who like horses own them, it is a far better time for horses.
The human spirit is not dead. It lives on in secret. It has come to believe that compassion, in which all ethics must take root, can only attain its full breadth and depth if it embraces all living creatures and does not limit itself to mankind.
-Albert Schweitzer, Novel Peace Prize address, "The Problem of Peace in the World Today"
People must have renounced, it seems to me, all natural intelligence to dare to advance that animals are but animated machines. It appears to me, besides, that [such people] can never have observed with attention the character of animals, not to have distinguished among them the different voices of need, of suffering, of joy, of pain, of love, of anger, and of all their affections. It would be very strange that they should express so well what they could not feel.
-Voltaire, Trate sur la tolerance
The assumption that animals are without rights and the illusion that our treatment of them has no moral significance is a positively outrageous example of Western crudity and barbarity. Universal compassion is the only guarantee of morality.
If you want to live and thrive, let the spider run alive.
-American Quaker Saying
Two-legged creatures we are supposed to love as we love ourselves. The four-legged, also, can come to seem pretty important. But six legs are too many from the human standpoint.
-Joseph W. Krutch
I'll not hurt thee, says Uncle Toby, rising with the fly in his hand. Go, he says, opening the window to let it escape. Why should I hurt thee? This world is surely wide enough to hold both thee and me.
Man is the only animal whose desires increase as they are fed; the only animal that is never satisfied.
I've always felt you don't have to be completely detached, emotionally uninvolved to make precise observations. There's nothing wrong with feeling great empathy for your subjects.
We must never allow the voice of humanity within us to be silenced. It is humanity's sympathy with all creatures that first makes us truly human.
Dogs have given us their absolute all. We are the center of their universe. We are the focus of their love and faith and trust. They serve us in return for scraps. It is without a doubt the best deal man has ever made.
We cannot have two hearts, one for the animals and one for men. In cruelty towards the former and cruelty to the latter there is no difference but in the victim.
-Alphonse Marie-Louis d'Lamartine
Humanity advances only as it becomes more humane. The highest known form of friendship is that of a dog to his master. You are in luck if you can find one man or one woman on earth who has that kind of affection for you and fidelity to you.
-Dr. Frank Crane
I had been told that the training procedure with cats was difficult. It's not. Mine had me trained in two days.
Any religion not based on a respect for life is not a true religion. Until he extend his circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures, man will not himself find peace.
My little dog - a heartbeat at my feet.
The little furry buggers are just deep, deep wells you throw all your emotions into.
We are closer to the ants than to butterflies. Very few people can endure much leisure.
Non-violence leads to the highest ethics, which is the goal of all evolution. Until we stop harming all other living beings, we are still savages.
-Thomas A. Edison
The problem with cats is that they get the exact same look on their face whether they see a moth or an axe-murderer.
The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated...I hold that the more helpless a creature, the more entitled it is to protection by man from the cruelty of man.
I tremble for my species when I reflect that god is just.
So many gods, so many creeds,
So many paths that wind and wind,
While just the art of being kind
Is all the sad world needs.
-Ella Wheeler Wilcox
To sit with a dog on a hillside on a glorious afternoon is to be back in Eden, where doing nothing was not boring - it was peace.
To a man whose mind is free there is something even more intolerable in the sufferings of animals than in the sufferings of man. For with the latter it is at least admitted that suffering is evil and that the man who causes it is a criminal. But thousands of animals are uselessly butchered every day without a shadow of remorse. If any man were to refer to it, he would be thought ridiculous. And that is the unpardonable crime.
-Romain Rolland, Nobel Prize 1915
It seems, in fact, that if I am obliged to do no harm to my fellow man, it is less because he is a rational being than because he is a sensitive being, since sensitivity is a quality which is common to man and beast and should at least give the beast the right not to be needlessly mistreated by the man.
-Rousseau, Discourse on Inequality
A dog, I have always said, is prose; a cat is a poem.
When it comes to having a central nervous system, and the ability to feel pain, hunger, and thirst, a rat is a pig is a dog is a boy.
An animal's eyes have the power to speak a great language.
It is much easier to show compassion to animals. They are never wicked.
God had given men reason, by which they could find out things for themselves, but He had given animals knowledge which did not depend on reason, and which was much more prompt and perfect in its way, and by which they had often saved the lives of men.
-Anna Sewell, Black Beauty
Men will be just to men when they are kind to animals.
I believe in God, only I spell it Nature.
-Frank Lloyd Wright
Until one has loved an animal, a part of one's soul remains unawakened.
Beneath this spot are deposited the remains of a being who is possessed of beauty without vanity, strength without insolence, courage without ferocity, and all the virtues of man without his vices.
-Epitaph on the grave of Lord Byron's dog
He who is cruel to animals becomes hard also in his dealings with men. We can judge the heart of a man by his treatment of animals.
I never saw a wild thing
Sorry for itself.
A small bird will drop frozen dead from a bough
Without ever having felt sorry for itself.
-D.H. Lawrence, Self-pity
You can easily judge the character of a man by how he treats those who can do nothing for him.
-James D. Miles
Very little of the great cruelty shown by men can really be attributed to cruel instinct. Most of it comes from thoughtlessness or inherited habit. The roots of cruelty, therefore, are not so much strong as widespread. But the time must come when inhumanity protected by custom and thoughtlessness will succumb before humanity championed by thought. Let us work that this time may come.
Our task must be to free ourselves...by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature and its beauty.
There can be no justification for causing suffering to animals simply to serve man's pleasure or simply to enhance man's lifestyle.
-The Dean of York
Life is as dear to a mute creature as it is to man. Just as one wants happiness and fears pain, just as one wants to live and not die, so do other creatures.
-His Holiness The Dalai Lama
Anyone who says that life matters less to an animal than it does to us has not held in his hands an animal fighting for its life. The whole of the being of the animal is thrown into that fight, without reserve. When you say that the fight lacks a dimension of intellectual or imaginative horror, I agree. It is not the mode of being animals to have an intellectual horror: their whole being is in the living flesh...I urge you to walk, flank to flank, beside the beast that is prodded down the chute to his executioner.
-J.M. Coetzee, The Lives of Animals
Mercy to animals means mercy to mankind.
The worst sin towards our fellow creatures is not to hate them, but to be indifferent to them. That's the essence of inhumanity.
-George Bernard Shaw
Of all the creatures, man is the most detestable. Of the entire brood, he is the only one that possesses malice. He is the only creature that inflicts pain for sport, knowing it to be pain. The fact that man knows right from wrong proves his intellectual superiority to the other creatures; but the fact that he can do wrong proves his moral inferiority to any creature that cannot.
The idea that it is funny to see wild animals coerced into acting like clumsy humans, or thrilling to see powerful beasts reduced to cringing cowards by a whip-cracking trainer is primitive and medieval. It stems from the old idea that we are superior to other species and have the right to hold dominion over them.
-Dr. Desmond Morris
There are no passengers on spaceship earth. We are all crew.
If I can stop one heart from breaking,
I shall not live in vain;
If I can ease one life the aching,
or cool one pain,
Or help one fainting robin,
Unto his nest again,
I shall not live in vain.
One reason a dog is such a lovable creature is his tail wags instead of his tongue.
We hope that, when the insects take over the world, they will remember with gratitude how we took them along on all our picnics.
Cats are smarter than dogs. You can't get eight cats to pull a sled through snow.
In the relations of man with animals...there is a whole great ethic scarcely seen as yet, but which will eventually break through into the light and be the corollary and complement to human ethics.
A man is truly ethical only when he obeys the compulsion to help all life he is able to assist and shrinks from injuring anything that lives.
If you think dogs can't count, try putting three dog biscuits in your pocket and then giving Fido only two of them.
This is what you should do: love the earth and sun and the animals, despise riches, give alms to everyone that asks, stand up for the stupid and crazy, devote your income and labor to others, hate tyrants, argue not concerning God, have patience and indulgence toward the people, take off your hat to nothing known or unknown or to any man or number of men...re-examine all you have been told at school or church or in any book, dismiss what insults your own soul, and your very flesh shall be a great poem.
If a man aspires towards a righteous life, his first act is abstinence of injury to animals.
Because the heart beats under a covering of hair, of fur, feathers, or wings, it is, for that reason, to be of no account?
-Jean Paul Richter
Deliberate cruelty to our defenseless and beautiful little cousins is surely one of the meanest and most detestable vices of which a human being can be guilty.
-William Ralph Inge
My own eyes are not enough for me...I will see through the eyes of others. Reality, even seen through the eyes of many is not enough...I will see what others have invented. Even the eyes of all humanity are not enough. I regret that the brutes cannot write books. Very gladly would I learn what face things present to a mouse or a bee. More gladly still would I perceive the olfactory world charged with all the information and emotion it carries for a dog.
-C. S. Lewis, An Experiment In Criticism
You ask of my companions. Hills, sir, and the sundown, and a dog as large as myself that my father bought me. They are better than human beings, because they know but do not tell.
Man is the only animal that laughs and weeps; for he is the only animal that is struck with the difference between what things are and what they ought to be.
The indifference, callousness and contempt that so many people exhibit toward animals is evil first because it results in great suffering in animals, and second because it results in an incalculably great impoverishment of the human spirit. All education should be directed toward the refinement of the individual's sensibilities in relation not only to one's fellow humans everywhere, but to all things whatsoever.
My goal in life is to be as good of a person my dog already thinks I am.
There is nothing in which the birds differ more from man than the way in which they can build and yet leave a landscape as it was before.
-Robert Lynd, The Blue Lion and Other Essays
The beasts are very wise,
Their mouths are clean of lies,
They talk one to the other,
Bullock to bullock brothers
Resting after their labors,
Each in stall with his neighbors,
But man with goad and whip,
Breaks up their fellowship,
Shouts in their silky ears
Filling their soul with fears.
When he has plowed the land,
He says: "they understand."
But the beasts in stall together,
Freed from the yoke and tether,
Say as the torn flank smoke:
"Nay, 'twas the whip that spoke."
-Rudyard Kipling, The Beasts are Very Wise
If I called her she would pretend not to hear, but would come a few moments later when it could appear that she had thought of doing so first.
-Arthur Weigall (about his cat)
Wear your own skin.
-As seen on a shirt
Many birds and beasts are...as fit to go to Heaven as many human beings - people who talk of their seats there with as much confidence as if they had booked them at a box office.
Love the animals: God has given them the rudiments of thought and joy untroubled. Do not trouble it, don't harass them, don't deprive them of their happiness, don't work against God's intent. Man, do not pride yourself on superiority to the animals; they are without sin, and you, with your greatness, defile the earth by your appearance on it, and leave the traces of your foulness after you -- alas, it is true of almost every one of us!
-Feodor Dostoyevsky, The Brothers Karamazov
Beasts kill for hunger, men for pay.
I hope you love birds too. It is economical. It saves going to heaven.
- Emily Dickinson
My music is best understood by children and animals.
Children all over the world consort quite naturally with animals. They don't see any dividing line. That is something they have to be taught, just as they have to be taught it is all right to kill and eat them.
-J.M. Coetzee, The Lives of Animals
Little children, never give
Pain to things that feel and live;
Let the gentle robin come
For the crumbs you save at home:
As his meat you throw along
He'll repay you with a song.
Never hurt the timid hare
Peeping from her green grass lair.
Let her come and sport and play
On the lawn at close of day.
The little lark goes soaring high
To the bright windows of the sky.
Singing as if twere always spring,
And fluttering on an untired wing
Oh! Let him sing his happy song,
Nor do these gentle creatures wrong.
People on horses look better than they are. People in cars look worse than they are.
If people were superior to animals, they'd take better care of the world.
- A A Milne, Winnie the Pooh
There will be no justice as long as man will stand with a knife or with a gun and destroy those who are weaker than he is.
-Isaac Bashevis Singer
The fragile balance of plants and animals that share the Earth took millions of years to develop. Some life-forms have persisted in nearly their original state, surviving episodes of mass extinction. Some, like ourselves, are relative newcomers. The ones that perished will not return. Neither will the thousands of species that are disappearing each year due in large part to such human influences as habitat destruction, introduction of invasive species, and over harvesting. If we continue reducing Earth's biodiversity at this rate, the consequences will be profound. The web of life connects the smallest bacterium to the giant redwood and the whale. When we put that web in peril, we become agents of calamity.
-from the Biodiversity insert in National Geographic, February, 1999, Vol. 195, No. 2.
If you think you are too small to be effective, you have never been in bed with a mosquito.
The life spark in my eyes is in no way different than the life spark in the eyes of any other sentient being.
-Michael Stepaniak, The Vegan Sourcebook
There are, I know, people who do not love animals, but I think this is because they do not understand them - or because, indeed, they do not really see them. For me, animals have always been a special part of the wonder of nature - the smallest as well as the largest - with their amazing variety, their beautifully contrived shapes and fascinating habits. I am captivated by the spirit of them. I find in them a longing to communicate and a real capacity for love. If sometimes they do not trust but fear man, it is because he has treated them with arrogance and insensitivity.
We must fight against the spirit of unconscious cruelty with which we treat the animals. Animals suffer as much as we do. True humanity does not allow us to impose such sufferings on them. It is our duty to make the whole world recognize it. Until we extend our circle of compassion to all living things, humanity will not find peace.
-Albert Schweitzer, The Philosophy of Civilization
The pedigree of honey does not concern the bee; a clover, anytime, to him, is aristocracy.
The love of all living creatures is the most noble attribute of man.
We long for an affection altogether ignorant of our faults. Heaven has accorded this to us in the uncritical canine attachment.
I would feel more optimistic about a bright future for man if he spent less time proving that he can outwit Nature and more time tasting her sweetness and respecting her seniority.
Over the past half-billion years, the planet lost perhaps one species per million species each year, including everything from mammals to plants. Today, the annual rate of extinction is 1,000 to 10,000 times faster. If nothing more is done, one-fifth of all the plant and animal species now on earth could be gone or on the road to extinction by 2030. Being distracted and self-absorbed, as is our nature, we have not yet fully understood what we are doing. But future generations, with endless time to reflect, will understand it all and in painful detail. As awareness grows, so will their sense of loss.
-Edward O. Wilson, What Is Nature Worth?
Biological diversity is the key to the maintenance of the world as we know it... Eliminate one species, and another increases to take its place. Eliminate a great many species, and the local ecosystem starts to decay.
-Edward O. Wilson, The Diversity of Life
All animals except man know that the ultimate of life is to enjoy it.
I think dogs are the most amazing creatures; they give unconditional love. For me they are the role model for being alive.
Treat me kindly, my beloved friend, for no heart in all the world is more grateful for kindness than the loving heart of me.
Do not break my spirit with a stick, for although I should lick your hand between blows, your patience and understanding will quickly teach me the things you would have me learn.
Speak to me often, for your voice is the world's sweetest music, as you must know by the fierce wagging of my tail when your footsteps fall upon my waiting ear.
Please take me inside when it is cold and wet, for I am a domesticated animal, no longer accustomed to bitter elements. I ask no greater glory than the privilege of sitting at your feet beside the hearth. Keep my pan filled with fresh water, for I cannot tell you when I suffer thirst.
Feed me clean food that I may stay well, to romp and play and do your bidding, to walk by your side and stand ready, willing and able to protect you with my life, should your life be in danger.
And, my friend, when I am very old, and I no longer enjoy good health, hearing and sight, do not make heroic efforts to keep me going. I am not having any fun. Please see that my trusting life is taken gently. I shall leave this earth knowing with the last breath I draw that my fate was always safest in your hands.
-Author Unknown, A Pet's Plea
I wish I could write as mysterious as a cat.
-Edgar Allan Poe
If you have men who will exclude any of God's creatures from the shelter of compassion and pity, you will have men who will deal likewise with their fellow men.
-St. Francis of Assisi
Man is the only slave. And he is the only animal who enslaves. He has always been a slave in one form or another, and has always held other slaves in bondage under him in one way or another. In our day, he is always some man's slave for wages, and does that man's work; and this slave has other slaves under him for minor wages, and they do his work. The higher animals are the only ones who exclusively do their own work and provide their own living.
I will remember what I was,
I am sick of rope and chain
I will remember my old strength
And all of my forest affairs.
I will not sell my back to man
For a bundle of sugar cane.
I will go out to my own kind
And the wood-folk in their lairs.
I will go out until the morning break,
Out to the winds' untainted kiss,
The water's clean caress.
I will forget my ankle ring
And snap my picket stake.
I will revisit my lost loves
And playmates, masterless.
-Rudyard Kipling, The Captive's Dream
It's funny how dogs and cats know the inside of folks better than other folks do, isn't it?
-Elenor H. Porter, Pollyanna
Dogs look up to us. Cats look down on us. But a pig will look a man in the eye and see his equal.
Our dogs will love and admire the meanest of us, and feed our colossal vanity with their uncritical homage.
Nothing living should ever be treated with contempt. Whatever it is that lives, a man, a tree, or a bird, should be touched gently because time is short. Civilization is another word for respect for life.
Pain is pain, whether it be inflicted on man or on beast; and the creature who suffers it, whether man or beast, being sensible to the misery of it, whilst it lasts, suffers evil...The white man...can have no right, by virtue of his color, to enslave and tyrannize over a black man...For the same reason, a man can have no natural right to abuse and torment a beast.
-Dr. Humphrey Primatt
So often when you start talking about kindness to animals someone comments that starving and mistreated children should come first. The issue can't be divided like that. It isn't a choice between children and animals. It's our duty to care for both. Kindness is the important thing. Kids and animals are our responsibility.
I see shining fish struggling within tight nets, while I hear orioles singing carefree tunes. Even trivial creatures know the difference between freedom and bondage. Sympathy and compassion should be but natural to the human heart.
There is no fundamental difference between man and the higher animals in their mental faculties...the lower animals, like man, manifestly feel pleasure and pain, happiness, and misery...Nevertheless, the difference in mind between man and the higher animals, great as it is, is one of degree and not of kind.
To me, a philosopher who says that the distinction between human and nonhuman depends on whether you have a white or a black skin, and a philosopher who says that the distinction between human and nonhuman depends on whether or not you know the difference between a subject and a predicate, are more alike than they are unlike.
-J.M. Coetzee, The Lives of Animals
The relationship of homo sapiens to the other animals is one of unremitting exploitation. We employ their work; we eat and wear them. We exploit them to serve our superstitions: whereas we used to sacrifice them to our gods and tear out their entrails in order to foresee the future, we now sacrifice them to science, and experiment on their entrails in the hope - or on the mere offchance - that we might thereby see a little more clearly into the present...To us it seems incredible that the Greek philosophers should have scanned so deeply into right and wrong and yet never noticed the immorality of slavery. Perhaps 3,000 years from now it will seem equally incredible that we do not notice the immorality of our own oppression of animals.
For fidelity, devotion, love, many a two-legged animal is below the dog and the horse. Happy would it be for thousands of people if they could stand at last before the Judgment Seat and say, I have loved as truly and have lived as decently as my dog, and yet we call them only brutes.
-Henry Ward Beecher
I think I could turn and live with animals, they are so placid and self-contain'd,
I stand and look at them long and long.
They do not sweat and whine about their condition,
They do not lie awake in the dark and weep for their sins,
They do not make me sick discussing their duty to God,
Not one is dissatisfied, not one is demented with the mania of owning things,
Not one kneels to another, nor to his kind that lived thousands of years ago,
Not one is respectable or unhappy over the whole earth.
So they show their relations to me and I accept them,
They bring me tokens of myself, they evince them plainly in their possession.
I wonder where they get those tokens,
Did I pass that way huge times ago and negligently drop them?...
-Walt Whitman, Song of Myself
If you pick up a starving dog and make him prosperous, he will not bite you. This is the principal difference between a dog and a man.
The same power formed the sparrow
That fashioned man the King;
The God of the whole gave a living soul
To furred and to feathered thing.
-Ella Wheeler Wilcox
One does not meet oneself until one catches the reflection from an eye other than human.
-Dr. Loren Eiseley
He that will not be merciful to his beasts is a beast himself.
I saw deep in the eyes of the animals, the human soul look out upon me.
As long as there are slaughterhouses, there will be battlefields.
Love of animals is a universal impulse, a common ground on which all of us may meet. By loving and understanding animals, perhaps we humans shall come to understand each other.
-Dr. Louis J. Commuti
Animals share with us the privilege of having a soul.
Back to Main