quotations about animals
I have been studying the traits and dispositions of the "lower animals" (so called) and contrasting them with the traits and dispositions of man. I find the result humiliating to me.
MARK TWAIN, Letters from the Earth
God gave unto the Animals
A wisdom past our power to see:
Each knows innately how to live,
Which we must learn laboriously.
MARGARET ATWOOD, The Year of the Flood
Animals are not humans with reduced capacities. They have their own capacities, their own spectrum of aptitudes and behaviors.
JEAN KAZEZ, Animalkind
Happiness is a warm puppy.
CHARLES SCHULZ, Happiness Is a Warm Puppy
Anyone would be hard pressed to put forth that animals are not perfect creations of God; they are just different types of creations. Humankind has always compared other creations with themselves, thinking always that we are the highest of God's creations. For this reason many humans don't think that other living organisms have souls, but how do we supposedly know that? Do we presume to know God so well that we can say that souls don't exist in other living forms? Just because God supposedly gave us dominion over all living things (according to the Book of Genesis in the Bible), does that mean we can kill and mistreat them? Could not the word "dominion" also mean a responsibility to care for and ensure the survival of all living things?
SYLVIA BROWNE, All Pets Go to Heaven
For an animal person, an animal-less home is no home at all.
CLEVELAND AMORY, The Cat Who Came for Christmas
Ask experimenters why they experiment on animals, and the answer is: "Because the animals are like us." Ask 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, attributed, The PETA Practical Guide to Animal Rights
Auschwitz begins wherever someone looks at a slaughterhouse and thinks: they're only animals.
THEODOR W. ADORNO, attributed, The Apocalyptic Animal of Late Capitalism
An animal's eyes have the power to speak a great language.
MARTIN BUBER, I and Thou
We're animals. We're born like every other mammal and we live our whole lives around disguised animal thoughts.
BARBARA KINGSOLVER, Mammals
The best thing about animals is that they don't talk much.
THORNTON WILDER, The Skin of Our Teeth
If a man aspires towards a righteous life, his first act of abstinence is from injury to animals.
LEO TOLSTOY, The First Step
Humans have "dominion" over animals. But that "dominion" (radah in Hebrew) does not mean despotism, rather we are set over creation to care for what God has made and to treasure God's own treasures.
ANDREW LINZEY, Creatures of the Same God: Explorations in Animal Theology
Animals, whom we have made our slaves, we do not like to consider our equal.
CHARLES DARWIN, Metaphysics, Materialism, and the Evolution of Mind
Everywhere animals are in chains, but we image them as free.
CAROL J. ADAMS, The Sexual Politics of Meat
Even as we try to think objectively about what animals are like, we are burdened with the need to justify our moral relations with them. We kill animals for food; we use them as experimental subjects in laboratories; we exploit them as sources of raw materials such as leather and wool; we keep them as work animals--the list goes on and on. These practices are to our advantage, and we intend to continue them. Thus, when we think about what the animals are like, we are motivated to conceive of them in ways that are compatible with treating them in these ways. If animals are conceived as intelligent, sensitive beings, these ways of treating them might seem monstrous. So humans have reason to resist thinking of them as intelligent or sensitive.
DAVID INGLIS, JOHN BONE & RHODA WILKIE, Nature
We animals are like the best person and it behooves you--I like that word, behooves--to model yourself after us. The main difference between humans and animals is ego, not brain, as they are led to believe. You watch us animals and we love, we play, we take care of ourselves in unity. We live our lives as you humans strive to live your lives. We are the ultimate. We want you to do as we do. We are the models. We are what you should be striving for. Can you see the value in humans that act like animals and also have a brain to make things happen?
CYNTHIA ATTAR, Say What?
Animals are like autistic savants. In fact, I'd go so far as to say that animals might actually be autistic savants. Animals have special talents normal people don't, the same way autistic people have special talents normal people don't; and at least some animals have special forms of genius normal people don't, the same way some autistic savants have special forms of genius. I think most of the time animal genius probably happens for the same reason autistic genius does: a difference in the brain autistic people share with animals.
TEMPLE GRANDIN & CATHERINE JOHNSON, Animals in Translation
Why are we so concerned about whether other animals are like human beings or not? Because we are worried about whether we should consider them kinfolk of ours, relatives. If they are relatives of ours, then we should treat them with more respect than if they are not.
SYDNEY M. LAMB, Selected Writings of Sydney Lamb
It is a greater sin to be cruel to the dumb creation, almost, than it is to be unkind to human beings, as the latter can complain, and have laws to protect them, but the former often have no redress. Take the dog, for instance. A man may kick him, and ill-treat him ever so, and he still loves his master, and is ready to risk his life for him without a moment's hesitation. Then there is the horse, one of the grandest and noblest animals in creation; treat him kindly, and you can do anything with him, but use him badly, and he becomes a mule, and will kick you the first chance. One of the worst used and most abused of all animals is the donkey, and yet he, by his work, supports thousands and tens of thousands of human beings; treat him with kindness, and he will work like a little horse. The most inhuman little wretches in creation are British donkey-boys, but, more ignorant often than the donkeys they drive, the fault does not rest with them, but in their training. Another piece of great cruelty is to tie the legs of fowls, huddle them in a bag of small dimensions, or basket, in a hot day, without water, and send them long journeys. To conclude, the man or woman who is unkind to the lower animals, would act in the same manner towards their fellow creatures, if they had the chance, and thought they would escape punishment.
T. AUGUSTUS FORBES, "On Kindness to Dumb Animals"