ANIMAL QUOTES IV

quotations about animals

What do you see when you look at an animal? A kindred spirit, a creature much like you; but possibly, the very next moment, a beast, a stranger, just an animal. Animals are like those pictures that we see as one thing and then another; the duck that suddenly becomes a rabbit; the wine glass that's also an old woman in profile. Now the pig is a fellow creature, like Wilbur in Charlotte's Web. Now he's pork.

JEAN KAZEZ, Animalkind

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The fact that the lower animals are excited by the same emotions as ourselves is so well established, that it will not be necessary to weary the reader by many details. Terror acts in the same manner on them as on us, causing the muscles to tremble, the heart to palpitate, the sphincters to be relaxed, and the hair to stand on end. Suspicion, the offspring of fear, is eminently characteristic of most wild animals. Courage and timidity are extremely variable qualities in the individuals of the same species, as is plainly seen in our dogs. Some dogs and horses are ill-tempered, and easily turn sulky; others are good-tempered; and these qualities are certainly inherited. Everyone knows how liable animals are to furious rage, and how plainly they show it.

CHARLES DARWIN, On the Origin of the Species

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Tags: Charles Darwin, emotion


Animals are less sensitive than human beings because the, living only in the present, lack the reflection on the past and future that plays so great a role in the subjective lives of people; yet where physical pain is involved, we ought to take the greatest care not to cause needless anguish to animals.

DAVID FRASER, Understanding Animal Welfare

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Tags: present


All animals are minor variations on a very particular theme.

RICHARD DAWKINS, The Ancestor's Tale

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Tags: Richard Dawkins


Animals are like humans, only more openly carnal and sexual, more openly and therefore more disarmingly absurd.

YI-FU TUAN, Dominance and Affection

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Zoos teach us that animals are like machine parts: separable, replaceable, interchangeable. They teach us that there is no web of life, that you can remove one part and put it into a box and still have that part. But that is all wrong.... Zoos teach us implicitly that animals need to be managed, that they can't survive without us. They are our dependents, not our teachers, our neighbors, our betters, our equals, our friends, our gods. They are ours. We must assume the interspecies version of the white man's burden, and out of the goodness of our hearts we must benevolently control their lives. We must "rescue them from the wild."

DERRICK JENSEN & KAREN TWEEDY-HOLMES, Thought to Exist in the Wild

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Animals when in company walk in a proper and sensible manner, in single file, instead of sprawling all across the road and being of no use or support to each other in case of sudden trouble or danger.

KENNETH GRAHAME, The Wind in the Willows

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When animals are no longer colonized and appropriated by us, we can reach out to our evolutionary cousins. Perhaps then the ancient hope for a deeper emotional connection across the species barrier, for closeness and participation in a realm of feelings now beyond our imagination, will be realized.

JEFFREY MOUSSAIEFF MASSON & SUSAN MCCARTHY, When Elephants Weep

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New sentient creatures filled the unseen depths,
Life's glory and swiftness ran in the beauty of beasts.

SRI AUROBINDO, Savitri

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Tags: Sri Aurobindo


As the role of animals in society and the economy has evolved, and more recently, as scientific research has revealed more about animals' cognitive abilities and social development, public sensibility has changed dramatically, often leaving outmoded law behind. As a result, lawyers worldwide have begun searching for innovative ways to make animals more visible to the law: strengthening and enacting new anti-cruelty statutes, improving basic protections, and, in some more radical cases, challenging animals' property status itself in an effort to grant them fundamental rights.

CARA FEINBERG, "Are Animals 'Things'?", Harvard Magazine, March/April 2016

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To those of you who believe animals are disposable -- they are not! Please stop dumping your animals and take responsibility for them. Our shelter will always be fighting an uphill battle if we do not come together and treat our companion animals with the dignity they deserve.

MA SOUPISET, "Animals are not disposable", San Angelo Standard Times, March 9, 2016

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The intelligences that are animals are here from many planetary sources. They have been seeded here to be amongst you. They have been seeded as you have been seeded. Different classes of animal have existed elsewhere for as long as long as you have existed -- it is only in what is considered to be your recent times that an influx of various types of species of animal have been brought here and allowed to evolve and spread around you and amongst you. This is after all one grand and interesting experiment.

SHANE MCMINN, Spirituality from the Stars

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Animals, according to many traditions, were once protected from a global flood by entering the shelter of an ark. Today, many of those same animal species face a new catastrophic flood, but this time the deadly downpour is caused by humans. Animals around the world confront a rain of bullets, poisonings, traps, and snares. Some of the most emblematic animals on this planet -- tigers, elephants, rhinos -- are closer to extinction than salvation.

YURY FEDOTOV, "World wildlife day: Animals are being slaughtered one by one, not saved two by two", The Guardian, March 2, 2016

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Hey, you're pretty smart. You got through school, you probably tied your own shoes this morning -- you're doing great champ. As humans, we tend to think that we're the smartest things around. We do things like drive cars, invent computers and make frappuccinos, whereas the animals are still running around outside, all naked and stuff and occasionally getting predated on. However, imagining that we're at the top of the intellectual food chain shows a great deal of ignorance, which is sort of the problem in the first place. Animals have got a lot to deal with out there in the wild, so you can be damn sure they've got to have their wits about them. We're not even just talking about teaching gorillas sign language or horses to count, some of these guys can use complex maths and even design public infrastructure.

STEVIE SHEPHARD, "9 Animals That Are Probably Smarter Than You", What Culture, February 23, 2016

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For animals, the current outlook may appear bleak: animals undergo abhorrent levels of suffering, especially on the farm and in laboratories, and help has not come from our legal system. Laws that grant animals greater protections must overcome disinterested legislatures and the powerful and wealthy animal agriculture and pharmaceutical lobbies. As a result, animals are subject to almost no protections.

DANIEL SONDIKE, "In Winning Rights for Animals, Approaches Differ", The Harvard Law Record, March 9, 2016

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Every day there are legally sanctioned atrocities of torture, abuse and death occurring in the private sector. It is of such a magnitude that it eclipses the number of lives lost in all of the world wars, the holocaust, 911 and subsequent terrorist attacks combined. The perpetrators of these abuses are factory farms, also known as intensive industrial farm operations. They are large-scale agri-businesses that supply 98% of all the food produced in the United States. The victims are nine billion animals killed each year for food in the U.S. That number reaches 70 billion globally, or six million animals per hour. Some might say that it is unfair to compare human lives with nonhuman animals, but the overwhelming scientific evidence of their sentience and their ability to feel pain as much as we do, puts us in the same category.

PAT HARMON, "The Secret Atrocities of Factory Farming", The Bridgeport News, March 11, 2016

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Misleading marketing campaigns show animals roaming around the fields, but the reality is that they never breathe fresh air or see the sunlight. Animals are treated like biological machines where they are crammed into cages so small that they cannot stand up or stretch their limbs for their whole lives.

PAT HARMON, "The Secret Atrocities of Factory Farming", The Bridgeport News, March 22, 2016

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Humans are a self-absorbed species. Sometimes we forget that we share this planet with millions of other creatures. While we pride ourselves on our uniqueness, a number of recent studies reveal that our animal friends are more like us--or at least more attuned to our ways--than might be expected.

ARI PHILLIPS, "Science is rapidly revealing just how smart animals are", Fusion, February 11, 2016

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My animals are a pain the backside.... I wake up most mornings with Abby, the cat, sitting on my chest, and Ruby, the dog, sitting next to me staring a hole through me, each trying to use their telepathic powers to encourage me to get up to feed them breakfast. Per the norm, I feed them before I feed myself.

JODY FULLER, "My animals are a pain in my backside", The LaFayette Sun, February 27, 2016

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If animals are things, then, since humans are animals, humans are also just things.

APATHYNIHILISM, user comment, "Are Animals 'Things'?", Harvard Magazine, March/April 2016

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