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This page is for quotes about animals.
Organized alphabetically by author.
- The fox knows many things, but the hedgehog one big one.
- Archilochus, in Plutarch Moralia.
- And for these also, Dear Lord, the humble beasts, who with us bear the burden and heat of the day, and offer their guileless lives for the well-being of their country, we supplicate Thy great tenderness of heart, for Thou hast promised to save both man and beast. And great is Thy loving kindness, Oh Master, Savior of the world.
- Attributed to Basil of Caesarea (A.D. 370), in The Washington Daily News (April 16, 1971), p. 23. Reported as unverified in Respectfully Quoted: A Dictionary of Quotations (1989).
- I believe that animals have rights which, although different from our own, are just as inalienable. I believe animals have the right not to have pain, fear or physical deprivation inflicted upon them by us. . . . They have the right not to be brutalized in any way as food resources, for entertainment or any other purpose.”
- The Dodo never had a chance. He seems to have been invented for the sole purpose of becoming extinct and that was all he was good for.
- Will Cuppy, How to Become Extinct, 1941.
- Men will seem to see new destructions in the sky. The flames that fall from it will seem to rise in it and to fly from it with terror. They will hear every kind of animals speak in human language. They will instantaneously run in person in various parts of the world, without motion. They will see the greatest splendour in the midst of darkness. O! marvel of the human race! What madness has led you thus! You will speak with animals of every species and they with you in human speech. You will see yourself fall from great heights without any harm and torrents will accompany you, and will mingle with their rapid course.
- Leonardo da Vinci, The Notebooks of Leonardo Da Vinci (1938), XX Humorous Writings, as translated by Edward MacCurdy.
- It is my view that the vegetarian manner of living by its purely physical effect on the human temperament would most beneficially influence the lot of mankind.
- Albert Einstein, (Letter to Vegetarian Watch-Tower (27 December 1930).
- Animals are such agreeable friends - they ask no questions, they pass no criticisms.
- George Eliot, Scences of a Clerical Life (1858).
- A horse is dangerous at both ends and uncomfortable in the middle.
- Ian Fleming, The Sunday Times (1966).
- Animals are always loyal and love you, whereas children you never know where you are.
- Christina Foyle, The Times (1993).
- 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.
- 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.
- Siquidem et per naturam pleraque mutationem recipiunt, et corrupta in diversas species transformantur; sicut de vitulorum carnibus putridis apes, sicut de equis scarabei, de mulis locustae, de cancris scorpiones.
- Many creatures go through a natural change and by decay pass into different forms, as bees [are formed] by the decaying flesh of calves, as beetles from horses, locusts from mules, scorpions from crabs.
- Isidore of Seville Etymologiae Bk. 11, ch. 4, sect. 3; p. 221. Translations and page-numbers are taken from Ernest Brehaut An Encyclopedist of the Dark Ages: Isidore of Seville (New York: B. Franklin,  1964).
- To my way of thinking there’s something wrong, or missing, with any person who hasn’t got a soft spot in their heart for an animal of some kind. With most folks the dog stands highest as man’s friend, then comes the horse, with others the cat is liked best as a pet, or a monkey is fussed over; but whatever kind of animal it is a person likes, it’s all hunkydory so long as there’s a place in the heart for one or a few of them.
- Will James, Smoky, the Cow Horse (1929), Preface, p. v.
- So Jehovah blessed the last part of Job’s life more than the beginning, and Job came to have 14,000 sheep, 6,000 camels, 1,000 pairs of cattle, and 1,000 female donkeys. He also came to have seven more sons and three more daughters.
- True human goodness, in all its purity and freedom, can come to the fore only when its recipient has no power. Mankind's true moral test, its fundamental test (which lies deeply buried from view), consists of its attitude toward those who are at its mercy: animals. And in this respect mankind has suffered a fundamental debacle, a debacle so fundamental that all others stem from it.
- Cet animal est tres méchant;
Quand on l'attaque il se défend.
- This animal is very malicious; when attacked it defends itself.
- From a song, La Ménagerie, reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 30.
- Now what is it that moves our very hearts and sickens us so much at cruelty shown to poor brutes? … They have done us no harm and they have no power of resistance; it is the cowardice and tyranny of which they are the victims which make their sufferings so especially touching. Cruelty to animals is as if man did not love God. … There is something so very dreadful, so Satanic, in tormenting those who have never harmed us, who cannot defend themselves, who are utterly in our power.
- The creatures outside looked from pig to man, and from man to pig, and from pig to man again; but already it was impossible to say which was which.
- MAN IS FUNDAMENTALLY AN ANIMAL. Animals, as distinct from man, are not machine-like, not sadistic; their societies, within the same species, are incomparably more peaceful than those of man. The basic question, then is: What has made the animal, man, degenerate into a machine?
When I say "animal," I do not mean anything bad, cruel or "base"; I am stating a biological fact. Man has developed the peculiar concept that he is not an animal at all, but, well — man; a creature which long since has shed that which is "bad," which is "animal." He demarcates himself in all possible ways from the bad animal and points, in proof of his "being better," to culture and civilization which distinguish him from the animal. He shows, in his whole behavior, his "theories of values," his moral philosophies, his "monkey trials" and such, that he does not want to be reminded of the fact that basically he is an animal, an animal, furthermore, which has much more in common with the "animal" than with that being which he asserts to be and dreams of being. The theory of the German Übermensch has this origin. Man shows by his maliciousness, his inability to live in peace with his kind, his wars, that what distinguishes him from the other animals is only his unbounded sadism and the mechanical trinity of the authoritarian concept of life, mechanistic science and the machine. If one looks at the results of civilization as they present themselves over long periods of time, one finds that these contentions of man are not only erroneous; more than that, they seem to be made expressly for the purpose of making man forget that he is an animal.
- Wilhelm Reich, critiquing prominent early 20th century ideas of Übermensch in The Mass Psychology of Fascism (1933), Ch. 10 : Work Democracy, Section 3 : Work Democracy versus Politics. The Natural Social Forces for the Mastery of the Emotional Plague.
- What a piece of work is a man! How noble in reason! how infinite in faculty! in form, in moving, how express and admirable! in action how like an angel! in apprehension how like a god! the beauty of the world! the paragon of animals! And yet, to me, what is this quintessence of dust? Man delights not me; no, nor woman neither, though, by your smiling, you seem to say so.
- If a man aspires towards a righteous life, his first act of abstinence is from injury to animals.
- Leo Tolstoy in The First Step.
- There are two things for which animals are to be envied: they know nothing of future evils, or of what people say about them.
- Voltaire, Letter (1739).