Animals

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animals are multicellular, eukaryotic organisms of the kingdom Animalia (also called Metazoa). All animals are motile, meaning they can move spontaneously and independently at some point in their lives. Their body plan eventually becomes fixed as they develop, although some undergo a process of metamorphosis later on in their lives. All animals are heterotrophs: they must ingest other organisms or their products for sustenance.

Quotes[edit]

We are not just rather like animals; we are animals. Our difference from other species may be striking, but comparisons with them have always been, and must be, crucial to our view of ourselves. ~ Mary Midgley
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. ~ Roger Caras
All animals are equal — but some animals are more equal than others. ~ George Orwell

Organized alphabetically by author.

  • Lest I slight any creature, I must also mention the domestic animals, the beasts and birds from whom I have learned. Job said long ago (35:11): «Who teacheth us more than the beasts of the earth, And maketh us wiser than the fowls of heaven?» Some of what I have learned from them I have written in my books, but I fear that I have not learned as much as I should have, for when I hear a dog bark, or a bird twitter, or a cock crow, I do not know whether they are thanking me for all I have told of them, or calling me to account.
  • Will you, laying aside all partiality, consider in the silence of your thoughts that we [humans] are creatures either quite like the rest [of animals], or separated by no great difference? For what is there to show that we do not resemble them? or what excellence is in us, such that we scorn to be ranked as creatures? Their bodies are built up on bones, and bound closely together by sinews; and our bodies are in like manner built up on bones, and bound closely together by sinews.
    • Arnobius, Seven Books Against the Heathens (Adversus Nationes), trans. Christian Classics Ethereal Library, Book II, § 16.
  • Oh, God, enlarge within us the sense of fellowship with all living things, our brothers the animals to whom Thou gavest the earth in common with us. We remember with shame that in the past we have exercised the high dominion of man with ruthless cruelty so that the voice of the earth, which should have gone up to thee in song, has been a groan of travail.
    • Basil of Caesarea, in circa A.D. 375. Included in A Select Library of the Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers of the Christian Church (NPNF), edited by P. Schaff and Henry Wace (Edinburg: T. Clark, 1897), 2nd Series, Vol. 8. Quoted in Matthew Scully, Dominion (2002).
  • Animals are born, are sentient and are mortal. In these things they resemble man. In their superficial anatomy — less in their deep anatomy — in their habits, in their time, in their physical capacities, they differ from man. They are both like and unlike.
    • John Berger, About Looking (1980), chapter "Why Look at Animals?", Bloomsbury Publishing, 2015, p. 5.
  • In the first stages of the industrial revolution, animals were used as machines. As also were children. Later, in the so-called post-industrial societies, they are treated as raw material. Animals required for food are processed like manufactured commodities. … This reduction of the animal … is part of the same process as that by which men have been reduced to isolated productive and consuming units. Indeed, during this period an approach to animals often prefigured an approach to man. The mechanical view of the animal’s work capacity was later applied to that of workers.
    • John Berger, About Looking (1980), chapter "Why Look at Animals?", Bloomsbury Publishing, 2015, pp. 10-11.
  • Even with all our technological accomplishments and urban sophistication, we consider ourselves blessed, healed in some manner, forgiven, and for a moment transported into some other world, when we catch a passing glimpse of an animal in the wild: a deer in some woodland, a fox crossing a field, a butterfly in its dancing flight southward to its wintering region, a hawk soaring in the distant sky, a hummingbird come into our garden, fireflies signaling to each other in the evening. So we might describe the thousandfold moments when we experience our meetings with the animals in their unrestrained and undomesticated status. Such incidents as these remind us that the universe is composed of subjects to be communed with, not of objects to be exploited.
  • Our relation with the animals finds its expression especially in the amazing variety of benefits they provide for us in their guidance, protection, and companionship. Beyond these modes of assistance, they provide a world of wonder and meaning for the mind—beauty for the imagination. Even beyond all these, they provide an emotional intimacy that is unique, that can come to us from no other source. The animals can do for us, both physically and spiritually, what we cannot do for ourselves or for each other. These more precious gifts they provide through their presence and their responsiveness to our inner needs.
  • 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 of having taken form so far below ourselves. And therein we err, and greatly err. For the animal shall not be measured by man. In a world older and more complete than ours they moved finished and complete, gifted with extensions 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 splendour and travail of the earth.
  • 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. Even if they are on the way to the slaughterhouse, animals have the right to food and water and shelter if it is needed. They have the right not to be brutalized in any way as food resources, for entertainment or any other purpose.
    • Roger A. Caras, "We Must Find Alternatives to Animals in Research," in Newsweek (26 December 1988).
  • I shall have to express a very deep conviction: that until we have courage to recognize cruelty for what it is—whether its victim is human or animal—we cannot expect things to be much better in the world. There can be no double standard. We cannot have peace among men whose hearts find delight in killing any living creature. By every act that glorifies or even tolerates such moronic delight in killing, we set back the progress of humanity.
    • Rachel Carson, Letter to Fon Boardman, quoted in Rachel Carson: Legacy and Challenge, ed. Lisa H. Sideris and Kathleen Dean Moore (Albany: State University of New York Press, 2008), p. 102.
  • To any thinking person, it must be obvious that there is something badly wrong in relations between human beings and the animals that human beings rely on for food; and that in the past 100 or 150 years whatever is wrong has become wrong on a huge scale, as traditional animal husbandry has been turned into an industry using industrial methods of production. … It would be a mistake to idealise traditional animal husbandry as the standard by which the animal-products industry falls short: traditional animal husbandry is brutal enough, just on a smaller scale. A better standard by which to judge both practices would be the simple standard of humanity: is this truly the best that human beings are capable of?
  • The lower animals, like man, manifestly feel pleasure and pain, happiness and misery. Happiness is never better exhibited than by young animals, such as puppies, kittens, lambs, &c., when playing together, like our own children.
  • Most of the more complex emotions are common to the higher animals and ourselves. Every one has seen how jealous a dog is of his master's affection, if lavished on any other creature; and I have observed the same fact with monkeys. This shews that animals not only love, but have the desire to be loved.
  • As dogs, cats, horses, and probably all the higher animals, even birds, as is stated on good authority, have vivid dreams, and this is shewn by their movements and voice, we must admit that they possess some power of imagination. … Few persons any longer dispute that animals possess some power of reasoning. Animals may constantly be seen to pause, deliberate, and resolve. It is a significant fact, that the more the habits of any particular animal are studied by a naturalist, the more he attributes to reason and the less to unlearnt instincts.
  • Sympathy beyond the confines of man, that is humanity to the lower animals, seems to be one of the latest moral acquisitions. It is apparently unfelt by savages, except towards their pets. … This virtue, one of the noblest with which man is endowed, seems to arise incidentally from our sympathies becoming more tender and more widely diffused, until they are extended to all sentient beings. As soon as this virtue is honoured and practised by some few men, it spreads through instruction and example to the young, and eventually through public opinion.
  • 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.
  • No one can deny the suffering, fear, or panic, the terror or fright that can seize certain animals and that we humans can witness. … No doubt either, then, of there being within us the possibility of giving vent to a surge of compassion, even if it is then misunderstood, repressed, or denied, held at bay. … The two centuries I have been referring to somewhat casually in order to situate the present in terms of this tradition have been those of an unequal struggle, a war (whose inequality could one day be reversed) being waged between, on the one hand, those who violate not only animal life but even and also this sentiment of compassion, and, on the other hand, those who appeal for an irrefutable testimony to this pity. War is waged over the matter of pity. This war is probably ageless but, and here is my hypothesis, it is passing through a critical phase. We are passing through that phase, and it passes through us. To think the war we find ourselves waging is not only a duty, a responsibility, an obligation, it is also a necessity, a constraint that, like it or not, directly or indirectly, no one can escape. Henceforth more than ever. And I say “to think” this war, because I believe it concerns what we call “thinking.” The animal looks at us, and we are naked before it. Thinking perhaps begins there.
    • Jacques Derrida, The Animal That Therefore I Am, trans. David Wills, New York: Fordham University Press, 2009 ebook edition, pp. 50-51.
  • Confined within this catch-all concept, within this vast encampment of the animal, in this general singular, within the strict enclosure of this definite article (“the Animal” and not “animals”), as in a virgin forest, a zoo, a hunting or fishing ground, a paddock or an abattoir, a space of domestication, are all the living things that man does not recognize as his fellows, his neighbors, or his brothers.
    • Jacques Derrida, The Animal That Therefore I Am, trans. David Wills, New York: Fordham University Press, 2009 ebook edition, p. 58.
  • There is no Animal in the general singular, separated from man by a single, indivisible limit. We have to envisage the existence of “living creatures,” whose plurality cannot be assembled within the single figure of an animality that is simply opposed to humanity. … The confusion of all nonhuman living creatures within the general and common category of the animal is not simply a sin against rigorous thinking, vigilance, lucidity, or empirical authority, it is also a crime. Not a crime against animality, precisely, but a crime of the first order against the animals, against animals.
    • Jacques Derrida, The Animal That Therefore I Am, trans. David Wills, New York: Fordham University Press, 2009 ebook edition, p. 76.
  • Love the animals: God has given them the rudiments of thought and untroubled joy. So do not trouble it, do not harass them, do not deprive them of their joy, do not go against God's intent. Man, do not exhale yourself above the animals: they are without sin, while you in your majesty defile the earth by your appearance on it, and you leave the traces of your defilement behind you — alas, this is true of almost every one of us!
    • Fyodor Dostoyevsky, The Brothers Karamazov (1879–1880), translated by Constance Garnett, Book VI, chapter 3: "Conversations and Exhortations of Father Zossima; Of Prayer, of Love, and of Contact with other Worlds".
  • For that which befalleth the sons of men befalleth beasts; even one thing befalleth them: as the one dieth, so dieth the other; yea, they have all one breath; so that a man hath no preeminence above a beast: for all is vanity. All go unto one place; all are of the dust, and all turn to dust again.
  • Animals are such agreeable friends - they ask no questions, they pass no criticisms.
  • Animals are always loyal and love you, whereas children you never know where you are.
  • What humiliation, what disgrace for us all, that it should be necessary for one man to exhort other men not to be inhuman and irrational towards their fellow-creatures! Do they recognise, then, no mind, no soul in them — have they not feeling, pleasure in existence, do they not suffer pain? Do their voices of joy and sorrow indeed fail to speak to the human heart and conscience — so that they can murder the jubilant lark, in the first joy of his spring-time, who ought to warm their hearts with sympathy, from delight in bloodshed or for their ‘sport,’ or with a horrible insensibility and recklessness only to practise their aim in shooting! Is there no soul manifest in the eyes of the living or dying animal — no expression of suffering in the eye of a deer or stag hunted to death — nothing which accuses them of murder before the avenging Eternal Justice? …. Are the souls of all other animals but man mortal, or are they essential in their organisation? Does the world-idea (Welt-Idee) pertain to them also — the soul of nature — a particle of the Divine Spirit? I know not; but I feel, and every reasonable man feels like me, it is in miserable, intolerable contradiction with our human nature, with our conscience, with our reason, with all our talk of humanity, destiny, nobility; it is in frightful (himmelschreinder) contradiction with our poetry and philosophy, with our nature and with our (pretended) love of nature, with our religion, with our teachings about benevolent design — that we bring into existence merely to kill, to maintain our own life by the destruction of other life. …. It is a frightful wrong that other species are tortured, worried, flayed, and devoured by us, in spite of the fact that we are not obliged to this by necessity; while in sinning against the defenceless and helpless, just claimants as they are upon our reasonable conscience and upon our compassion, we succeed only in brutalising ourselves. This, besides, is quite certain, that man has no real pity and compassion for his own species, so long as he is pitiless towards other races of beings.
  • Researchers find it very necessary to keep blinkers on. They don't want to admit that the animals they are working with have feelings. They don't want to admit that they might have minds and personalities because that would make it quite difficult for them to do what they do; so we find that within the lab communities there is a very strong resistance among the researchers to admitting that animals have minds, personalities and feelings.
  • Thousands of people who say they "love" animals sit down once or twice a day to enjoy the flesh of creatures who have been utterly deprived of everything that could make their lives worth living and who endured the awful suffering and the terror of the abattoirs— and the journey to get there— before finally leaving their miserable world, only too often after a painful death.
  • The more we learn of the true nature of non-human animals, especially those with complex brains and corresponding complex social behavior, the more ethical concerns are raised regarding their use in the service of man—whether this be in entertainment, as "pets," for food, in research laboratories, or any of the other uses to which we subject them.
    • Jane Goodall Through a Window: My Thirty Years with the Chimpanzees of Gombe (2000), p. 245.
  • I wanted to talk to the animals like Dr. Dolittle.
    • Jane Goodall as reported in Brad Dunn, "Change of Scenery", When They Were 22: 100 Famous People at the Turning Point in Their Lives (2006), p. 51.
  • 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.
  • To understand animal thinking you've got to get away from a language. See my mind works like Google for images. You put in a key word; it brings up pictures. See language for me narrates the pictures in my mind. When I work on designing livestock equipment I can test run that equipment in my head like 3-D virtual reality. In fact, when I was in college I used to think that everybody was able to do that. And language just sort of, you know, gives an opinion. Like, oh, that's a good idea or oh, I just figured out how to design that. … I designed a system holding a cattle in the meat plant, where they straddle a conveyor. And if you get things set up right they just walk in really quietly. And you've got to get the lighting right. They're afraid of the dark. If the lights were going, blasting in their eyes like the sun or there's a reflection on a shinny piece of metal moving, they're going to be afraid of that. And you get rid of those things their afraid of then their going to walk right in. You know, the things that scare a prey/species animal like cattle are a whole lot of little visual details that people just don't tend to notice. And one of the big problems they used to have is the people just wanted to get out there and yell and scream and push and shove and you know more and more prods. Rather than remove the things that the cattle were afraid of.
  • The fate of farm animals is not an ethical side issue. It concerns the majority of Earth's large creatures: tens of billions of sentient beings, each with a complex world of sensations and emotions, but who live and die as cogs in an industrial production line.
  • In fact if one person is unkind to an animal it is considered to be cruelty, but where a lot of people are unkind to a lot of animals, especially in the name of commerce, the cruelty is condoned and, once large sums of money are at stake, will be defended to the last by otherwise intelligent people.
  • There are probably no creatures that require more the protective Divine word against the presumption of man than the animals, which, like man, have sensations and instincts, but whose body and powers are nevertheless subservient to man. In relation to them man so easily forgets that injured animal muscle twitches just like human muscle, that the maltreated nerves of an animal sicken like human nerves, that the animal being is just as sensitive to cuts, blows and beating as man. Thus man becomes the torturer of the animal soul, which has been subjected to him only for the fulfilment of humane and wise purposes; sometimes out of self-interest, at other times in order to satisfy a whim, sometimes out of thoughtlessness—yes, even for the satisfaction of crude satanic desire.
    • Samson Raphael Hirsch, Horeb: A Philosophy of Jewish Laws and Observances, trans. Isidor Grunfeld (London: Soncino Press, 1968), Volume II, p. 292, Section 415.
  • 'Tis evident, that sympathy, or the communication of passions, takes place among animals, no less than among men. Fear, anger, courage and other affections are frequently communicated from one animal to another […] And 'tis remarkable, that tho' almost all animals use in play the same member, and nearly the same action as in fighting; a lion, a tyger, a cat their paws; an ox his homs; a dog his teeth; a horse his heels: Yet they most carefully avoid harming their companion, even tho' they have nothing to fear from his resentment; which is an evident proof of the sense brutes have of each other's pain and pleasure.
  • We know, that, in the individual man, consciousness grows from a dim glimmer to its full light, whether we consider the infant advancing in years, or the adult emerging from slumber and swoon. We know, further, that the lower animals possess, though less developed, that part of the brain which we have every reason to believe to be the organ of consciousness in man; and as, in other cases, function and organ are proportional, so we have a right to conclude it is with the brain; and that the brutes, though they may not possess our intensity of consciousness, and though, from the absence of language, they can have no trains of thoughts, but only trains of feelings, yet have a consciousness which, more or less distinctly, foreshadows our own. I confess that, in view of the struggle for existence which goes on in the animal world, and of the frightful quantity of pain with which it must be accompanied, I should be glad if the probabilities were in favour of Descartes' hypothesis; but, on the other hand, considering the terrible practical consequences to domestic animals which might ensue from any error on our part, it is as well to err on the right side, if we err at all, and deal with them as weaker brethren, who are bound, like the rest of us, to pay their toll for living, and suffer what is needful for the general good.
  • 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, [1912] 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.
  • How will man, that sanguinary tyrant, be able to excuse himself from the charge of those innumerable cruelties inflicted on his unoffending subjects committed to his care, formed for his benefit, and placed under his authority by their common Father?
  • But ask now the beasts, and they shall teach thee; and the fowls of the air, and they shall tell thee: Or speak to the earth, and it shall teach thee: and the fishes of the sea shall declare unto thee. Who knoweth not in all these that the hand of the LORD hath wrought this? In whose hand is the soul of every living thing, and the breath of all mankind.
  • A person who already displays … cruelty to animals is also no less hardened towards men. We can already know the human heart, even in regard to animals.
    • Immanuel Kant, Lectures on Ethics, trans. Peter Heath, Cambridge University Press, 1997, Part II, p. 212.
  • The more we devote ourselves to observing animals and their behaviour, the more we love them, on seeing how gready they care for their young; in such a context, we cannot even contemplate cruelty to a wolf. Leibnitz put the grub he had been observing back on the tree with its leaf, lest he should be guilty of doing any harm to it. It upsets a man to destroy such a creature for no reason, and this tenderness is subsequendy transferred to man.
    • Immanuel Kant, Lectures on Ethics, trans. Peter Heath, Cambridge University Press, 1997, Part II, pp. 212-213.
  • Thus our duties to animals are indirectly duties to humanity.
    • Immanuel Kant, Lectures on Ethics, trans. Peter Heath, Cambridge University Press, 1997, Part II, p. 213.
  • 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.
  • Man only is endowed with wisdom so as to understand religion, and this is the principal if not the only difference betwixt him and dumb animals; for other things that seem peculiar to him, though they are not the same in them, yet they appear to be alike … What is there more peculiar to man than reason, and foresight? Yet there are animals which make several different ways of retiring from their dens; that when in danger they may escape; which without understanding and forethought they could not do. Others make provision for the future.
  • 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.
  • At one time the benevolent affections embrace merely the family, soon the circle expanding includes first a class, then a nation, then a coalition of nations, then all humanity, and finally, its influence is felt in the dealings of man with the animal world. In each of these stages a standard is formed, different from that of the preceding stage, but in each case the same tendency is recognised as virtue.
    • W. E. H. Lecky, History of European Morals from Augustus to Charlemagne (2nd edition, Vol. 1, London: Longmans, 1869), Chapter 1, p. 103.
  • It is abundantly evident, both from history and from present experience, that the instinctive shock, or natural feeling of disgust, caused by the sight of the sufferings of men is not generically different from that which is caused by the sight of the sufferings of animals.
    • W. E. H. Lecky, History of European Morals from Augustus to Charlemagne (2nd edition, Vol. 1, London: Longmans, 1869), Chapter 2, p. 294.
  • Never better than after the last four centuries of his history could a Western man understand that, while assuming the right to impose a radical separation of humanity and animality, while granting to one all that he denied the other, he initiated a vicious circle. The one boundary, constantly pushed back, would be used to separate men from other men and to claim—to the profit of ever smaller minorities—the privilege of a humanism, corrupted at birth by taking self-interest as its principle and its notion.
  • There are many people who have undergone great suffering who seem to possess knowledge of the deepest recesses of human emotion unavailable to the rest of us. They may want to impart it, but we often cannot hear. Strangely enough, farm animals strike me in the same way.
    • Jeffrey M. Masson, The Pig Who Sang to the Moon: The Emotional World of Farm Animals (New York: Ballantine Books, 2004), Preface, p. ix.
  • And with animals, if we approach them in a rational way we shall find a trace of the intelligible in them which is a not unworthy imitation of what is above reason. For if we look at those beings that naturally care for their offspring, we are encouraged to define for ourselves reverently and with godly boldness that God exercises providence in his sovereign uniqueness over all beings.
  • It is an act of cruelty, of barbarism, to kill, to strike unconscious, and to cut the throat of animals, who do no harm to anyone, the way we do; because they are sensitive to injury and pain just as we are, regardless of what is said vainly, falsely, and ridiculously by our new Cartesians, who regard them as purely machines without soul and without feelings … This is a ridiculous opinion, a pernicious principle, and a detestable doctrine, because it clearly tends to stifle in the hearts of men all feelings of kindness, of gentleness, and of humanity that they might have toward these poor animals. … Blessed are the nations that treat them kindly and favorably, who are compassionate toward their miseries and their pains; but cursed are the nations that treat them cruelly, who tyrannize over them, who enjoy shedding their blood, and who are avid to eat their flesh.
    • Jean Meslier, Mémoire des pensées et sentiments de Jean Meslier, in Œuvres complètes (Paris: Anthropos, 1970–1972), t. I, 210-18; as quoted in Matthieu Ricard, A Plea for the Animals, trans. Sherab Chödzin Kohn (Boulder, CO: Shambhala, 2016), p. 19.
  • We are not just rather like animals; we are animals. Our difference from other species may be striking, but comparisons with them have always been, and must be, crucial to our view of ourselves.
    • Mary Midgley, Beast and Man: The Roots of Human Nature (1979), Introduction.
  • Granted that any practice causes more pain to animals than it gives pleasure to man; is that practice moral or immoral? And if, exactly in proportion as human beings raise their heads out of the slough of selfishness, they do not with one voice answer 'immoral,' let the morality of the principle of utility be for ever condemned.
    • John Stuart Mill, Dr. Whewell on Moral Philosophy (1852), in Dissertations and Discussions: Political, Philosophical, and Historical, vol. 2, London: John W. Parker and son, 1859, p. 485.
  • For my own part, I cannot without grief see so much as an innocent beast pursued and killed that has no defence, and from which we have received no offence at all.
  • Cruelty to animals is an enormous injustice; so is expecting those on the lowest rung of the economic ladder to do the dangerous, soul-numbing work of slaughtering sentient beings on our behalf.
    • Victoria Moran with Adair Moran, Main Street Vegan: Everything You Need to Know to Eat Healthfully and Live Compassionately in the Real World (New York: Penguin, 2012), Introduction.
  • While a man was walking along a road, he became very thirsty and found a well. He lowered himself into the well, drank, and came out. Then [he saw] a dog protruding its tongue out with thirst. The man said: "This dog has become exhausted from thirst in the same way as I." He lowered himself into the well again and filled his shoe with water. He gave the dog some water to drink. He thanked God, and [his sins were] forgiven. The Prophet was then asked: "Is there a reward for us in our animals?" He said: "There is a reward in every living thing.
    • Muhammad Fiqh-us-Sunnah, Volume 3, Number 104
  • A prostitute was forgiven by Allah, because, passing by a panting dog near a well and seeing that the dog was about to die of thirst, she took off her shoe, and tying it with her head-cover she drew out some water for it. So, Allah forgave her because of that.
  • Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him) said: A woman was punished because she had kept a cat tied until it died, and (as a punishment of this offence) she was thrown into Hell. She had not provided it with food or drink, and had not freed her so that she could eat the insects of the earth.
    • Muhammad narrated in Saheeh Muslim, Book 026, Number 5570
  • 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.
  • If you once admit that all that is most wonderful in the actions of beasts, may be done by means of a material soul; will you not soon grant what follows, and say, that all that passes in man may be also done by a material soul? … If you once grant that beasts, without any spiritual soul, are capable of thinking, of acting for an end, of foreseeing things to come, of remembering what is past, of acquiring experience by the particular reflection they make upon it; why will you not grant that men are capable of exercising their functions without any spiritual soul?
  • Throughout the history of our ascent to dominance as the master species, our victimization of animals has served as the model and foundation for our victimization of each other. The study of human history reveals the pattern: first, humans exploit and slaughter animals; then, they treat other people like animals and do the same to them.
    • Charles Patterson, Eternal Treblinka: Our Treatment of Animals and the Holocaust (New York: Lantern Books, 2002), p. 109.
  • We see that kindness or humanity has a larger field than bare justice to exercise itself in; law and justice we cannot, in the nature of things, employ on others than men; but we may extend our goodness and charity even to irrational creatures; and such acts flow from a gentle nature, as water from an abundant spring. It is doubtless the part of a kind-natured man to keep even worn-out horses and dogs, and not only take care of them when they are foals and whelps, but also when they are grown old.
  • The industrialization — and brutalization — of animals in America is a relatively new, evitable, and local phenomenon: No other country raises and slaughters its food animals quite as intensively or as brutally as we do. No other people in history has lived at quite so great a remove from the animals they eat. Were the walls of our meat industry to become transparent, literally or even figuratively, we would not long continue to raise, kill, and eat animals the way we do.
    • Michael Pollan, The Omnivore's Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals (New York: The Penguin Press, 2006), p. 333.
  • I think that when friendship and perception of kinship ruled everything, no one killed any creature, because people thought the other animals were related to them.
  • Animals are rational; in most of them logos is imperfect, but it is certainly not wholly lacking. So if, as our opponents say, justice applies to rational beings, why should not justice, for us, also apply to animals?
    • Porphyry, On Abstinence from Killing Animals, translated by Gillian Clark (Bloomsbury, 2014), 3, 18, 1.
  • 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.
  • The most striking quality that humans and animals have in common is the capacity to experience suffering. Why do we still blind ourselves, now at the beginning of the twenty-first century, to the immeasurable suffering that we inflict on animals, knowing that a great part of the pain that we cause them is neither necessary nor unavoidable? Certainly we should know that there is no moral justification for inflicting needless pain and death on any being.
    • Matthieu Ricard, A Plea for the Animals, translated by Sherab Chödzin Kohn (Boulder, CO: Shambhala Publications, 2016), Introduction, p. 4.
  • Our treatment of animals is the last moral frontier, the ultimate test of our humanity, the mirror by which we can see most deeply into our own souls.
    • Bernard Rollin, "The Legal and Moral Bases of Animal Rights", in Ethics and Animals, edited by Harlan B. Miller and William H. Williams (Clifton, NJ: Humana Press, 1983), p. 118.
  • The desire to protect animals derives inevitably from better acquaintance with them, from the realization that they are sensitive and intelligent creatures, affectionate and seeking affection, powerless in a cruel and incomprehensible world, exposed to all the whims of the master species. According to the animal haters, those who are fond of animals are sick people. To me it seems just the other way around, that the love for animals is something more, not something less. As a rule, those who protect animals have for them the same feeling as for all the other defenseless or abused creatures: the battered or abandoned children, the sick, the inmates of penal or mental institutions, who are so often maltreated without a way of redress. And those who are fond of animals don't love them for their "animality" but for their "humanity" — their "human" qualities. By which I mean the qualities humans display when at their best, not at their worst. Man's love for the animal is, at any rate, always inferior in intensity and completeness to the love the animal has for the human being that has won its love. The human being is the elder brother, who has countless different preoccupations, activities and interests. But to the animal that loves a human being, this being is everything. That applies not only to the generous, impetuous dog, but also to the more reserved species, with which it is more difficult to establish a relationship without personal effort and plenty of patience.
    • Hans Ruesch, Slaughter of the Innocent (New York: Bantam Books, 1978), pp. 45-46.
  • There is no impersonal reason for regarding the interests of human beings as more important than those of animals. We can destroy animals more easily than they can destroy us; that is the only solid basis of our claim to superiority. We value art and science and literature, because these are things in which we excel. But whales might value spouting, and donkeys might maintain that a good bray is more exquisite than the music of Bach. We cannot prove them wrong except by the exercise of arbitrary power.
  • Since Darwin, scientists have agreed that there is no ‘magical’ essential difference between human and other animals, biologically-speaking. Why then do we make an almost total distinction morally? If all organisms are on one physical continuum, then we should also be on the same moral continuum.
    • Richard D. Ryder, "Speciesism" (1970); reported in Speciesism, Painism and Happiness: A Morality for the Twenty-First Century by Richard D. Ryder (Exeter: Imprint Academic, 2011), ch. 2.
  • The emancipation of men from cruelty and injustice will bring with it in due course the emancipation of animals also. The two reforms are inseparably connected, and neither can be fully realized alone.
    • Henry S. Salt, from an essay in Cruelties of Civilization (1897) as quoted in Roderick Nash, The Rights of Nature, University of Wisconsin Press, 1989, p. 29.
  • The Animals, you say, were "sent"
    For man's free use and nutriment.
    Pray, then, inform me, and be candid,
    Why came they aeons before Man did,
    To spend long centuries on earth,
    Awaiting their Devourer's birth?
    Those ill-timed chattels, sent from Heaven,
    Were, sure, the maddest gift e'er given—
    "Sent" for Man's usage (can Man believe it?)
    When there was no Man to receive it!
    • Henry S. Salt, The Sending of the Animals, as quoted in The Savour of Salt: A Henry Salt Anthology, Centaur Press, 1989, p. 55.
  • Thus, because Christian morals leave animals out of consideration … therefore in philosophical morals they are of course at once outlawed; they are merely "things," simply means to ends of any sort; and so they are good for vivisection, for deer-stalking, bull-fights, horse-races, etc., and they may be whipped to death as they struggle along with heavy quarry carts. Shame on such a morality … which fails to recognize the Eternal Reality immanent in everything that has life, and shining forth with inscrutable significance from all eyes that see the sun!
  • Compassion for animals is intimately connected with goodness of character, and it may be confidently asserted that he, who is cruel to living creatures, cannot be a good man. Moreover, this compassion manifestly flows from the same source whence arise the virtues of justice and loving-kindness towards men.
  • One thing that specially saddened me was that the unfortunate animals had to suffer so much pain and misery. The sight of an old limping horse, tugged forward by one man while another kept beating it with a stick to get it to the knacker's yard at Colmar, haunted me for weeks. It was quite incomprehensible to me — this was before I began going to school — why in my evening prayers I should pray for human beings only. So when my mother had prayed with me and had kissed me good-night, I used to add silently a prayer that I had composed myself for all living creatures. It ran thus: "O, heavenly Father, protect and bless all things that have breath; guard them from all evil, and let them sleep in peace."
    • Albert Schweitzer, Memoirs of Childhood and Youth (1924), translated by C. T. Campion; in Reverence for Life: An Anthology of Selected Writings, edited by Thomas Kiernan, New York: Philosophical Library, 1965, p. 1.
  • We will one day think it as horrible to eat animals as we now think it horrible to eat each other.
    • Rose Scott, Miscellaneous Notes, Scott Papers; as quoted in A New Australia: Citizenship, Radicalism and the First Republic by Bruce Scates (Cambridge University Press, 1997), p. 247.
  • Many dogs, cats and horses are loved and cherished, and are even mourned when they die. But pigs, chickens, calves and other animals grown in factory farms are treated in the most brutal and exploitative way, devoid of all affection. They are units in a production line; their only purpose is to produce the maximum amount of food at the minimum cost. Factory farms epitomize the mechanistic spirit. … To justify this treatment, the less-favoured animals have to be regarded as inferior, unworthy of any sentimental attachment. A terrible conflict arises if the exploited animals are considered to have any value in themselves. One way to avoid this conflict is to keep the privileged and the exploited animals in separate categories in our minds. … But if emotions spill over from pets to other animals, there is trouble. People become vegetarians, or even animal rights activists.
    • Rupert Sheldrake, Seven Experiments That Could Change the World (London: Fourth Estate, 1994), p. 24.
  • Animals are among the first inhabitants of the mind's eye. They are basic to the development of speech and thought. Because of their part in the growth of consciousness, they are inseparable from the series of events in each human life, indispensable to our becoming human in the fullest sense.
    • Paul Shepard, Thinking Animals: Animals and the Development of Human Intelligence (1978), University of Georgia Press, 1998, p. 2.
  • Longer than memory we have known that each animal has its power and place, each a skill, virtue, wisdom, innocence — a special access to the structure and flow of the world. Each surpasses ourselves in some way. Together, sacred, they help hold the cosmos together, making it a joy and beauty to behold, but above all a challenge to understand as story, drama, and sacred play.
    • Paul Shepard, The Others: How Animals Made Us Human, Island Press, 1997, Part V, p. 173.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • The animals themselves are incapable of demanding their own liberation, or of protesting against their condition with votes, demonstrations, or boycotts. Human beings have the power to continue to oppress other species forever, or until we make this planet unsuitable for living beings. Will our tyranny continue, proving that morality counts for nothing when it clashes with selfinterest, as the most cynical of poets and philosophers have always said? Or will we rise to the challenge and prove our capacity for genuine altruism by ending our ruthless exploitation of the species in our power, not because we are forced to do so by rebels or terrorists, but because we recognize that our position is morally indefensible? The way in which we answer this question depends on the way in which each one of us, individually, answers it.
  • When a human being relates to an individual nonhuman being as an anonymous object, rather than as a being with its own subjectivity, it is the human, and not the other animal, who relinquishes personhood.
  • … the suffering or frustration of an animal of another species is an evil of the same general sort as is the suffering or frustration of a human being, and that we humans have the same general sort of moral obligation to refrain from causing, and to try actively to prevent, such evil when it concerns animals as when it concerns human beings.
    • Timothy Sprigge, "The Animal Welfare Movement and the Foundations of Ethics", in Animals' Rights: A Symposium, edited by David Paterson and Richard D. Ryder, Fontwell: Centaur Press Ltd, 1979, p. 89.
  • Criminal history shows us how many torturers of men, and murderers, have first been torturers of animals. The manner in which a nation in the aggregate treats animals, is one chief measure of its real civilization. The Latin races, as we know, come forth badly from this examination; we Germans, not half well enough. Buddhism has done more in this direction than Christianity, and Schopenhauer more than all ancient and modern philosophers together. The warm sympathy with sentient Nature which pervades all the writings of Schopenhauer, is one of the most pleasing aspects of his thoroughly intellectual, yet often unhealthy and unprofitable philosophy.
    • David Strauss, The Old Faith and the New (Der alte und der neue Glaube, 1872, translated from the 6th edition by M. Blind, New York: Henry Holt & Co., 1873), vol. II, part IV, ch. 71, pp. 59-60.
  • To Indians the idea of the transmigration of the soul from animal to man, and man to animal, does not seem strange, and so from our scriptures pity for all sentient creatures has not been banished as a sentimental exaggeration. When I am in close touch with Nature in the country, the Indian in me asserts itself and I cannot remain coldly indifferent to the abounding joy of life throbbing within the soft down-covered breast of a single tiny bird.
  • [Concerning the love La Fontaine felt for animals] He follows their emotions, he represents their reasonings, he becomes tender, he becomes gay, he participates in their feelings. The factis, he lived in them. […] The animals contain all the materials of man-sensations, judgments, images.
    • Hippolyte Taine, La Fontaine et ses Fables (1853–1861), Hachette, 1911, p. 166 and 107; as quoted in Matthieu Ricard, A Plea for the Animals, trans. Sherab Chödzin Kohn, Shambhala Publications, 2016, p. 102.
  • But if man's affection be one of passion, then it is moved also in regard to other animals: for since the passion of pity is caused by the afflictions of others; and since it happens that even irrational animals are sensible to pain, it is possible for the affection of pity to arise in a man with regard to the sufferings of animals. Now it is evident that if a man practice a pitiful affection for animals, he is all the more disposed to take pity on his fellow-men: wherefore it is written (Prov. 12:10): "The just regardeth the lives of his beasts: but the bowels of the wicked are cruel." Consequently the Lord, in order to inculcate pity to the Jewish people, who were prone to cruelty, wished them to practice pity even with regard to dumb animals, and forbade them to do certain things savoring of cruelty to animals. Hence He prohibited them to "boil a kid in the milk of its dam"; and to "muzzle the ox that treadeth out the corn"; and to slay "the dam with her young."
  • The child who has been taught to realise the claims that God's lower creatures have upon him, whose heart has been touched by lessons of kindness and mercy, under their sweet influence will grow to be a large-hearted, tender-hearted, manly man. Then let the children be trained, their hands, their intellects, and above all their hearts. Let them be taught to have pity for the animals that are at our mercy, that cannot protect themselves, that cannot explain their weakness, their pain, or their suffering, and soon this will bring to their recognition that higher law, the moral obligation of man as a superior being to protect and care for the weak and defenceless. Nor will it stop here, for this in turn will lead them to that highest law—man's duty to man.
  • When we study the habits of animals in a truly sympathetic way and become thoroughly acquainted with them and with the work that each one is performing, we shall see that each one has its place in the economy of God's world, that each has its part to play, and that even so far as the animal world is concerned we are all related and inter-related. If we destroy or permit to be destroyed that marvellous balance which the Divine Power has instituted in the Universe, we do it at our own peril. Instead, then, of being the enemies of the animal world, instead of being its persecutors and its destroyers, we should be its friends and helpers.
  • It is just like man's vanity and impertinence to call an animal dumb because it is dumb to his dull perceptions.
  • What a pity and what a poverty of spirit, to assert that beasts are machines deprived of knowledge and sentiment, which affect all their operations in the same manner, which learn nothing, never improve, &c. […] Some barbarians seize this dog, who so prodigiously excels man in friendship, they nail him to a table, and dissect him living, to show the mezarian veins. You discover in him all the same organs of sentiment which are in yourself. Answer me, machinist, has nature arranged all the springs of sentiment in this animal that he should not feel? Has he nerves to be incapable of suffering? Do not suppose this impertinent contradiction in nature. […] The animal has received those of sentiment, memory, and a certain number of ideas. Who has bestowed these gifts, who has given these faculties? He who has made the herb of the field to grow, and who makes the earth gravitate towards the sun.
    • Voltaire, "Beasts", in A Philosophical Dictionary, Volume 2, J. and H. L. Hunt, 1824, p. 9.
  • There are two things for which animals are to be envied: they know nothing of future evils, or of what people say about them.
  • The animals of the world exist for their own reasons. They were not made for humans any more than black people were made for whites or women for men.
    • Alice Walker, Foreword to The Dreaded Comparison: Animal Slavery and Human Slavery by Marjorie Spiegel (New York: Mirror Books, 1996), p. 14.
  • If it is necessary that each sentient being must have the possibility of achieving an overwhelming good, then it is clear that there must be some form of life after earthly death. Despite the many pointers to the existence of God, theism would be falsified if physical death was the end, for then there could be no justification for the existence of this world. However, if one supposes that every sentient being has an endless existence, which offers the prospect of supreme happiness, it is surely true that the sorrows and troubles of this life will seem very small by comparison. Immortality, for animals as well as humans, is a necessary condition of any acceptable theodicy; that necessity, together with all the other arguments for God, is one of the main reasons for believing in immortality.
    • Keith Ward, Rational Theology and the Creativity of God (Oxford: Basil Blackwell, 1982), pp. 201-202.

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