Animals

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This page is for quotes about animals.

Quotes[edit]

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.

  • The fox knows many things, but the hedgehog one big one.
  • 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.”
    • Naturalist Roger Caras, ABC-TV News, U.S.A. (Newsweek, December 26, 1988). Quoted in Awake! magazine, published by Jehovah's Witnesses, July 8 1990.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Animals are such agreeable friends - they ask no questions, they pass no criticisms.
  • A horse is dangerous at both ends and uncomfortable in the middle.
  • Animals are always loyal and love you, whereas children you never know where you are.
  • 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.
  • Well 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.
  • Temple Grandin [1]
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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 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.
  • 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.
  • There are two things for which animals are to be envied: they know nothing of future evils, or of what people say about them.

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