Quotes from Other Sources
“I expect to pass through this world but once. Any good therefore that I can do, or any kindness or abilities that I can show to any fellow creature, let me do it now.
Let me not defer it or neglect it, for I shall not pass this way again.”
William Penn (1644–1718) Quaker, philosopher & founder of Pennsylvania
“Concern for animals is a matter of taking the side of the weak against the strong, something the best people have always done.”
Harriet Beecher Stowe 1811-1896 American abolitionist and author best known for Uncle Tom's Cabin that depicted life under slavery
“Thus godlike sympathy grows and thrives and spreads far beyond the teachings of churches and schools, where too often the mean, blinding, loveless doctrine is taught that animals have neither mind nor soul, have no rights that we are bound to respect, and were made only for man, to be petted, spoiled, slaughtered, or enslaved.”
John Muir 1838-1914 Scottish-born naturalist, author, advocate for the American wilderness and Founder of the Sierra Club
“Until we stop harming all other living beings, we are still savages.”
Thomas A. Edison, American Inventor 1847-1931
“I tremble for my species when I reflect that God is just.”
Thomas Jefferson 1743-1826
“You have just dined, and however scrupulously the slaughterhouse is concealed in the graceful distance of miles, there is complicity.”
Ralph Waldo Emerson 1803-1882 American philosopher, lecturer, essayist, and poet
“Man is a religious animal. He is the only religious animal. He is the only animal that has the 'True Religion' - several of them! He is the only animal that loves his neighbor as himself but cuts his throat if his theology isn't straight. He has made a graveyard of the globe in trying his honest best to smooth his brother's path to happiness and heaven...”
“The higher animals have no religion. And we are told that they are going to be left out in the Hereafter. I wonder why? It seems questionable taste...”
“Of all the animals, man is the only one that is cruel. He is the only one that inflicts pain for the pleasure of doing it...”
“Of all the creatures, man is the most detestable. Of the entire brood, he is the only one that possesses malice. He is the only creature that inflicts pain for sport, knowing it to be pain.”
“It is just like man's vanity and impertinence to call an animal dumb because it is dumb to his dull perceptions...”
“The fact that man knows right from wrong proves his intellectual superiority to the other creatures; but the fact that he can do wrong proves his moral inferiority to any creature that cannot...”
“I am not interested to know whether experimentation produces results that are profitable to the human race or doesn't...The pain which it inflicts upon unconsenting animals is the basis of my enmity toward it...’
“In studying the traits and dispositions of the so-called lower animals, and contrasting them with Man's, I find the result humiliating to me.”
Samuel Clemens (aka Mark Twain) 1835-1910 American novelist & humorist
“I am in favor of animal rights as well as human rights. That is the way of a whole human being...”
“I care not for a man’s religion whose dog and cat are not the better for it.”
President Abraham Lincoln 1809-1865
“The bad news for animals is twofold. First, in all of these cases — women's rights, the abolition of slavery, ending apartheid — a good part of the political momentum comes from the oppressed themselves. Progress in South Africa never would have begun if blacks there hadn't perceived their own dignity and fought for it. Second, in all these cases, empathy for the oppressed by influential outsiders came because the outsiders could identify with the oppressed — because, after all, they're people, too. With animal rights, in contrast, (1) the oppressed can never by themselves exert leverage; and (2) the outsiders who work on their behalf, belonging as they do to a different species, must be exquisitely, imaginatively compassionate in order to be drawn to the cause. To judge by history, this is not a recipe for success.”
Robert Wright 1957- American journalist, scholar, and author of best-selling books on science, evolutionary psychology, history and religion.
“Humanity advances only as it becomes more humane.”
Dr. Frank Crane 1861–1928 Presbyterian minister, speaker and columnist
“Healing the relationship between humans and animals is crucial to restoring the health of the world.”
Susan Chernak McElroy Author on Animal Spirituality
“We cannot have peace among men whose hearts find delight in killing any living creature.”
Rachel Carson 1907–1964 Marine Biologist & nature writer awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom
“...along with the pre-eminence that Homo sapiens has achieved goes a very great moral responsibility - a stewardship if you will - upon which we must not turn our backs. Perhaps especially because we have the power to destroy them we must respect the rights of our cohabitants of earth.”
Paul Ehrlich 1932- Biologist & Professor of Population Studies at Stanford University
“Institutional cruelty does everything it can to conceal the fact that it is destroying its victims, and keeps its spectators from feeling disgust and from being confused by the paradox of trying to justify the unjustifiable, of trying to praise the smashing of the weak.”
Philip P. Hallie 1922–1994 author, philosopher and professor at Wesleyan University
“The existence of organized cruelty - that is, cruelty practiced as a matter of social principle or public policy, and presented to the community as a means of a higher goal - is the most obscene and decadent phenomenon of any civilization.”
Clare Booth Luce 1903-1987 Editor, journalist, socialite, ambassador and Congresswoman
“I swear that I think now that every living thing without exception has an eternal soul. I swear that I think there is nothing but immortality.”
Walt Whitman 1819-1892 Poet, essayist, journalist and humanist
“The moral duty of man consists in imitating the moral goodness and beneficence of God manifested in the creation toward all His creatures. Everything of persecution and revenge between man and man, and everything of cruelty to animals, is a violation of moral duty.”
Thomas Paine 1737-1809 author, inventor, intellectual and a Founding Father of the United States
“The Golden Rule must be applied in our relations with the animal world, just as it must be applied in our relations with our fellow men, and no one can be a Christian until this finds embodiment in his or her life.”
Ralph Waldo Trine, 1866-1958 Philosopher, mystic, teacher and author
“I was early convinced that true religion consisted in an inward life wherein the heart doth love and reverence God the creator and learn to exercise true justice and goodness not only toward men but also toward the brute creation ...”
“To say we love God as unseen and at the same time exercise cruelty toward the least creature moving by His life or by life derived from Him, was a contradiction in itself.”
“Our Gracious Creator cares and provides for all His creatures. His tender mercies are over all His works; and so far as His love influences our minds, so far we become interested in His workmanship, and feel a desire to take hold of every opportunity to lessen the distresses of the afflicted and increase the happiness of the Creation. Here we have a prospect of one common interest, from which our own is inseparable, that to turn all the treasures we possess into the channel of Universal Love is the business of our lives.”
“Be careful that the love of gain draws us not into any business which may weaken our love of our Heavenly Father, or bring unnecessary trouble to any of his creatures.”
John Woolman 1720-1772 Quaker preacher - opponent of conscription, military taxation & slavery
The butcher does not relent at the bleating of the lamb; neither is the heart of the cruel moved with distress. But the tears of the compassionate are sweeter than dew-drops falling from roses on the bosom of spring.
Akhenaten (Amenhotep IV), Pharaoh & Religious Reformer 1353 BCE
Ancient Greece & Rome
“For as long as man continues to be the ruthless destroyer of lower living beings, he will never know health or peace. For as long as men massacre animals, they will kill each other. Indeed he who sows the seeds of murder and pain cannot reap joy and love...”
“Animals share with us the privilege of having a soul.”
“Alas, what wickedness to swallow flesh into our own flesh, to fatten our greedy bodies by cramming in other bodies, to have one living creature fed by the death of another! In the midst of such wealth as earth, the best of mothers, provides, nothing satisfies you but to behave like the Cyclopes, inflicting sorry wounds with cruel teeth! You cannot appease the hungry cravings of your wicked, gluttonous stomachs except by destroying some other life.”
Pythagoras ca. 580-520 BCE
“The soul is the same in all living creatures, although the body of each is different.”
Hippocrates ca. 460-377 BCE
“The highest realms of thought are impossible to reach without first attaining an understanding of compassion.”
Socrates 469–399 BCE, Athenian philosopher
“I, for my part, wonder of what sort of feeling, mind or reason, that man was possessed who was first to pollute his mouth with gore and to allow his lips to touch the flesh of a murdered being; who spread his table with the mangled forms of dead bodies, and claimed as daily food and dainty dishes what but now were beings endowed with movement, with perception and with voice.”
Plutarch, c.46-c.120 CE Greek (and later Roman) historian, biographer, essayist and Platonist
“Liberty is given by nature even to mute animals.”
Tacitus 56 CE – 117 CE Senator & Historian
“He who abstains from [eating] anything animate ... will be much more careful not to injure those of his own species. For he who loves the genus will not hate any species of animal.”
Porphyry 233-305 CE Neoplatonist philosopher
Animal Welfare Movement
“Men will be just to men when they are kind to animals.”
“Mercy to animals means mercy to mankind.”
Henry Bergh 1811-1888 founder of the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals
“The day may come when the rest of the animal creation may acquire those rights which never could have been witholden from them but by the hand of tyranny. The French have already discovered that the blackness of the skin is no reason a human being should be abandoned without redress to the caprice of a tormentor. It may one day come to be recognized that the number of the legs, the villosity of the skin, or the termination of the os sacrum are reasons equally insufficient for abandoning a sensitive being to the same fate. What else is it that should trace the insuperable line? Is it the faculty of reason or perhaps the faculty of discourse? But a full-grown horse or dog, is beyond comparison a more rational, as well as a more conversable animal, than an infant of a day or a week or even a month old. But suppose the case were otherwise, what would it avail? The question is not "Can they reason?" nor "Can they talk?" but "Can they suffer?"
Jeremy Bentham 1748–1832 English philosopher, leading theorist in the Anglo-American philosophy of law and advocate for animal rights
“...just so soon and so far as we pour into all our schools the songs, the poems, and literature of mercy toward these lower creatures, just so soon and so far shall we reach the roots not only of cruelty, but of crime.”
George T. Angell 1823–1909 American lawyer, philanthropist, criminologist, advocate for the humane treatment of animals and founder of Humane Societies including the Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.
“If a being suffers there can be no moral justification for refusing to take that suffering into consideration. No matter what the nature of the being, the principle of equality requires that its suffering be counted equally with the like suffering – insofar as rough comparisons can be made – of any other being. So the limit of sentience is the only defensible boundary of concern for the interests of others.”
“In an earlier stage of our development most human groups held to a tribal ethic. Members of the tribe were protected, but people of other tribes could be robbed or killed as one pleased. Gradually the circle of protection expanded, but as recently as 150 years ago we did not include blacks. So African human beings could be captured, shipped to America and sold. In Australia white settlers regarded Aborigines as a pest and hunted them down, much as kangaroos are hunted down today. Just as we have progressed beyond the blatantly racist ethic of the era of slavery and colonialism, so we must now progress beyond the speciesist ethic of the era of factory farming, of the use of animals as mere research tools, of whaling, seal hunting, kangaroo slaughter and the destruction of wilderness. We must take the final step in expanding the circle of ethics.”
“At present scientists do not look for alternatives simply because they do not care enough about the animals they are using.”
“Pain is pain, and the importance of preventing unnecessary pain and suffering does not diminish because the being that suffers is not a member of our own species.”
Peter Singer 1946- Australian philosopher & bioethicist, Professor at Princeton University and the University of Melbourne. Best known for the book Animal Liberation
“When it comes to having a central nervous system, and the ability to feel pain, hunger, and thirst, a rat is a pig is a dog is a boy.”
Ingrid Newkirk, Animal rights activist, author and president of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals
“Truly man is the king of beasts, for his brutality exceeds them. We live by the death of others. We are burial places...”
“The time will come when men such as I will look upon the murder of animals as they now look upon the murder of men.”
Leonardo Da Vinci (1452-1519)
“I think the rapidly growing tendency to regard animals as born for nothing except slavery to so-called humanity absolutely disgusting.”
Sir Victor Gollancz 1893-1967 British publisher, socialist, and humanitarian
“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 towards 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.”
Milan Kundera, 1929- Czech (now French) writer best known for The Unbearable Lightness of Being
“We cannot have two hearts, one for the animals and one for men. In cruelty towards the former and cruelty to the latter there is no difference but in the victim.”
Alphonse Marie Louis de Lamartine 1790-1869 French writer, poet and politician
“Nothing living should ever be treated with contempt. Whatever it is that lives; a man, a tree, or a bird, should be touched gently because time is short. Civilization is another word for respect for life.”
Elizabeth Goudge 1900-1984 English author of novels, short stories and children's books
“Animals form an inalienable fragment of nature, and if we hasten the disappearance of even one species, we diminish our world and our place in it.”
James Michener 1907–1997 Prolific American author
“The necessity for [animal] experiments I dispute. Man has no right to gratify an idle and purposeless curiosity through the practice of cruelty.”
Charles Dickens 1812-1870 Novelist
“I despise and abhor the pleas on behalf of that infamous practice, vivisection. I would rather submit to the worst of deaths, so far as pain goes, than have a single dog or cat tortured on the pretence of sparing me a twinge or two.”
Robert Browning 1812-1899 One of the foremost English poets and playwrights of the Victorian Era
“To a man whose mind is free there is something even more intolerable in the sufferings of animals than in the sufferings of man. For with the latter it is at least admitted that suffering is evil and that the man who causes it is a criminal. But thousands of animals are uselessly butchered every day without a shadow of remorse. If any man were to refer to it, he would be thought ridiculous. And that is the unpardonable crime.”
Romain Rolland 1866-1944 French dramatist, novelist and essayist awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature
“Forbid the day when vivisection shall be practiced in every college and school, and when the man of science, looking forth over a world which will then own no other sway than his, shall exult in the thought that he had made of this fair earth, if not a heaven for man, at least a hell for animals.”
Lewis Carroll 1832-1898 English author, mathematician, logician and photographer
“The lives of animals are woven into our very being - closer than our own breathing - and our souls will suffer when they are gone...”
“We cannot discount the lives of sensitive and intelligent creatures merely because they assume non-human form.”
Gary Kowalski 1953-
“My own species, unfortunately, is the greatest predator on the planet. We have the distinction of killing our own kind as well as other living creatures. But mankind is relatively new and may develop beyond this in time.”
“In studying the traits and dispositions of the so-called lower animals, and contrasting them with Man’s, I find the result humiliating to me. Man is the only animal that blushes, or needs to.”
“The higher animals engage in individual fights, but...Man is the only animal that deals in the atrocity of atrocities - war.”
“The vast majority of the race, whether savage or civilized, are secretly kind-hearted and shrink from inflicting pain, but in the presence of the aggressive and pitiless minority they don’t dare to assert themselves ...”
“It is just like a man’s vanity and impertinence to call an animal dumb because it is dumb to his dull perceptions.”
“Of all the creatures ever made (man) is the most detestable. Of the entire brood, he is the only one ... that possesses malice. He is the only creature that inflicts pain for sport, knowing it to be pain. The fact that man knows right from wrong proves his intellectual superiority to the other creatures; but the fact that he can do wrong proves his moral inferiority to any creature who cannot.”
Gladys Taber 1899-1980 Prolific author of plays, essays, memoirs and fiction
“The establishment of the common origin of all species logically involves a readjustment of altruistic morals, by enlarging the application of what has been called the Golden Rule from...mere mankind to that of the whole animal kingdom.”
Thomas Hardy, OM, 1840-1928 English novelist and poet
“To me, a philosopher who says that the distinction between human and nonhuman depends on whether you have a white or a black skin, and a philosopher who says that the distinction between human and nonhuman depends on whether or not you know the difference between a subject and a predicate, are more alike than they are unlike.”
“Some years ago I wrote a book called The House on Eccles Street. To write this book I had to think my way into the existence of Marion Bloom...Marion Bloom was a figment of James Joyce's imagination. If I can think my way into the existence of a being who has never existed, then I can think my way into the existence of a bat or a chimpanzee or an oyster, any being with whom I share the substrate of life.”
“They have no consciousness therefore. Therefore what? Therefore we are free to use them for our own ends? Therefore we are free to kill them? Why? What is so special about the form of consciousness we recognize that makes killing a bearer of it a crime while killing an animal goes unpunished?...all this discussion of consciousness and whether animals have it is just a smokescreen. At bottom we protect our own kind. Thumbs up to human babies, thumbs down to veal calves.”
“Anyone who says that life matters less to an animal than it does to us has not held in his hands an animal fighting for its life. The whole of the being of the animal is thrown into that fight, without reserve. When you say that the fight lacks a dimension of intellectual or imaginative horror, I agree. It is not the mode of being animals to have an intellectual horror: their whole being is in the living flesh...”
“I urge you to walk, flank to flank, beside the beast that is prodded down the chute to his executioner.”
J. M. (John Maxwell) Coetzee 1940- South African born Australian author, novelist, literary critic and academic; winner of the Booker Prize and the Nobel Prize in Literature
“In all the round world of Utopia there is no meat. There used to be. But now we cannot stand the thought of slaughterhouses. And in a population that is all educated and at about the same level of physical refinement, it is practically impossible to find anyone who will hew a dead ox or pig. We never settled the hygienic aspect of meat-eating at all. This other aspect decided us. I can still remember as a boy the rejoicings over the closing of the last slaughterhouse.”
H.G. Wells, 1866-1946 English author, socialist and pacifist best known for his science fiction novels
“Love animals: God has given them the rudiments of thought and joy untroubled. Do not trouble their joy, do not harass them, do not deprive them of their happiness, do not work against God’s intent. Man, do not pride yourself on your superiority to animals: they are without sin, and you, with your greatness, defile the earth by your appearance on it, and leave the traces of your foulness after you.”
“Love all God’s creatures, the animals, the plants. Love everything to perceive the divine mystery in all.”
Fyodor Dostoevsky 1821-1881 Russian novelist and essayist known for Crime and Punishment and The Brothers Karamazov
“If you know anything of politics, you will realize the enormous difficulty there always is in getting Parliament to pass a law which does away with, or seriously curtails, a vested interest, or even a time-honoured fashion. The moment it comes to trying to save beasts from suffering at the expense of a definite class of men or women, the reformer is right up against it...”
“We simply have to recognize that the whole movement towards decent treatment of animals and birds is a terribly slow one, and that its only chance of real progress lies in gradual educational infection.”
John Galsworthy, OM 1867-1933 English novelist and playwright awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature
“The knowledge that horrible mutilations may be daily and hourly executed upon the bodies of living creatures with no adequate security for their insensibility, makes very many humane people profoundly miserable; it rises day and night between them and their peace of mind; it haunts their lives waking and asleep; it deprives them of joy in this world which might otherwise be theirs.”
Stephen Coleridge, 1854-1936 British author, barrister and opponent of vivisection who co-founded of the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children
“Because the heart beats under a covering of hair, of fur, feathers, or wings, it is, for that reason, to be of no account?”
Jean Paul Richter 1763-1825, German humourist and writer who achieved his greatest fame as a novelist
“We have only to imagine Jesus of Nazareth slaughtering a bull or a fellow creature to understand the immense, impassable gulf existing between Mithraism and Christianity, and the folly and peril of ignoring that guilt and trying to reconcile the irreconcilable.”
“We ate no flesh in Eden, but afterwards, when things got hard, we forgot the peaceful kinship of that ancient kingdom. As our teeth sank into their flesh, we had to deny them. So we said they had no souls, no reason, no thumbs, no speech. We were so different. We made a chain of things to protect us — fire, medicine, our locking houses, many kinds of clothes. And we renamed them — farm product, fur crop, renewable resource. Pray that we will see their faces again in the mirror of creation, the miracle of animals, their clear eyes meaning more than profit to our own.”
“When a man has pity on all living creatures, only then is he noble.”
Siddhartha Gautama The Buddha (6th cent BCE)
“I do not see any reason why animals should be slaughtered to serve as human diet when there are so many substitutes. After all, man can live without meat. It is only some carnivorous animals that have to subsist on flesh. Killing animals for sport, for pleasure, for adventures, and for hides and furs is a phenomenon which is at once disgusting and distressing.”
“Life is as dear to a mute creature as it is to man. Just as one wants happiness and fears pain, just as one wants to live and not die, so do other creatures.”
His Holiness The Dalai Lama 1935- Spiritual leader of the Tibetan People
“The practice of religion involves as a first principle, a loving compassionate heart for all creatures.”
“When a chimpanzee mother comforts her frightened infant, we say that she is behaving like a human; when a human being resorts to insane violence, we say that he is acting like an animal. Perhaps it's the other way around....”
Wayne Grady 1948- Award-winning Canadian writer, translator and science editor of Equinox Magazine
“Kindness to all God’s creatures is an absolute rock-bottom necessity if peace and righteousness are to prevail.”
Sir Wilfred Grenfell, KCMG 1865–1940 Medical missionary to Newfoundland and Labrador
“If you could see or feel the suffering you wouldn’t think twice. Give back life. Don’t eat meat.”
“We must educate the public. The average person has no idea what’s going on in factory farms, laboratories, circuses, roadside zoos and rodeos.”
Bob Barker, Television Personality
“As custodians of the planet it is our responsibility to deal with all species with kindness, love, and compassion. That these animals suffer through human cruelty is beyond understanding.”
Richard Gere, American Actor
“I have always felt that the way we treat animals is a pretty good indicator of the compassion we are capable of for the human race.”
Ali McGraw American Actress
“I don't think you should hurt or kill animals just to entertain an audience. Animals should have some rights. But there are a lot of directors, including Ingmar Bergman, who will injure animals to further a plot. I will have none of it.”
James Mason, 1909-1984 British Actor who refused a film with a cock-fighting scene
“No one really needs a mink coat in this world... except minks.”
Glenda Jackson, CBE 1936 – Two-time Oscar winning actress and Member of the British Parliament since 1992
“Killing an animal to make a coat is a sin. It wasn't meant to be and we have no right to do it. A woman gains great status when she refuses to see anything beautiful killed to be put on her back. Then she's truly beautiful!”
Doris Day, 1927-2004 American Actress
“I feel very sad for women who continue to purchase real fur coats. They are lacking in a woman’s most important requisites: heart and sensitivity.”
Jayne Meadows, 1920- American stage, film and television actress
“Who loves this terrible thing called War? Probably the meat-eaters, who having killed, feel the need to kill... The butcher with his bloody apron incites bloodshed, murder. Why not? From cutting the throat of a calf to cutting the throats of our brothers and sisters is but a step. While we are ourselves the living graves of murdered animals, how can we expect any ideal conditions on Earth?”
Isadora Duncan 1878-1927 American born dancer and creator of modern dance
“We don't eat anything that has to be killed for us. We've been through a lot and we've reached the stage where we really value life.”
Paul McCartney, 1942 –
“The way I feel about [eating meat] is, if you're going to kill someone's child and eat it, you might as well kill your own child and eat it. I mean, I'm a mother. I know. I have a pretty good idea of the kind of emotions that it would put me through to have somebody take my baby away from me. Now why, as even a remotely sensitive creature, would I wish to inflict that kind of suffering on any other creature - be it human or whatever?...”
“There's no way anyone who has humanity or any compassion can stand here and take a calf away from its mother and think that's all right.”
Chrissie Hynde, 1951- American singer, songwriter, guitarist and leader of The Pretenders
“I gave my beauty and youth to men. Now I am giving my wisdom and experience - the best of me - to animals.”
Brigitte Bardot, 1934- , French Actress
“Man is only a half-tame animal who has for centuries governed others by deceit, cruelty and violence.”
Sir Charles Spencer "Charlie" Chaplin, KBE 1889–1977 Comic actor and director of the silent film era and co-founder of United Artists
“I see shining fish struggling within tight nets, while I hear orioles singing carefree tunes. Even trivial creatures know the difference between freedom and bondage. Sympathy and compassion should be but natural to the human heart.”
Tu Fu, 712-770 CE
“Buy captive creatures and set them free. Hold fast to vegetarianism and abstain from taking life.”
“Whenever taking a step, always watch for ants and insects. Prohibit the building of fires outside (lest insects be killed) and do not set mountain woods or forests ablaze.”
“Help people in distress as you would help a fish in a dried-up rut.”
“Free people from danger as you would free a sparrow from a fine net.”
“Benefit living creatures and human beings.”
“Yin-chih-wen” Confucian-Taoist religio-ethical tract popular in the Middle Kingdom
“And if your heart is straight with God, then every creature shall be to you a mirror of life and a book of holy doctrine, for there is no creature so little or so vile, but shows and represents the goodness of God.”
Thomas a Kempis 1379-1471 Medieval monk; author of The Imitation of Christ
“Cruelty is the obvious cancer of modern civilization”
Rev. A. D. Beldon
“Why should man expect his prayer for mercy to be heard by what is above him when he shows no mercy to what is under him?”
Prince Pierre Troubetzkoy 1864-1936 Russian-born American painter
“In the shelter we recognize that animals have the same right to live as humans and that “thou shalt not kill” applies to all sentient creation. We realize that animals are truly a part of God’s creation even as we are and that they share the same life. We believe that all life comes from God and is therefore sacred, and that in killing life one kills a part of God. We do not believe that an animal has a human soul; perhaps it is wrong to say that an animal has a soul at all. Or a man, for that matter. Perhaps it would be correct to say animals and men are souls, souls embodied.”
Mother Cecilia Mary OSB
“Not to hurt our humble brethren (the animals) is our first duty to them, but to stop there is not enough. We have a higher mission - to be of service to them whenever they require it...”
“If you have men who will exclude any of God's creatures from the shelter of compassion and pity, you will have men who will deal likewise with their fellow men.”
Francis of Assisi 1182-1226
“Let the law of kindness show no limits. Show a loving consideration for all God's creatures.”
Religious Society of Friends (Quakers) General Advices, 1928
“The abuse of a harmless thing is the essence of sin.”
Aiden Wilson (A.W.) Tozer 1897- 1963 American pastor, preacher, author, magazine editor, speaker and spiritual mentor.
“Vivisection can only be defended by showing it to be right that one species should suffer in order that another species should be happier...”
“If we cut up beasts simply because they cannot prevent us and because we are backing our own side in the struggle for existence, it is only logical to cut up imbeciles, criminals, enemies or capitalists for the same reasons...”
“In justifying cruelty to animals we put ourselves also on the animal level. We choose the jungle and must abide by our choice.”
C. S. Lewis, British Novelist 1898 –1963
“We need to bring home to people that all cruel behaviour, whoever or whatever the victims, is the expression of a deep evil flaw in human nature, and that all who oppose and fight it, in whatever form, are crusading against a curse that could destroy us all.”
“Christians...who close their minds and hearts to the cause of animal welfare and the evil it seeks to combat are ignoring the fundamental spiritual teaching of Christ himself. They are also refusing the role in the world for which God gave us brains and our moral sense, to be God's agents to look after the world in the divine Spirit of wisdom and love. As we know, Christians like others are apt to justify leaving animal welfare aside on the ground that human needs are more urgent. We must hammer home that love is indivisible. It is not 'either-or', it is 'both-and', because a society that cannot find the moral energy to care about gross animal suffering and exploitation will do little better about human need.”
John Austin Baker Bishop of Salisbury 1928-1993
“I once heard it said — and the saying has haunted me ever since — that if animals believed in the devil he would look remarkably like a human being.”
The Lord Bishop of Manchester
“To make a sport of taking life, to do it for fun, to organize it into a form of collective enjoyment, is to fail to act responsibly and with a proper reverence for God's creation. It is to fall back into that bondage, into that predatory system of nature, from which the Christian hope has always been that not only man but the natural order itself is to be released and redeemed...”
“Hunting represents, in dramatic form and often in colourful dress, both man's lack of sensitivity to his real condition and his unwillingness seriously to try to lift the whole order of creation into a higher estate - an estate more noble, more divine.”
Edward Carpenter, 1910-1998 Dean of Westminster and ecclesiastical historian
“We have enslaved the rest of the animal creation, and have treated our distant cousins in fur and feather so badly that beyond doubt, if they were able to formulate a religion, they would depict the devil in human form.”
“Deliberate cruelty to our defenseless and beautiful little cousins is surely one of the meanest and most detestable vices of which a human being can be guilty.”
Dean William Ralph Inge 1860-1954 English author, Anglican priest, professor of divinity at Cambridge, and Dean of St Paul's Cathedral
“As a Bishop of the Church of God, I am ashamed to say that the Church as an organisation has never made any official pronouncement on the subject of the care and treatment of animals that I am able to find. I am more and more amazed as I have studied the matter to find that the Church has almost completely ignored the animal kingdom...”
“It is time, fully time, that all Christian people awake to the necessity of taking an active part in the fight against what I dare to call the Crime of Animal Cruelty. Everyone who loves God and animals should help bear the burden of the fight against this insidious evil.”
“The evil practice of vivisection is damnable in its effect on human character.”
Right Reverend John Chandler White 1867-1956 Bishop
“Cruelty to animals is as if humans did not love God.”
“Now what is it moves our very heart, and sickens us so much at the cruelty shown to poor brutes? I suppose this; first, that they have done us no harm; next, that they have no power whatever of resistance; it is cowardice and tyranny of which they are the victims which make their sufferings so especially touching... there is something so very dreadful, so Satanic in tormenting those who have never harmed us, and who cannot defend themselves, who are utterly in our power.”
The Venerable Cardinal John Henry Newman 1801-1890 Anglican, then Roman Catholic priest, cardinal and poet
“He who will not be merciful to his beasts is a beast himself. “
Thomas Fuller 1608–1661 English churchman and historian
"Pain is pain, whether it is inflicted on man or on beast; and the creature that suffers it, whether man or beast, being sensible of the misery of it whilst it lasts, suffers evil..."
“…a cruel Christian is a monster of ingratitude, a scandal to his profession and bears the name of Christ in vain…”
“Let no views of profit, no compliance with custom, and no fear of the ridicule of the world, ever tempt thee to the least act of cruelty or injustice to any creature whatsoever. But let this be your invariable rule, everywhere, and at all times, to do unto others as, in their condition, you would be done unto.”
"We may pretend to what religion we please, but cruelty is atheism. We may boast of Christianity; but cruelty is infidelity. We may trust our orthodoxy; but cruelty is the worst of heresies."
“The white man...can have no right, by virtue of his color, to enslave and tyrannize over a black man...For the same reason, a man can have no natural right to abuse and torment a beast.”
Dr. Humphrey Primatt Anglican (Episcopalian) Priest
“Cruelty to animals is the degrading attitude of paganism.”
Arthur Cardinal Hinsley 1865–1943 English prelate of the Roman Catholic Church and Archbishop of Westminster
“We must fight against the spirit of unconscious cruelty with which we treat the animals. Animals suffer as much as we do. True humanity does not allow us to impose such sufferings on them. It is our duty to make the whole world recognize it. Until he extends the circle of his compassion to all living things, man will not himself find peace.”
“Anyone who has accustomed himself to regard the life of any living creature as worthless, is in danger of arriving at the idea of worthless human lives.”
“The human spirit is not dead. It lives on in secret. It has come to believe that compassion, in which all ethics must take root, can only attain its full breadth and depth if it embraces all living creatures and does not limit itself to mankind.”
“A man is truly ethical only when he obeys the compulsion to help all life he is able to assist and shrinks from injuring anything that lives.”
“It is man's sympathy with all creatures that first makes him truly a man. At the same time the man who has become a thinking being feels a compulsion to give to every [individual with a] will-to-live the same reverence for life that he gives to his own. He experiences that other life in his own. He accepts as being good: to preserve life, to promote life, to raise to its highest value life which is capable of development; and as being evil: to destroy life, to injure life, to repress life which is capable of development.”
“Religion and philosophy have not insisted as much as they should on the fact that our kindness should include all living creatures.”
“The thinking man must oppose all cruel customs no matter how deeply rooted in tradition or surrounded by a halo...We need a boundless ethic which will also include the animals.”
“Any religion or philosophy which is not based on a respect for life is not a true religion or philosophy.”
“We must never allow the voice of humanity within us to be silenced. It is humanity's sympathy with all creatures that first makes us truly human.”
Albert Schweitzer 1875-1965 Theologian, philosopher & physician
“The great discovery of the 19th century, that we are of one blood with the lower animals, has created new ethical obligations which have not yet penetrated the public conscience. The clerical profession has been lamentably remiss in preaching this obvious duty.”
William Ralph Inge 1860-1954 Author, Anglican priest, professor of divinity at Cambridge and Dean of St Paul's Cathedral
“Animals are God's creatures, not human property, nor utilities, nor resources, nor commodities, but precious beings in God's sight.... Christians whose eyes are fixed on the awfulness of crucifixion are in a special position to understand the awfulness of innocent suffering. The Cross of Christ is God's absolute identification with the weak, the powerless, and the vulnerable, but most of all with unprotected, undefended, innocent suffering.”
Rev Professor Andrew Linzey, PhD, DD 1952-
“There is no beast on earth, nor fowl that flies, but the same are people like you, and to God they shall return.”
“Do you not see that it is God whose praises all beings in the heavens and on earth celebrate, and the birds of the air with wings outspread? Each one has its own (mode of) prayer and praise. And God knows well all that they do.”
The Sahih al-Bukhari “Ablutions”
“The Prophet said, ‘A man saw a dog eating mud from (the severity of) thirst. So, that man took a shoe (and filled it with) water for the dog until it quenched its thirst. Allah approved of his deed and allowed him to enter Paradise.”
The Sahih al-Bukhari, “Beginning of Creation”
“The philosophy behind vivisection, the sacrifice of creatures we regard as 'inferior' beings, differs little from that behind the concentration camp or the slave-trader.”
The Aga Khan 1933-2003 49th hereditary Imam of the Shia Imami Ismaili Muslims and direct descendant of Prophet Muhammad
“Auschwitz begins whenever someone looks at a slaughterhouse and thinks: they’re only animals.”
Theordor Adorno German-Jewish Philosopher 1903
“In the killing of animals there is cruelty, rage and the accustoming of oneself to the bad habit of shedding innocent blood.”
Rabbi Joseph Albo, Sephardic Philosopher 1380
“People often say that humans have always eaten animals, as if this is a justification for continuing the practice. According to this logic, we should not try to prevent people from murdering other people, since this has also been done since the earliest of times...”
“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'.”
“As long as human beings go on shedding the blood of animals, there will never be any peace.” (and) “There will be no justice as long as man will stand with a knife or with a gun and destroy those who are weaker than he is.”
“As long as people will shed the blood of innocent creatures there can be no peace, no liberty, no harmony between people. Slaughter and justice cannot dwell together.”
Isaac Bashevis Singer 1902-1991 Yiddish American author
“To insult someone we call him "bestial." For deliberate cruelty and nature, "human" might be the greater insult.”
Isaac Asimov 1920-1992 Russian-born American Jewish author of science fiction and professor of biochemistry
“The indifference, callousness and contempt that so many people exhibit toward animals is evil first because it results in great suffering in animals, and second because it results in an incalculably great impoverishment of the human spirit.”
Ashley Montague 1905-1999 (born Israel Ehrenberg) British-American anthropologist and humanist
“It should not be believed that all beings exist for the sake of the existence of man. On the contrary, all the other beings too have been intended for their own sakes and not for the sake of anything else.”
Moses Maimonides 1135-1204 Medieval Jewish philosopher
“Why is compassion not a part of our established curriculum, an inherent part of our education? Compassion, awe, wonder, curiosity, exaltation, humility - these are the very foundation of any real civilization, no longer the prerogatives of any one church, belonging to everyone, every child in every home, in every school.”
Yehudi Menuhin OM, KBE 1916-1999 American-born Jewish violin virtuoso and conductor
“All truth passes through three stages. First, it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as being self-evident...”
“The assumption that animals are without rights and the illusion that our treatment of them has no moral significance, is a positively outrageous example of Western crudity and barbarity. Universal compassion is the only guarantee of morality...”
“Boundless compassion for all living things is the surest and most certain guarantee of pure moral conduct. Whoever is filled with it will assuredly injure no one...”
“Compassion for animals is intimately connected with goodness of character; and it may be confidently asserted that he who is cruel to animals cannot be a good man.”
“The fact that Christian morality takes no thought for beasts is a defect in the system which is better admitted than perpetuated. ... Boundless compassion for all living beings is the surest and most certain guarantee of pure moral conduct.”
Arthur Schopenhauer German Philosopher (1788-1860)
“Nature has endowed man with a noble and excellent principle of compassion, which extends itself also to the dumb animals - whence this compassion has some resemblance to that of a prince towards his subjects.”
“,,,it is certain that the noblest souls are the most extensively compassionate...”
Francis Bacon, 1st Viscount Saint Alban, KC 1561-1626, philosopher, statesman, scientist, lawyer, jurist author and Attorney General and Lord Chancellor of England
“How do we know that we have a right to kill creatures that we are so little above, as dogs, for our curiosity or even for some use to us?”
“Perhaps that voice or cry so nearly resembling the human, with which providence has endowed so many different animals, might purposely be given them to move our pity, and prevent those cruelties we are too apt to inflict on our fellow-creatures.”
Alexander Pope 1688–1744 English poet and third most frequently quoted writer after Shakespeare and Tennyson
“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.”
Bertrand Russell 1872-1970 OM, FRS British philosopher, logician, mathematician, historian, socialist, pacifist, and social critic
“No humane being, past the thoughtless age of boyhood, will wantonly murder any creature which holds its life by the same tenure that he does.”
“The squirrel that you kill in jest dies in earnest.”
Henry David Thoreau (1817-62) American author, poet, historian & philosopher
“How pitiful, and what poverty of mind, to have said that the animals are machines deprived of understanding and feeling...”
“Judge the behavior of a dog who has lost his master, who has searched for him in the road barking miserably, who has come back to the house, restless and anxious, who has run upstairs and down, from room to room, and who has found the beloved master at last in his study, and then shown his joy by barks, bounds and caresses. There are some barbarians who will take this dog, that so greatly excels man in capacity for friendship, who will nail him to a table, and dissect him alive (to discover) the same organs of sensation you have in yourself.”
“People must have renounced, it seems to me, all natural intelligence to dare to advance that animals are but animated machines. It appears to me, besides, that [such people] can never have observed with attention the character of animals, not to have distinguished among them the different voices of need, of suffering, of joy, of pain, of love, of anger, and of all their affections. It would be very strange that they should express so well what they could not feel.”
Voltaire (François-Marie Arouet) 1694-1778 French Enlightenment writer and philosopher famous for his wit and advocacy of civil liberties, including freedom of religion and free trade
“If [man] is not to stifle human feelings, he must practice kindness toward animals, for he who is cruel to animals becomes hard also in his dealings with men. We can judge the heart of man by his treatment of animals.”
Immanuel Kant 1724-1804
“The tendency to cruelty should be watched in children and if they incline to any such cruelty, they should be taught the contrary usage. For the custom of tormenting and killing other animals will, by degrees, harden their hearts even toward man...”
“Children should from the beginning be brought up in an abhorrence of killing or tormenting living beings...And indeed, I think people from their cradles should be tender to all sensible creatures...”
“They who delight in the suffering and destruction of inferior creatures will not be apt to be very compassionate or benign to their own kind.”
John Locke 1632-1704 English philosopher and physician
“The animals you eat are not those who devour others; you do not eat the carnivorous beasts, you take them as your pattern. You only hunger for the sweet and gentle creatures which harm no one, which follow you, serve you, and are devoured by you as the reward of their service.”
“(If) I am obliged to do no harm to my fellow man, it is less because he is a rational being than because he is a sensitive being, since sensitivity is a quality which is common to man and beast and should at least give the beast the right not to be needlessly mistreated by the man.”
Jean-Jacques Rousseau, 1712-1778 Swiss author and composer of 18th-century Romanticism whose philosophy influenced the French and American Revolutions
“It was first was necessary to civilize man in relation to man. Now it is necessary to civilize man in relation to nature and the animals.”
“I believe that pity is a law like justice, and that kindness is a duty like uprightness. That which is weak has a right to the kindness and pity of that which is strong. In the relations of man with the animals...there is a great ethic, scarcely perceived as yet, which will at length break through into the light, and which will be the corollary and the complement to humans ethics. Are there not here unsounded depths for the thinker? Is one to think oneself mad because one has the sentiment of universal pity in one's heart?”
Victor Hugo, 1802-1885 French poet, playwright, novelist, essayist, visual artist, statesman & human rights activist
(While admiring fish in an aquarium)
“Now I can look at you in peace; I don't eat you anymore.”
Franz Kafka, 1883-1924 One of the most influential novelists of the 20th century
“Vegetable diet and sweet repose. Animal food and nightmare. Pluck your food from the orchard; do not snatch it from the shambles. Without a flesh diet there could be no blood shedding war.”
Louisa May Alcott 1832-1888 American novelist best known for “Little Women”
“There will come a day when such men as myself will view the slaughter of innocent creatures as horrible a crime as the murder of his fellow man - Our task must to be [to widen] our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature and its beauty.”
“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 (1879-1955) Theoretical Mathematician
“Man has the capacity to love, not just his own species, but life in all its shapes and forms. This empathy with all the interknit web of life is the highest spiritual expression I know.”
Loren Eiseley, 1907-1977 American anthropologist, natural science writer educator, philosopher and Benjamin Franklin Professor of Anthropology and History of Science at the University of Pennsylvania
“I've always felt you don't have to be completely detached, emotionally uninvolved to make precise observations. There's nothing wrong with feeling great empathy for your subjects.”
Dame Jane Goodall DBE 1934- British primatologist (the world's foremost expert on chimpanzees,) ethologist, anthropologist and UN Messenger of Peace
“It is an intolerable thought that these creatures, with all their capacity for devotion, affection, loyalty, and suffering should suffer total annihilation at death.”
“Animals, whom we have made our slaves, we do not like to consider our equals.”
Charles Darwin 1809-1882 English Naturalist
“Thus godlike sympathy grows and thrives and spreads far beyond the teachings of churches and schools, where too often the mean, blinding, loveless doctrine is taught that animals have no rights that we are bound to respect, and were only made for man, to be petted, spoiled, slaughtered or enslaved.”
John Muir 1838–1914 Scottish-born American naturalist, author, advocate for the American wilderness and founder of the Sierra Club
“...I had bought two male chimps from a primate colony in Holland. They lived next door to each other in separate cages for several months before I used one as a donor. When we put him to sleep in his cage in preparation for the operation, he chattered and cried incessantly. We attached no significance to this, but it must have made a great impression on his companion, for when we removed the body to the operating room, the other chimp wept bitterly and was inconsolable for days.”
Dr. Christiaan Barnard 1922-2001 South African cardiac surgeon known for the world's first successful human-to-human heart transplant.
“Though boys throw stones at frogs, the frogs do not die in sport, but in earnest.”
Wilfred Bion, DSO 1897-1979 British psychoanalyst
“We need another and a wiser and perhaps a more mystical concept of animals... We patronize them for their incompleteness, for their tragic fate of having taken a form so far below ourselves. And therein we err and err greatly. For the animal shall not be measured by man. In a world older and more complete than ours, they move 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.”
Henry Beston 1888-1968 Naturalist and author
“Perhaps the time has come to formulate a moral code which would govern our relations with the great creatures of the sea as well as those on dry land. That this will come to pass is our dearest wish.”
Jacques Cousteau 1910–1997 Marine biologist, ecologist, documentary filmmaker, photographer, author and researcher who developed the aqua-lung
“Environmentalists are increasingly preoccupied with the way in which we’re polluting the waters, laying waste the land, and corrupting the atmosphere, and these are all important issues. But there’s another crime that humanity is committing, and that’s breaking the animal contract, the contract that exists between ourselves and other animals, the contract that makes us partners in the sharing of the earth’s surface.”
Desmond Morris 1928- British zoologist and ethologist, surrealist painter, television presenter and popular author
“One does not meet oneself until one catches the reflection from an eye other than human.”
“Man has the capacity to love, not just his own species, but life in all its shapes and forms. This empathy with all the interknit web of life is the highest spiritual expression I know.”
“Let men beat men, if they will, but why do they have to beat and starve small things? Why? Why? I will never forget that dog’s eyes, nor the eyes of every starved mongrel I have fed from Curacao to Cuernavaca. Nor the drowning one I once fished out of an irrigation ditch in California, only to see him limp away with his ribs showing ... This is why I am a wanderer forever in the streets of men, a wanderer in mind, and, in these matters, a creature of desperate impulse.”
Loren Eiseley 1907–1977 an American anthropologist, educator, philosopher, natural science writer and Benjamin Franklin Professor of Anthropology and History of Science at the University of Pennsylvania
“Until we have the courage to recognize cruelty for what it is - whether its victim is human or animal - we cannot expect things to be much better in this world...”
“We cannot have peace among men whose hearts 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 1907–1964 American marine biologist and nature writer who advanced the global environmental movement
“In a lunch session in a slaughterhouse, a lamb jumped out of its pen and came unnoticed up to some slaughtermen who were sitting in a circle eating their sandwiches; the lamb approached and nibbled a small piece of lettuce that a man was holding in his hand. The men gave the lamb some more lettuce and when the lunch period was over they were so affected by the action of the lamb that not one of them was prepared to kill this creature, and it had to be sent away elsewhere — showing that within each human soul there is an element of pity, compassion and love in varying degrees. It is our duty to encourage the higher qualities in each individual to bloom and blossom wherever possible.”
Dr. Gordon Latto, 1911-1998 Medical Doctor and President of The Vegetarian Society
The British View
“The Queen has done all she could on the dreadful subject of vivisection, and hopes that Mr. Gladstone will speak strongly against a practice which is a disgrace to humanity and Christianity.”
Queen Victoria 1819-1901 in a letter to Prime Minister Gladstone
“True benevolence or compassion, extends itself through the whole of existence and sympathizes with the distress of every creature capable of sensation.”
Joseph Addison 1672-0000 Poet, Playwright & Member of Parliament
“The day may come when the rest of the animal creation may acquire those rights which could never have been withheld from them but by the hand of tyranny ...”
“...a full-grown horse or dog is beyond comparison a more rational, as well as a more conversable animal, than an infant of a day, or a week or even a month old. But suppose the case were otherwise, what would it avail? The question is not, can they reason? Nor, can they talk? But can they suffer? Why should the law refuse its protection to any sensitive being? The time will come when humanity will extend its mantle over everything which breathes...”
Jeremy Bentham 1748-1832 English jurist, philosopher, legal and social reformer, advocate of utilitarianism and animal rights
“People say: 'We have rights over animals. They are given to us for use.' You have no rights over them. You have duties towards them.”
Annie Besant 1847–1933 Prominent Theosophist, women's rights activist, writer and orator
“An individual animal doesn't care if its species is facing extinction - it cares if it is feeling pain.”
Ronnie Lee Founder of the Animal Liberation Front
“In neither the Old nor the New Testament...is there to be found that contemptuous attitude toward subhuman creatures which went with the humanism of the Renaissance. If man’s superior capacities confer on him a privileged position, privilege does not exempt him from responsibility: ‘A righteous man regardeth the life of his beast, but the tender mercies of the wicked are cruel.’ Proverbs 12:10
Major C.W. Hume, O.B.E., M.C., B.Sc., M.I. Biol., 1886-1981 Founder and Director-General of the Universities Federation for Animal Welfare (UFAW) of London
“It is not this bloodshed or that bloodshed that must cease, but all bloodshed — all wanton infliction of pain or death.”
“When we turn to the protection animals, we sometimes hear it said that we ought to protect men first and animals afterwards...By condoning cruelty to animals, we perpetuate the very spirit which condones cruelty to men.”
“I cannot see how there can be any real and full recognition of kinship as long as men continue either to cheat or to eat their fellow beings.”
Henry S. Salt, 1851-1939 English writer and campaigner for social reform and the treatment of animals; ethical vegetarian, anti-vivisectionist, socialist and pacifist, literary critic, biographer, classical scholar and naturalist
“Can there be one kind of justice for men and another for brutes? Is feeling in them a different thing to what it is in ourselves? Is not a beast produced by the same rule and in the same way as we ourselves? Is not his body nourished by the same food, hurt by the same injuries, his mind actuated by the same passions and affections which animate the human breast and does not he, also, at last, mingle his dust with ours and in like manner surrender up the vital spark? Is this spark or soul to perish because it chanced to belong to a beast? Is it to become annihilate? Tell me, learned philosophers, how that may possibly happen.”
John Lawrence 1753-1839 early modern writer on animal rights and welfare
“Women should be protected from anyone's exercise of unrighteous power... but then, so should every other living creature.”
George Eliot (Mary Anne Evans) 1819–1880 English novelist and a leading writer of the Victorian era
“The practice of kindness toward helpless creatures is a sign of development to the higher reaches of intelligence and sympathy. For, mark you, in every place there are those who are giving of their time and thought and to the work of protecting from cruelty and needless suffering the beasts of the field and streets. And you will invariably find that these people are among the most progressive and sympathetic and intelligent of a city’s populace. They are the leaders of every good work. These are the people who make the earth ... more like what God intended it should be.”
The Very Rev. George Laughton, CMG Scottish born Presbyterian Bishop who spent his life among the Maori people of New Zealand
“It were much better that a sentient being should never have existed, than that it should have existed only to endure unmitigated misery...I wish no living thing to suffer pain.”
“I address myself not to the young enthusiast only, but to the ardent devotee of truth and virtue - the pure and passionate moralist yet unvitiated by the contagion of the world. He will embrace a pure system from its abstract truth, its beauty, its simplicity, and its promise of wide extended benefit. Unless custom has turned poison into food, he will hate the brutal pleasures of the chase by instinct. It will be a contemplation full of horror and disappointment to the mind that beings, capable of the gentlest and most admirable sympathies, should take delight in the death pangs and last convulsions of dying animals.”
Percy Bysshe Shelley Poet 1792-1822
“True benevolence, or compassion, extends itself through the whole of existence and sympathises with the distress of every creature capable of sensation.”
Joseph Addison 1672 –1719 Essayist, poet, playwright & politician
“When the last great whale is slaughtered, as it surely will be, the whales' suffering will be over. This is not the whales' loss, but humanity's. I am not concerned about the wiping out of a species - this is man's folly - I have only one concern, the suffering which we deliberately inflict upon animals whilst they live.”
Clive Hollands, OBE Animal Rights Campaigner 1929-1996
“The awful wrongs and sufferings forced upon the innocent, faithful animal race, form the blackest chapter in the whole world's history.”
Edward Augustus Freeman English historian 1823–1892
“We love animals, we watch them with delight, we study their habits with ever-increasing curiosity; and we destroy them. We have sacrificed them to the gods; we have killed them in arenas in order to enjoy a cruel excitement, we still hunt them, and we slaughter them by the million out of greed ...The overwhelming majority eat their kinsmen without a thought. They do not think of the stockyards and slaughterhouses which, in most places, are kept decently out of sight. They look with rapture at the new-born lambs without considering why in the end they are there.”
Lord (Kenneth) Clark, OM, CH, KCB, FBA 1903-1983 British author, museum director, broadcaster and art historian
“It is a sobering thought that animals could do without man, yet man would find it almost impossible to do without animals.”
Ruth Harrison, OBE 1920-2000 Animal welfare activist and author
“The wretched have no compassion.”
Samuel Johnson 1709-1784 Author, poet, essayist, moralist, literary critic, biographer, editor & lexicographer.
“The brute animals have all the same sensations of pain as human beings, and consequently endure as much pain when their body is hurt; but in their case the cruelty of torment is greater, because they have no mind to bear them up against their sufferings and no hope to look forward to when enduring the last extreme pain.”
Thomas Chalmers 1780-1847 Mathematician, political economist and leader of the Free Church of Scotland
“Animals are our younger brothers and sisters, also on the ladder of evolution but a few rungs lower. It is an important part of our responsibilities to help them in their ascent, and not to retard their development by cruel exploitation of their helplessness.”
Air-Chief Marshal Lord Dowding 1882 – 1970 Commander, RAF Fighter Command during the Battle of Britain
“Wild animals never kill for sport. Man is the only one to whom the torture and death of his fellow creatures is amusing in itself.”
James A. Froude 1818-1894 Historian, novelist, biographer and editor
“There is no religion without love, and people may talk as much as they like about their religion, but if it does not teach them to be good and kind to other animals as well as humans, it is all a sham.”
”My doctrine in this, that if we see cruelty or wrong that we have the power to stop, and do nothing, we make ourselves sharers in the guilt.”
“We call them dumb animals, and so they are, for they cannot tell us how they feel, but they do not suffer less because they have no words.”
“I must say...that more unmanly, brutal treatment of a little pony it was never my painful lot to witness; and by giving way to such passion, you injure your own character as much, nay more, than you injure your horse, and remember, we shall all have to be judged according to our works, whether they be towards man or towards beast.”
Anna Sewell, 1820-1878 Novelist best known for “Black Beauty”
“...ecclesiastical teaching has kept humanity from evolving to a more harmless species. By entirely ignoring the necessity for compassion, and quoting certain discreditable utterances ascribed to Jehovah in the Old Testament, it has been possible to argue that flesh-eating is morally right and according to the will of God.”
Esmé Wynne-Tyson 1898-1972 Actress, author, journalist and close friend of Noël Coward
“The old assumption that animals acted exclusively by instinct, while man had a monopoly of reason, is, we think, maintained by few people nowadays who have any knowledge at all about animals. We can only wonder that so absurd a theory could have been held for so long a time as it was, when on all sides the evidence if animals' power of reasoning is crushing.”
“Let us not think that [vegetarianism] is the end in itself. It is a means only to an end, and we must not be content to be vegetarians only. The end is the civilisation of the universal feeling of brotherhood, on which it rests, not towards animals only, but towards all men . . . our treatment of our fellow-humans is largely reflected from our behaviour towards the sub-human races. As long as our ethics in this matter are based on barbaric cruelty and selfish tyranny it will forever be well-nigh impossible to attain a high and just social morality.”
“The man who is described as behaving ‘like a beast’ would often in his behaviour be a disgrace to any known animal.”
Ernest Bell, M.A. 1851-1933 President, The Vegetarian Society of Manchester
“We consume the carcasses of creatures of like appetites, passions and organs with our own, and fill the slaughterhouses daily with screams of pain and fear.”
“Nothing more strongly arouses our disgust than cannibalism, yet we make the same impression on Buddhists and vegetarians, for we feed on babies, though not of our own.”
Robert Louis Stevenson, 1850-1894 Scottish novelist (“Treasure Island”) poet, essayist and travel writer
“Public support of vivisection is founded almost wholly on the assurances of the vivisectors that great public benefits may be expected from the practice. Not for a moment do I suggest that such a defence would be valid even if proved. But when the witnesses begin by alleging that in the cause of science all the customary ethical obligations (which include the obligation to tell the truth) are suspended, what weight can any reasonable person give to their testimony? I would rather swear fifty lies than take an animal which had licked my hand in good fellowship and torture it. If I did torture the dog, I should certainly not have the face to turn round and ask how any person dare suspect an honourable man like myself of telling lies. Most sensible and humane people would, I hope, flatly reply that honourable men do not behave dishonourably even to dogs.”
“The worst sin toward our fellow creatures is not to hate them, but to be indifferent to them. That's the essence of inhumanity.”
“While we ourselves are the living graves of murdered beasts, how can we expect any ideal conditions on this earth?”
George Bernard Shaw 1856-1950 Irish playwright; co-founder of the London School of Economics; Oscar and Nobel prize winner
The Hindu View
“Which religion gives the greatest joy to God? That which inspires human beings to practise Ahimsa (harmlessness) and compassion to all creatures.”
Sri Vallabhacharya Indian Philosopher (1479–1531)
“...the greatest progress of righteousness among men comes from the exhortation in favour of non-injury to life and abstention from killing all living beings.”
Asoka King of India 273 CE
“Animal experimentation is the blackest of all the black crimes that a man is at present committing...”
“We should be able to refuse to live if the price of living be the torture of sentient beings...”
“The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.”
“To my mind the life of a lamb is no less precious than that of a human being. I should be unwilling to take a life of a lamb for the sake of the human body. I hold that the more helpless a creature, the more entitled it is to protection by man from the cruelty of man.”
Mahatma Gandhi (1869-1948) Indian nationalist and spiritual leader
“No nation is truly free until the animal, man's younger brother is free and happy.”
T. L. Vaswani 1918-1966 Indian Sadhu (Holy Man)
“Life is life - whether in a cat, or dog or man. There is no difference between a cat or a man. The idea of difference is a human conception for man's own advantage...”
Sri Aurobindo 1872–1950 Indian nationalist, poet, philosopher and yogi
“Compassion is divine. Cruelty is unspiritual. The human body, which is the moving temple of the Living God enshrined, is not meant to be made into the fleshy graveyard of slaughtered animals, creatures who are the dumb, harmless and innocent brethren of mankind, mutely trusting man, their “superior” keeper.”
Swami Chidananda Saraswati Yogi and spiritual leader 1916-2008
The Jain Opinion
“He who harms animals has not understood or renounced evil...”
The Acharanga Sutra
“Harmlessness is the only religion.”
The Russian View
“Not long ago I also had a talk with a retired soldier, a butcher, and he too was surprised by my assertion that it was a pity to kill, and he said the usual things about its being ordained; but afterwards he agreed with me: 'Especially when they are quiet, tame cattle. They come, poor things, trusting you. It is very pitiful.'
This is dreadful! Not the suffering and death of the animals, but that man suppresses in himself, unnecessarily, the highest spiritual capacity - that of sympathy and pity toward living creatures like himself - and by violating his own feelings he becomes cruel. And how deeply seated in the human heart is the injunction not to take life! But by the assertion that God ordained the slaughter of animals, and above all as a result of habit, people entirely lose their natural feeling.”
“If a man aspires to a righteous life, his first act of abstinence is from injury to animals.”
“A man can live and be healthy without killing animals for food; therefore, if he eats meat, he participates in taking animal life merely for the sake of his appetites. And to act so is immoral.”
Count Leo Nikolayevich Tolstoy 1828-1910
“Out of 135 criminals, including robbers and rapists, 118 admitted that when they were children they burned, hanged and stabbed domestic animals.”
Ogonyok Magazine, 1979
“Violence over men, over animals, over life under all forms, cannot be justified or accepted.”
Svetlana Alliluyeva, 1926- Daughter of Joseph Stalin
Unknown Individuals Quoted Elsewhere
“Yes, we who love God believe that our animals survive the grave. The poor and sorrowing and suffering victims of man’s cruelties are entitled to an eternal recompense in the Great Beyond. And god in His mercy will see to it that they get justice at long last last!”
Eugene Bertram Willard
“The basis of all animal rights should be the Golden Rule: we should treat them as we would wish them to treat us, were any other species in our dominant position.”
“There is more real religion in the man or woman who feeds a hungry animal than in the miser who builds a church and prays in it.”
“I have seen with an infinite sad disquietude the souls of animals appear in the depths of their eyes suddenly, as sad as a human soul; and search for my soul with tenderness, supplication and terror — and I have felt a deeper pity for the souls of animals than I have for those of my brothers, because they were without speech and incapable of coming forth from their semi-night.”
Pierre Lori (Lorillard?)
“A man’s religion is a failure if it has not taught him kindness.”
“You can easily judge the character of a man by how he treats those who can do nothing for min.
James D. Miles
“The basis of all animal rights should be the Golden Rule: we should treat them as we would wish them to treat us, were any other species in our dominant position.”
“Animals are every day perishing under the hands of barbarity, without notice, without mercy, famished as if hunger was no evil, mauled as if they had no sense of pain, and hurried about incessantly from day to day, as if excessive toil was no plague, or extreme weariness was no degree of suffering ... the obligation [to be kind and merciful to animals] remains the same whether they have souls or not. Their status as respects a future life does not annihilate suffering and pain. Pain is pain; it makes no difference whether in an animal, a man, or as endured by the Son of God.”
Dr. E.D. Buckner 1843-1907
It is ridiculous to expect that an experimenter who commits acts of diabolical cruelty for the sake of what he calls science can be trusted to tell the truth about the results...any fool can vivisect and gain kudos by writing a paper describing what happened: the laboratories are infested with kudos hunters who have nothing to tell...Vivisectors crowd humane research workers out of the schools and discredit them, they use up all the available endowments and bequests, leaving nothing for serious research.
If a group of beings from another planet were to land on Earth - beings who considered themselves as superior to you as you feel yourself to be to other animals - would you concede them the rights over you that you assume over other animals?...
Atrocities are no less atrocities when they occur in laboratories and are called medical research...
It has been said that man is a rational animal. All my life I have been searching for evidence which could support this...
[O]nce grant the ethics of the vivisectionists and you not only sanction the experiment on the human subject, but make it the first duty of the vivisector. If a guinea pig may be sacrificed for the sake of the very little that can learnt from it, shall not a man be sacrificed for the sake of the great deal that can be learnt from him?...
You do not settle whether an experiment is justified or not by merely showing that it is of some use. The distinction is not between useful and useless experiments, but between barbarous and civilized behavior. Vivisection is a social evil because if it advances human knowledge, it does so at the expense of human character.
George Bernard Shaw (1856-1950)
During my medical education at the University of Basel I found [animal] experimentation horrible, barbarous, and above all unnecessary.
Carl G. Jung (1875-1961)
It is the rarest thing in the world to hear a rational discussion of vivisection. Those who disapprove of it are commonly accused of 'sentimentality', and very often their arguments justify the accusation. They paint pictures of pretty little dogs on dissecting tables. But the other side lie open to exactly the same charge. They also often defend the practice by drawing pictures of suffering women and children whose pain can be relieved (we are assured) only by the fruits of vivisection...
Now vivisection can only be defended by showing it to be right that one species should suffer in order that another species should be happier...
The victory of vivisection marks a great advance in the triumph of ruthless, non-moral utilitarianism over the old world of ethical law; a triumph in which we, as well as animals, are already the victims, and of which Dachau and Hiroshima mark the more recent achievements...
You will notice I have spent no time in discussing what actually goes on in the laboratories. We shall be told, of course, that there is surprisingly little cruelty. That is a question with which, at present, I have nothing to do. We must first decide what should be allowed: after that it is for the police to discover what is already being done.
C. S. Lewis (1898-1963) , 'Vivisection', God in the Dock, ed. Walter Hooper (Grand Rapids, MI: William B. Eerdmans, 1970), pp.224,225,228
Let none count themselves wise who have not with the nerves of their imagination felt the pain of the vivisected.
John Cowper Powys (1872-1963)
This wild blood-lust, starting with animal vivisection and proceeding to human mutilation, stamps 'modern medicine' as the most primitive religion ever known to mankind.
Professor Robert Mendelsohn (foreword to Slaughter of the Innocents)
The awful wrongs and sufferings forced upon the innocent, faithful animal race, form the blackest chapter in the whole world's history.
Edward Augustus Freeman 1823 – 1892) English historian
I am of the opinion that not one of those experiments on animals was justified or necessary...I witnessed many harsh sights, but I think the saddest was when the dogs were brought up from the cellar to the laboratory. Instead of appearing pleased with the change from darkness to light, they seemed seized with horror as soon as they smelt the air of the place, apparently divining their approaching fate...
Hundreds of times I have seen when an animal writhed in pain, it would receive a slap, and an angry order to be quiet and behave itself...To this recital I need hardly add that, having drunk the cup to the dregs, I cry off, and am prepared to see not only science, but even mankind, perish rather than have recourse to such means of saving it.
Dr. George Hoggan (assistant to vivisector Claude Bernard)
Their very weakness and inability to protest demands that man should refrain from torturing animals for the mere possibility of obtaining some knowledge.
Luther Burbank (1849-1926)
We use a method [vivisection] which continues to lead to terrible mistakes, which kills thousands of people and which contributes to our environmental problems...none of which can be predicted under animal laboratory conditions. I have had talks with many doctors and scientists, who are perfectly convinced that animal testing is dangerous, not only for the animals, but also, and most of all, for us, human beings...
Dr. Madeleine Petrovic, Dr at Law, Austria, Chairwoman Austrian Green Party in Parliament, Vice-President, DLRM. DBAE Scientific Congress, May 1995
Anything that can feel pain should not be put to pain.
R. M. Dolgin
I am sometimes asked 'Why do you spent so much of your time and money talking about kindness to animals when there is so much cruelty to men?' I answer: 'I am working at the roots.'
History has shown that in the long run all dictators fail; and also for the dictatorial empire of the pharmaceutical speculation, built on the sufferings of animals needlessly tortured in the laboratories and on the sufferings of human beings, victims of iatrogenic (medically-induced) diseases, the day of redde rationem (final reckoning) is bound to come.
Giornale d'Italie, 20 February 1983
Cruelty has cursed the human family for countless ages. It is almost impossible for one to be cruel to animals and kind to humans. If children are permitted to be cruel to their pets and other animals, they easily learn to get the same pleasure from the misery of fellow-humans. Such tendencies can easily lead to crime.
Fred A. McGrand
I cannot significantly improve on the assertion that it simply is proper for us, as intelligent members of the universe, to try to look after our fellow creatures, and evil for us to do otherwise.
There can be no justification for causing suffering to animals simply to serve mans' pleasure or simply to enhance mans' lifestyle.
The Dean of York
Can one regard a fellow creature as a property item, an investment, a piece of meat, an 'it,' without degenerating into cruelty towards that creature?
Karen Davis, PhD.
Because one species is more clever than another, does it give it the right to imprison or torture the less clever species? Does one exceptionally clever individual have a right to exploit the less clever individuals of his own species? To say that he does is to say with the Fascists that the strong have a right to abuse and exploit the weak - might is right, and the strong and ruthless shall inherit the earth.
Take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented.
A universe is, indeed, to be pitied whose dominating inhabitants are so unconscious and so ethically embryonic that they make life a commodity, mercy a disease, and systematic massacre a pastime and a profession.
Professor J. Howard Moore
One determined person can make a significant difference, and a small group of determined people can change the course of history.
Whatever your work or life circumstances may be, the power to make a positive difference for others, be they two-legged or four-legged, resides within us all.
It is an important and popular fact that things are not always what they seem.
For instance, on the planet Earth, man had always assumed that he was more intelligent than dolphins because he had achieved so much - the wheel, New York, war and so on - whilst all the dolphins had ever done is muck about in the water having a good time.
But conversely, the dolphins had always believed that they were far more intelligent than man - for precisely the same reasons.
Douglas Adams (Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy)
Animals do feel like us, also joy, love, fear and pain but they cannot grasp the spoken word. It is our obligation to take their part and continue to resist the people who profit by them, who slaughter them and who torture them.
Denis De Roughement
What I think about vivisection is that if people admit that they have the right to take or endanger the life of living beings for the benefit of many, there will be no limit for their cruelty... Man by violating his own feelings becomes cruel. And how deeply seated in the human heart is the injunction not to take life.
Leo Tolstoy (1828-1910)
We must develop a better sense of responsibilty towards our total environment...this better sense cannot any longer exclude from revision the staples of our diet. The case against vivisection is the same as that against war and all other forms of cruelty - that violence does not produce long-term solutions...the only argument against vivisection that will be seen to have lasting power - that we do not improve human society by means that debase human character.
Jon Wynne-Tyson (1924- )
If one person is unkind to an animal it is considered to be cruelty, but where a lot of people are unkind to 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.
Ruth Harrison (Animal Machines)
They administered beatings to dogs with perfect indifference, and made fun of those who pitied the creatures as if they felt pain. They said the animals were [like] clocks; that the cries they made when struck, were only the noise of a string pulled, and the whole body was without feeling. They nailed poor animals up to boards by their four paws to vivisect them.
Nicholas Fontaine Memoirs pour servir a l'histoire de Port- Royal, 1738
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 dealing of [humans] with the animal world. In each of these cases, a standard is formed, different from that of the preceding stage, but in each case, the same tendency is recognized as a virtue.
Lecky, European Morals
When animal experimentation is criticised, students, teachers and researchers alike fall back on the two most common justifications: (1)experimentation on live animals is necessary to human welfare, and (2)researchers follow strict guidelines that minimize animal suffering. But what is 'human welfare'? Better poisons, better chemicals, better cosmetics, better drugs, better behaviour, better brains, better genes? Acceptable levels of unacceptable carcinogenic materials that have invaded everyone's home?...Making babies in petri dishes? Clones? Human hybrids? Genetically engineered lifeforms? Millions of animals suffer and are killed each year for all this 'welfare'.
As far as 'guidelines' are concerned, the very fact these are needed indicates that researchers are unable to determine the limits of humane treatment and regulate themselves accordingly. Ultimately, the desecrator of animal life ends up desecrating all life including his own, because he reduces life to discrete mechanisms of measurable quantity.
Andree Collard with Joyce Contrucci, Rape of the Wild (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1989), pp.68.70
Once one allows that animals are part of the moral community...then one's act of inflicting pain and suffering upon them or killing them must be justified...
In my view pain is pain, as much evil for an animal as for a human, and I agree with animal liberationists that it is a form of speciesism or discrimination to pretend otherwise.
R. Frey, 'The ethics of the search for benefits: Experimentation in medicine', in Principles of Health Care Ethics, ed. by R. Gillon (Chichester: John Wiley, 1994), pp.1068-69
[Animals are] those unfortunate slaves and victims of the most brutal part of mankind.
John Stuart Mill. 1868
First it was necessary to civilize man in relation to man. Now it is necessary to civilize man in relation to nature and the animals.
Victor Hugo (1802-1885)
Animal experiments have an extremely important role in underpinning, facilitating and justifying the machinery of progress with which we are working on our own annihilation.
Rudolf Bahro, Building the Green Movement (Philadelphia: NSP, 1986), p.202.
For too long we have occupied ourselves with responding to the consequences of cruelty and abuse and have neglected the important task of building up an ethical system in which justice for animals is regarded as the norm rather than the exception. Our only hope is to put our focus on the education of the young.
John Hoyt (1932-).
The well-taught philosophic mind to all compassion gives; casts round the world an equal eye and feels for all that lives.
Anna Barbauld (1743-1825)
Man is an animal easily conditioned by almost anything. We must not allow our finer sensibilities to become blunted regarding animal suffering.
Pamela Hansford Johnson
To us it seems incredible that the Greek philosophers should have scanned so deeply into right and wrong and yet never noticed the immorality of slavery. Perhaps 3000 years from now it will seem incredible that we do not notice the immorality of our own oppression of animals....
'Sentimentalist' is the abuse with which people counter the accusation that they are cruel, thereby implying that to be sentimental is worse than to be cruel, which it isn't...
I don`t hold animals superior or even equal to humans. The whole case for behaving decently to animals rests on the fact that we are the superior species. We are the species uniquely capable of imagination, rationality, and moral choice - and that is precisely why we are under an obligation to recognize and respect the rights of animals.
Brigid Brophy (1929-)
Charity is indivisible. If a man resents practical sympathy being bestowed on animals on the ground that all ought to be reserved for the species to which he himself happens to belong, he must have a mind the size of a pin's head.
C.W. Hume (1886-1981)
Nothing cruel is useful or expedient.
Marcus Tullius Cicero (106-43 BCE)
All breathing, existing, living, sentient creatures should not be slain or treated with violence, nor abused, nor tormented, nor driven away. This is the pure unchangeable law.
Mahavira (ca. 599-527 BCE)
Cruelty to animals is one of the most significant vices of a low and ignoble people. Whenever one notices them, they constitute a sure sign of ignorance and brutality which cannot be painted over by all the evidences of wealth and luxury. Cruelty to animals cannot exist together with true education and true learning.
Alexander von Humboldt (1769-1859)
Man by violating his own feelings becomes cruel. And how deeply seated in the human heart is the injunction not to take life.
[The day should come when] all of the forms of life...will stand before the court - the pileated woodpecker as well as the coyote and bear, the lemmings as well as the trout in the streams.
William O. Douglas, late U.S. Supreme Court Justice
Is there any reason why we should be allowed to torment the[se animals]? Not any that I can see. Are there any why we should not be allowed to torment them. Yes several...
The day may come when the rest of the animal creation may acquire those rights which never could have been witholden from them but by the hand of tyranny. The French have already discovered that the blackness of the skin is no reason why a human being should be abandoned without redress to the caprice of a tormentor.
It may one day come to be recognized that the number of the legs, the villosity of the skin...are reasons equally insufficient for abandoning a sensitive being to the same fate. What else is it that should trace the insuperable line? Is it the faculty of reason? Or perhaps the faculty of discourse? But a full-grown horse or dog is beyond comparison a more rational, as well as a more conversable animal, than an infant of a day, or a week, or even a month, old.
But suppose they were otherwise, what should it avail? The question is not, Can they reason? nor Can they talk?, but Can they suffer?
Jeremy Bentham (1748-1832), Introduction to the Principles of Morals and of Legislation, org. 1789 (New York: Hafner, 1948), ch.17
The wild cruel beast is not behind the bars of the cage.
He is in front of it.
Mercy to animals means mercy to mankind.
Animal life, sombre mystery! Immense world of thoughts and dumb sufferings! All nature protests against the barbarity of man, who misapprehends, who humiliates, who tortures his inferior brethren.
Michelet (La Bible de L'humanite)
Animal experimentation based on a hierarchy is absurd. All animals have the ability to suffer, whether we are willing to accept it or not.
Mankind's true moral test, its fundamental test (which lies deeply buried from view), consists of its attitude towards 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.
Milan Kundera (The Unbearable Lightness of Being)
The fate of animals is of greater importance to me than the fear of appearing ridiculous: it is indissolubly connected with the fate of men.
For the animals shall not be measured by man. In a world older and more complete than ours, they move 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 assert [the behaviour of animals]...proceed from a reasoning, that is not in itself different, nor founded on different principles, from that which appears in human nature.
David Hume (1711-1776)
Humanity's true moral test, its fundamental test, consists of its attitude towards those who are at its mercy: animals. and in this respect humankind has suffered a fundamental debacle, a debacle so fundamental that all others stem from it.
Milan Kundera, The Unbearable Lightness of Being
The animals of the world exist for their own reasons. They were not made for humans any more than black people were made for white, or women created for men.
Alice Walker, The Color Purple
Compassion for the suffering of others is not weakness. Acting from compassion when those around you do not takes more courage and strength of character than going along with everyone else's cruelty.
Norm Phelps, Fund for Animals
We must infer like faculties...and we must consequently confess that the same reason, the same methods, that we employ in working are also employed by animals (if not some other and better ones)...
We condemn everything that appears strange to us and which we do not understand; and we do the same in our judgement of the animals...
Natures that are bloodthirsty towards animals show a propensity towards cruelty...Nature I fear, implants in men some instinct towards inhumanity....
We owe justice to men, and kindness and benovolence to all other creatures who may be susceptible of it.
Michel E. de Montaigne (1533-1592), Essays (London: Penguin, 1958)
Compassion is a necessary outcome of social life. But compassion also means a considerable step in general intelligence and sensibility. It is the first step towards the development of higher moral sentiments. It is, in turn, a powerful factor of further evolution.
P. Kropotkin (1842-1921)
The principle of domination has become the idol to which everything is sacrificed. The history of man's efforts to subjugate nature is also the history of man's subjugation by man.
Max Horkheimer (1895-1973)
An animal [is] no less sensible of pain than a man. He has similar nerves and organs of sensation; and his cries and groans, in case of violent impressions upon his body, though he cannot utter his complaints by speech, or human voice, are as strong indications to us of his sensibility of pain, as the cries and goans of a human being, whose language we do not understand...
A man can have no right to abuse and torment a beast.
Humphry Primatt (c. 1742)
Every act of injustice arises from the blind and criminal selfishness of the human heart; to this we look, as the cause of that unfeeling disposition, together with all those acts of injustice and cruelty which are spent on...animals.
Herman Daggett (1766-1832)
The animals, you say, were 'sent' for man's free use and nutriment. Pray, then, inform me...why came they ions before man did, to spend long centuries on earth awaiting their devourer's birth?... Have the lower animals 'rights'? Undoubtedly - if men have...
It is an entire mistake to suppose that the rights of animals are in any way antagonistic to the rights of men.
Henry S. Salt (1851-1939)
The deeper minds of all ages have had pity for animals.
Friedrich Nietzsche (1844-1900)
A strange lot this, to be dropped down in a world of barbarians — men who see clearly the barbarity of all ages except their own.
Ernest Crosby, 1856-1907 The Soul of the World
The world as a whole is at war with the animal kingdom. The aftermath of inter-kingdom war is inter-human war; and let us clearly realize that war never ends war, that no League of Nations can ever end war, no treaties, no pacts, no agreements of any kind. The only way to end war is to determine that there shall be no war anywhere, for war anywhere means, sooner or later, war everywhere.
George S. Arundale, 1878-1945 Peace and War
Men show their superiority outside, animals inside.
I read how one boy, for whom a minister had secured a place in the slaughterhouse, returned home day after day pale and sick and unable to eat or sleep, and finally came to that minister of the gospel of the compassionate Christ and told him that he was willing to starve if necessary, but that he could not wade in blood another day.
...The horrors of the slaughter had so affected him that he could no longer sleep yet this is what many a boy is doing and seeing from day to day until he becomes hardened to the taking of life; and then some day, instead of cutting the throat of a lamb or a pig, he kills a man, and straightaway we turn our lust for slaughter upon him in turn, and think that we have done justice.
C.W. Leadbeater, 1847-1934 Vegetarianism and Occultism
We are the most wonderful people in all the jungle; we all say so and so it must be true.
Rudyard Kipling, 1865-1936 The Jungle Book
It often happens that the universal belief of one age, a belief from which no one was free or could be free without an extraordinary effort of genius or courage, becomes to a subsequent age so palpable an absurdity that the only difficulty is to imagine how such an idea could ever have appeared credible.
John Stuart Mill, 1806-1873
It is just as wrong to kill an animal as it is to kill a human being, and only human chauvinism, speciesism and the inordinately high opinion the human race has of itself prevents it from accepting this simple fact.
Charles B. Edelman
The cruel wild beast is not behind the bars of the cage. He stands in front of it.
Axel Munthe, 1857-1949
We cannot dismiss our emotions and the rest of our nonintellectual nature, along with the body and the earth it is fitted for, as alien, contingent stuff. Our dignity arises within nature, not against it.
Mary Midgley, 1919- Beast and Man
A universe is, indeed, to be pitied whose dominating inhabitants are so unconscious and so ethically embryonic that they make life a commodity, mercy a disease and systematic massacre a pastime and a profession.
Professor J. Howard Moore, 1862-1916 Better World Philosophy
Man is not the pedestalled individual pictured by his imagination — a being glittering with prerogatives, and towering apart from and above all other beings. He is a pain-shunning, pleasure-seeking, death-dreading organism, differing in particulars, but not in kind, from the pain-shunning, pleasure-seeking, death-dreading organisms below and around him.
Professor J. Howard Moore, 1862-1916 The Universal Kinship
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: the animals.
The fate of animals is of greater importance to me than the fear of appearing ridiculous; it is indissolubly connected with the fate of men.
Emile Zola, 1840-1902 Correspondence
Edible, good to eat and wholesome to digest, as a pig to a man, a man to a worm.
Ambrose Bierce, 1842-?1914 The Devil’s Dictionary
We know more about killing than we know about living. Ours is a world of nuclear giants and ethical infants.
General Omar Nelson Bradley, 1893-1981
For fidelity, devotion, love, many a two-legged animal is below the dog and the horse. Happy would it be for thousands of people if they could stand at last before the Judgment Seat and say “I have loved as truly and I have lived as decently as my dog.” And yet we call them only “brutes.”
Henry Ward Beecher, 1813-1887 in The Clergy Speak for Animals
Animals have five senses and man six. The intelligent mental man must treat plants and animals with tender love and compassion. Man as the most evolved soul, as the paragon of living beings, is obliged to practice non-violence in thought, word and deed ... The man who kills screaming life for food is dead to mercy and compassion ... Nature gives man clean sweet vegetables; but refined man cuts the throats of crying animals and gluts his stomach. His heart becomes hard and the hand that cuts animals cuts tomorrow the throats of brother men in the battlefield. If war must stop in the world, blood-soaked food must stop and men must become vegetarians.
Kavi Yogi Maharshi Shuddhananda Bharat
We have a moral responsibility. How well this responsibility is met could very well determine the outcome of our civilization. So long as there is violence and cruelty to animals, so long will we be steeped in violence and cruelty to mankind. The manner in which we treat animals is a good indication of the moral character of our society.
C. Richard Calore
If an animal does something we call it instinct; if we do the same thing for the same reason, we call it intelligence.
Will Cuppy, 1884-1949 National Enquirer, 1/27/81
Failure to recognize our responsibilities to the animal kingdom is the cause of many of the calamities which now beset the nations of the world. We shall never attain to true peace until we recognize the place of animals in the scheme of things and treat them accordingly.
Air Chief Marshal Lord Dowding, 1882-1970 House of Lords, 7/18/57
Civilization is another word for respect for life.
Elizabeth Goudge, 1900-1984 The Joy of the Snow
How can one be happy while a single living being on earth still suffers?
Gustav Mahler, 1860-1911 The Moral Basis of Vegetarianism
The greatest miracle of evolution is man’s moral sense, his pity, his justice, his gentleness.
John Cowper Powys, 1872-1963 The Enjoyment of Literature
There has never been a killing like it. We’ve killed hundreds of thousands of wolves, sometimes with cause, sometimes with none. In the end, I think we are going to have to go back and look at the stories we made up when we had no reason to kill, and find some way to look the animal in the face again.
Barry Lopez Of Wolves and Men
The picadors had taken up their places and the bull had come snorting out into the arena. The skinny horses, nostrils wide with terror, had wheeled in the sunlight as their riders forced them to meet their enemy. The first lance flashed — made contact — and at that moment came a sound that had never been heard on earth before. It was the sound of 10,000 people screaming with the pain of the same wound — ten thousand people who, when they had recovered from the shock, found themselves completely unharmed. But that was the end of that bullfight, and indeed of all bullfighting.
Arthur C. Clarke, 1917- Childhood’s End
This is dreadful! Not the suffering and death of the animals, but that man suppresses in himself, unnecessarily, the highest spiritual capacity — that of sympathy and pity toward living creatures like himself — and by violating his own feelings becomes cruel. And how deeply seated in the human heart is the injunction not to take life! But by the assertion that God ordained the slaughter of animals, and above all as a result of habit, people entirely lose their natural feeling.
Count Leo Tolstoy, 1828-1910 The First Step
Let them (children) be taught to have pity for the animals who are at our mercy, who cannot protect themselves, who cannot explain their weakness, their pain or their suffering. Soon this will bring to their attention that higher law, the moral obligation of man as a superior being to protect and care for the weak and the defenseless. Nor will it stop there, for this in turn will lead them to that highest law: man’s duty to man.
Ralph Waldo Trine, 1866-1958 Every Living Creature
Children have an inborn capacity for sympathy. But that sympathy has to be cultivated ... And it is this point that the mass media trample on. Even before the natural feelings of compassion have a chance to develop, the fascination of overpowering and hurting others is displayed in endless profusion. Before the soil is prepared for sympathy, the seeds of sadism are planted.
Dr. Fredric Werthman, 1895- A Sign for Cain
While reading these frightful atrocities, perpetrated on innocent, unoffending animals, the inquiry springs to the lips: can the perpetrators of them be human beings? Can the brain that conceives them, the heart that tolerates them, and the hand that executes them belong to the being who, it is said, was made in God’s own image?
Henry Bergh, 1811-1888 from a lecture
Possibly man rose by exploiting the weak. That’s how he came up. But now, now he is up. The very thing that marks his progress is that he knows better.
Brigid Brophy, 1929- Hackenfeller’s Ape
We cannot have peace among men whose hearts find delight in killing any living creature.
Rachel Carson, 1907-1964 Silent Spring
We love animals, we watch them with delight, we study their habits with ever-increasing curiosity, and we destroy them.
Lord Kenneth Clark, 1903-1983 Animals and Men
What is needed is ... a total change in our attitude of mind. We must recognize that the faculty of speech, which has given us power over those fellow creatures whom we once recognized as brothers, must carry with it a proper measure of responsibility. We can never recapture the Golden Age; but we can regain that feeling of kinship which will help us establish a feeling of the unity of creation. It is a faith we all may share.
Lord Kenneth Clark, 1903-1983 Ibid
I believe that order is better than chaos, creation better than destruction. I prefer gentleness to violence, forgiveness to vendetta. On the whole, I think that knowledge is preferable to ignorance, and I am sure that human sympathy is more valuable than ideology ... I believe in courtesy, the ritual by which we avoid hurting other people’s feelings by satisfying our own egos. And I think we should remember that we are part of a great whole, which for convenience we call nature. All living things are our brothers and sisters.
Lord Kenneth Clark, 1903-1983 Civilization: a Personal View
The love for all living creatures is the most noble attribute of man.
Charles Darwin, 1809-1882 The Descent of Man
The more I see of men, the more I like dogs.
Madame de Stael, 1766-1817 Memoirs
I feel more comfortable with gorillas than people. I can anticipate what a gorilla’s going to do, and they’re purely motivated.
Dian Fossey, 1940- St. Louis Post Dispatch, 1980
The missing link between animals and a truly humane mankind is man himself, who does not yet see himself as a part of the world, claiming it instead for himself.
Michael Fox, D.V.M., 1937- One Earth, One Mind
Human liberation will begin when we understand that our evolution and fulfillment are contingent on the recognition of animal rights and on a compassionate and responsible stewardship of nature.
Michael Fox, D.V.M., 1937- Returning to Eden
The awful wrongs and sufferings forced upon the innocent, helpless, faithful animal race, form the [most evil] chapter in the whole world’s history.
Edward Augustus Freeman, 1823-1892 History of Europe
It is man who has fallen, not the beasts: that is the message even for the irreligious, and to some extent salvation can be measured by his very treatment of them.
Roy Fuller, 1912- The Holy State
The things I feared were not in the sky, but in the nature and in the touch of humanity. The cruelty of children ... the blindness of the unpitiful — these were my terrors. But not the crash of thunder overhead, not the bolts of fire from the clouds.
Ellen Glasgow, 1874-1945 The Woman Within
Could we have a moratorium on the use of the phrase “they behaved like animals” to describe any especially nasty form of human brutality? Carnivores certainly kill when they need their dinners, but do so as quickly as they can. Herbivores just eat vegetation and do not interfere with others. Do we hear of dolphins torturing other dolphins, gorillas cutting or biting bits off other gorillas, elephants inflicting prolonged periods of terror on other elephants, or indeed on any other animal? Rather should dolphins left to die in nets, gorillas killed in order that their dried heads should be sold to tourists, elephants dying in agony from poisons for the sake of their tusks, exclaim, in condemnation of acts of savagery (should these ever occur) committed by members of their own species: “They behaved like humans.”
Elspeth Huxley, 1907- letter in The Times, 12/14/84
I am ashamed of the race of beings to which I belong. It is so cruel and bigoted, so hypocritical, so soulless and insane. I would rather be an insect ... a bee or a butterfly ... and float in dim dreams among the wild flowers of summer than be a man and feel the horrible and ghastly wrongs and sufferings of this wretched world.
Professor J. Howard Moore, 1862-1916 The New Ethics
The most calamitous and fragile of all creatures is man, and yet the most arrogant. It is through the vanity of this same imagination that he equals himself to a god, that he attributes to himself divine conditions, that he picks himself out and separates himself from the crowd of other creatures, curtails the just shares of other animals his brethren and companions, and assigns to them only such portions of faculties and forces as seems to him good. How does he know, by the effort of his intelligence, the interior and secret movements and impulses of other animals? by what comparison between them and us does he infer the stupidity which he attributes to them?
Michel Eyquem de Montaigne, 1533-1592 The Essays
...half the world starves. What a planet. And the eating, if you’re lucky enough to do any. Stuffing pieces of dead animals into a hole in your face. Then munch, munch, munch. If there’s anybody watching, they must be dying of laughter.
Iris Murdoch, 1919- A Fairly Honorable Defeat
As long as I can remember, I have suffered because of the great misery I saw in the world. I never really knew the artless, youthful joy of living, and I believe that many children feel this way, even when outwardly they seem to be wholly happy and without a single care. I used to suffer particularly because the poor animals must endure so much pain and want.
Dr. Albert Schweitzer, 1875-1965 Memoirs of Childhood and Youth
...as long as human beings will go on shedding the blood of animals, there will never be any peace. There is only one little step from killing animals to creating gas chambers a la Hitler and concentration camps a la Stalin ... all such deeds are done in the name of “social justice.” There will be no justice as long as man will stand with a knife or with a gun and destroy those who are weaker than he is.
Dr. Albert Schweitzer, 1875-1965 Vegetarianism, a Way of Life
“Until lions have their historians, tales of the hunt will always glorify the hunter.”
“If having a soul means being able to feel love and loyalty and gratitude, then animals are better off than a lot of humans. I hope to make people realize how totally helpless animals are, how dependent on us, trusting as a child must that we will be kind and take care of their needs ...[they] are an obligation put on us, a responsibility we have no right to neglect, nor to violate by cruelty.