Animal Welfare Quotes
Humans–who enslave, castrate, experiment on, and fillet other animals–have had an understandable penchant for pretending animals do not feel pain. A sharp distinction between humans and “animals” is essential if we are to bend them to our will, make them work for us, wear them, eat them–without any disquieting tinges of guilt or regret. It is unseemly of us, who often behave so unfeeling toward other animals, to contend that only humans can suffer. The behavior of other animals renders such pretensions specious. They are just too much like us.
- Carl Sagan
Aren't humans amazing? They kill wildlife - birds, deer, all kinds of cats, coyotes, beavers, groundhogs, mice and foxes - by the million in order to protect their domestic animals and their feed. Then they kill domestic animals by the billion and eat them. This in turn kills people by the million, because eating all those animals leads to degenerative - and fatal - health conditions like heart disease, stroke, kidney disease, and cancer. So then humans spend billions of dollars torturing and killing millions more animals to look for cures for these diseases. Elsewhere, millions of other human beings are being killed by hunger and malnutrition because food they could eat is being used to fatten domestic animals. Meanwhile, few people recognize the absurdity of humans, who kill so easily and violently, and then plead for "Peace on Earth."
-Revised Preface to Old MacDonald's Factory Farm by C. David Coates
Animals are more than ever a test of our character, of mankind's capacity for empathy and for decent, honorable conduct and faithful stewardship. We are called to treat them with kindness, not because they have rights or power or some claim to equality, but in a sense because they don't; because they all stand unequal and powerless before us.
-Matthew Scully, Dominion: The Power of Man, the Suffering of Animals, and the Call to Mercy
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.
-Saint Francis of Assisi
By acquiescing in an act that causes such suffering to a living creature, who among us is not diminished?
― Rachel Carson
All beings fear danger,
life is dear to all.
When a person considers this,
he does not kill, or cause to kill.
- Dhammapada, 129
We need another and a wiser and perhaps a more mystical concept of animals. Remote from universal nature and living by complicated artifice, man in civilization surveys the creature through the glass of his knowledge and sees thereby a feather magnified and the whole image in distortion. We patronize them for their incompleteness, for their tragic fate for having taken form so far below ourselves. And therein do we err. 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 the extension 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, The Outermost House: A Year of Life On The Great Beach of Cape Cod
One day the absurdity of the almost universal human belief in the slavery of other animals will be palpable. We shall then have discovered our souls and become worthier of sharing this planet with them.
- Martin Luther King, Jr
The question is not, Can they reason? nor Can they talk? but, Can they suffer?”
-Jeremy Bentham, The Principles of Morals and Legislation
You are diseased in understanding and religion.
Come to me, that you may hear something of sound truth.
Do not unjustly eat fish the water has given up,
And do not desire as food the flesh of slaughtered animals,
Or the white milk of mothers who intended its pure draught
for their young, not noble ladies.
And do not grieve the unsuspecting birds by taking eggs;
for injustice is the worst of crimes.
And spare the honey which the bees get industriously
from the flowers of fragrant plants;
For they did not store it that it might belong to others,
Nor did they gather it for bounty and gifts.
I washed my hands of all this; and wish that I
Perceived my way before my hair went gray!
Aware of the suffering caused by the destruction of life, I am committed to cultivating compassion and learning ways to protect the lives of people, animals, plants, and minerals. I am determined not to kill, not to let others kill, and not to support any act of killing in the world, in my thinking, and in my way of life.
— Thich Nhat Hanh, The Heart of Buddha’s Teaching
Until we extend our circle of compassion to all living things, humanity will not find peace.
- Albert Schweitzer
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.
- Arthur Schopenhauer
The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.
- Mohandas K. Gandhi
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.
Our task must be to free ourselves... by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature and its beauty.
- Albert Einstein
During my medical education at the University of Basle I found vivisection horrible, barbarous and above all unnecessary.
As long as there are slaughterhouses, there will be battlefields.
- Leo Tolstoy
What is man without the beasts? If all the beasts were gone, man would die from a great loneliness of the spirit. For whatever happens to the beasts, soon happens to man. All things are connected.
As a mother whose baby died, I can tell you that no human being can love ice cream more than a mother cow loves her baby. Don't be the reason she loses her baby.
All meat in any form, in any manner, and in any place, is unconditionally and once for all, prohibited for all. Thus, Mahamati, meat-eating I have not permitted to anyone, I do not permit, I will not permit.
-The Buddha to Bodhisattva Mahamati in The Lankavatara Sutra
This is what you should do; love the Earth and sun and the animals...
Vivisection is a social evil because if it advances human knowledge, it does so at the expense of human character.
- George Bernard Shaw
Anyone who has accustomed himself to regard the life of any living creature as worthless is in danger of arriving also at the idea of worthless human lives.
- Albert Schweitzer
It may be suggested by some books that it is not a sin to kill an animal, but it is written in our own hearts - more clearly than in any book - that we should take pity on animals in the same way as we do on humans.
- Leo Tolstoy
I am not interested to know whether vivisection 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, and it is to me sufficient justification of the enmity without looking further.
- Mark Twain
Cruelty to animals is one of the most significant vices of a low and ignoble people. Wherever one notices them, they constitute a sign of ignorance and brutality which cannot be painted over even by all the evidence of wealth and luxury.
- Alexander Von Humbolt
Humanity's true moral test, its fundamental test, consists of its attitude toward those who are at tis mercy: animals. And in this respect, human kind has suffered a fundamental debacle, a debacle so fundamental that all others stem from it.
- Milan Kundera, The Unbearable Lightness of Being
If only we can overcome cruelty, to human and animal, with love and compassion we shall stand at the threshold of a new era in human moral and spiritual evolution - and realize, at last, our most unique quality: humanity.
I abhor vivisection. It should at least be curbed. Better, it should be abolished. I know of no achievement through vivisection, no scientific discovery, that could not have been obtained without such barbarism and cruelty. The whole thing is evil.
- Charles Mayo, founder of the Mayo Clinic
Teaching a child not to step on a caterpillar is as valuable to the child, as it is to the caterpillar.
- Bradley Miller
The screams of my dying father as his body was ravaged by the many cancers that killed him were the same as the ones in the slaughterhouse, on the cattle ships the dying mother as she calls out to her calf. Their cries were the cries of my father. They were identical. When we suffer, we suffer as equals. And in their capacity to suffer, a dog is a pig is a bear...is a boy.
You know, we all oppose animal cruelty. But sometimes we forget that animals on farms suffer and feel pain like all other animals. They, too, deserve to be protected from harm and cruelty.
- Charlotte Ross
I am not well-versed in theory, but in my view, the cow deserves her life. As does the ram. As does the ladybug. As does the elephant. As do the fish, and the dog and the bee; as do other sentient beings. I will always be in favour of veganism as a minimum because I believe that sentient beings have a right not to be used as someone else’s property. They ask us to be brave for them, to be clear for them, and I see no other acceptable choice but to advocate veganism. If these statements make me a fundamentalist, then I will sew a scarlet F on my jacket so that all may know I’m fundamentally in favour of nonviolence; may they bury me in it so that all will know where I stood.
- Vincent J Guihan
The worst sin toward our fellow creatures is not to hate them, but to be indifferent to them; that's the essence of humanity.
- George Bernard Shaw
Such speech as the Tathagata knows to be true, correct, and beneficial, even if unwelcome and disagreeable to others, the Tathagata knows the time to use such speech. […] Why is that? Because the Tathagata has compassion for all beings.
—Buddha Shakyamuni, Middle Length Discourses
An animal's eyes have the power to speak a great language.
― Martin Buber
Every year tens of thousands of animals suffer and die in laboratory tests of cosmetics and household products...despite the fact that the test results do not help prevent or treat accidental or purposeful misuse of the products. Please join me in using your voice for those whose cries are forever sealed behind the laboratory doors."
It seems to me of great importance to teach children respect for life. Towards this end, experiments on living animals in classrooms should be stopped. To encourage cruelty in the name of science can only destroy the finer emotions of affection and sympathy, and breed an unfeeling callousness in the young towards suffering in all living creatures.
- Eleanor Roosevelt
Monks, a lay follower should not engage in five types of business. Which five? Business in weapons, business in human beings, business in meat, business in intoxicants, and business in poison. These are the five types of business that a lay follower should not engage in.
-Vanijja Sutta, AN 5:177
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.
― Arthur Schopenhauer, The Basis of Morality
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 seed of murder and pain cannot reap joy and love.
We cut the throat of a calf and hang it up by the heels to bleed to death so that our veal cutlet may be white; we nail geese to a board and cram them with food because we like the taste of liver disease; we tear birds to pieces to decorate our women's hats; we mutilate domestic animals for no reason at all except to follow an instinctively cruel fashion; and we connive at the most abominable tortures in the hope of discovering some magical cure for our own diseases by them.
― George Bernard Shaw, Man and Superman
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
Slaughter: A horror reserved for the most loving and the most incapable of malice.
Life is life’s greatest gift. Guard the life of another creature as you would your own, because it is your own. On life’s scale of values, the smallest is no less precious to the creature who owns it than the largest.
– Lloyd Biggle, Jr.
To meditate for world peace, to pray for a better world, and to work for social justice and environmental protection while continuing to purchase the flesh, milk, and eggs of horribly abused animals exposes a disconnect that is so fundamental that it renders our efforts absurd, hypocritical, and doomed to certain failure.
- Dr. Will Tuttle
The time has come to end the factory farm horror show of our species against the innocent victims upon whom our violence is perpetrated. If not for social justice reasons, if not for health reasons, if not for environmental reasons, then please to stop the torture of innocence. How can we possibly expect peace in our world when we have foisted such unfathomable mass suffering against our animal kin? Its long past time for this torture to cease. It's time, long past, to foster compassion and peace with the earth and our shared inhabitants. If we don't, our species will continue to face the ferocity of nature against us. And in the end, nature will always prevail.
-Dr Joanne Cacciatore
For centuries poets, some poets, have tried to give a voice to the animals, and readers, some readers, have felt empathy and sorrow. If animals did have voices, and they could speak with the tongues of angels—at the very least with the tongues of angels—they would be unable to save themselves from us. What good would language do? Their mysterious otherness has not saved them, nor have their beautiful songs and coats and skins and shells and eyes.
― Joy Williams
Besides love and sympathy, animals exhibit other qualities connected with the social instincts which in us would be called moral.
― Charles Darwin
Animals are the bridge between us and the beauty of all that is natural. They show us what's missing in our lives, and how to love ourselves more completely and unconditionally. They connect us back to who we are, and to the purpose of why we're here.
― Trisha McCagh
Maybe it's animalness that will make the world right again: the wisdom of elephants, the enthusiasm of canines, the grace of snakes, the mildness of anteaters. Perhaps being human needs some diluting.
― Carol Emshwiller
There is a universal law called 'reciprocity' whereby how we treat the rest of the world is how we will be treated. We will be unable to have true health or peace while we continue to contribute to mass atrocities on a daily basis.
― Erin Sharaf