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Animal Rights Quotes (page 2)

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"If a man aspires towards a righteous life, his first act of abstinence is from injury to animals."
--Albert Einstein

"If slaughterhouses had glass walls, we would all be vegetarian."
--Anonymous

"The dissolution of commercial animal farming as we know it obviously requires more than our individual commitment to vegetarianism. To refuse on principle to buy products of the meat industry is to do what is right, but it is not to do enough. To recognize the rights of animals is to recognize the related duty to defend them against those who violate their rights, and to discharge this duty requires more than our individual abstention. It requires acting to bring about those changes that are necessary if the rights of these animals are not to be violated. Fundamentally, then, it requires a revolution in our culture's thought about, and its accepted treatment of, farm animals... But prejudices die hard, all the more so when they are insulated by widespread secular customs and religious beliefs, sustained by large and powerful economic interests, and protected by the common law. To overcome the collective entropy of those forces against change will not be easy. The animal rights movement is not for the faint heart."
--Tom Regan

"An animal experiment cannot be justifiable unless the experiment is so important that the use of a brain-damaged human would be justifiable."
--Peter Singer

"My dream is that people will come to view eating an animal as cannibalism."
--Henry Spira

"The day may come when the rest of 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

"There are a thousand hacking at the branches of evil to one who is striking at the root."
--Henry David Thoreau

"The very people who shudder over the cruelty of the hunter are apt to forget that slaughter, in the grimmest sense of the word, is a process they entrust daily to the butcher; and that unlike the game of the forests, even the dumbest creatures of the slaughterhouse know what is in store for them."
--Lewis Mumford

"Strange lot this, to be dropped down in a world of barbarians - men who see clearly enough through the barbarity of all ages except their own."
--Ernest Crosby

"For the sake of some little mouthful of flesh, we deprive a soul of the sun and light and of that proportion of life and time it had been born into the world to enjoy."
--Plutarch

"I had bought two male chimps from a primate colony in Holland. They lived next to each other in separate cages for several months before I used one as a [heart] 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. The incident made a deep impression on me. I vowed never again to experiment with such sensitive creatures."
--Christian Barnard

"As often as Herman had witnessed the slaughter of animals and fish, he always had the same thought: in their behaviour toward creatures, all men were Nazis"
--Isaac Bashevis Singer

"The fate of animals is of greater importance to me than the fear of appearing ridiculous; it is indissolubly connected to the fate of men"
--Emile Zola

"Some will take refuge in the old clich?that humans are different from other animals. But when did a difference justify a moral prejudice? When did those with black hair have a right to mistreat those with red hair...or even those with blue or purple hair...Surely the crucial similarity that men share with other animals is the capacity to suffer? Regardless of the number of legs or the woolliness of our fur, we can all suffer..."
--Richard Ryder

"Not having known anything better does not alleviate the suffering of the animal. Its fundamental desires remain and it is the frustration of those desires that is a great part of its suffering. There are so many examples: the dairy cow who is never allowed to raise her young, the battery hen who can never walk or stretch her wings, the sow who can never build a nest or root for food in the forest litter, etc. Eventually we frustrate the animal's most fundamental desire of all - to live."
--David Cowles-Hamar.

"In point of fact, I am the very opposite of an anthropomorphiser. 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 recognise and respect the rights of animals."
--Brigid Brophy

"The first time I ever entered a battery house I thought it was the entrance to Hell"
--Violet Spalding

"The church so hated these good people (the Albigenses - a "heretical" sect of thirteenth century France) whose Christ-like compassion was such a judgement on its own pagan and anti-Christian violence, that their vegetarian habits were not only represented as signs of a diabolical heresy, but were also used as a means to detect and convict them. For when prisoners were taken, sheep were led to them and knives were provided for their butchery. Those who refused to kill the animals were burnt at the stake, and the majority did refuse since to take sentient life violated the very basis of their faith."
--Esme Wynne-Tyson

"I hope to make people realise how totally helpless a animals are, how dependent on us, trusting as a child must be 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, or violate by cruelty."
--James Herriot

"I do not like eating meat because I have seen lambs and pigs killed. I saw and felt their pain. They felt their approaching death. I could not bear it. I cried like a child. I ran up a hill and could not breathe. I felt that I was choking. I felt the death of the lamb."
--Vaslav Nijinski

"What is the importance of human lives? Is it their continuing alive for so many years like animals in a menagerie? The value of a man cannot be judged by the number of diseases from which he escapes. The value of a man is in his human qualities: in his character, in his conscience, in the nobility and magnanimity, of his soul. Torturing animals to prolong human life has separated science from the most important thing that life has produced - the human conscience."
--John Cowper Powys

"Non-violence leads to the highest ethics, which is the goal of all evolution. Until we stop harming all other living beings, we are still savages."
--Thomas Edison

"The cruel experimenter cannot be allowed to have it both ways. He cannot, in the same breath, defend the scientific validity of vivisection on the grounds of the physical similarities between man and the other animals, and then defend the morality of vivisection on the grounds that men and animals are physically different. The only logical alternatives for him are to admit he is either pre-Darwinian or immoral."
--Richard Ryder

"There is no fundamental difference between man and the higher animals in their mental faculties... The lower animals, like man, manifestly feel pleasure and pain, happiness, and misery."
--Charles Darwin

"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

"Suppose that tomorrow 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 they have the right to treat you as you treat the animals you breed, keep and kill for food?"
--John Harris

"...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, who have weapons neither of offence nor defence, that none but very hardened persons can endure the thought of it"
--Cardinal Newman

"Family organisation is broken and young animals are increasingly being denied a mother to turn to for comfort and for grooming. One of the saddest and most pathetic of farm practices - inevitable at the present time for the supply of dairy produce - is the separation of the calf from the cow at birth or soon after."
--Ruth Harrison

"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."
--Isaac Bashevis Singer

"Awareness is bad for the meat business.
Conscience is bad for the meat business.
Sensitivity to life is bad for the meat business.
DENIAL, however, the meat business finds indispensable."
--John Robbins, Diet for a New America

"If you could see or feel the suffering you wouldn't think twice. Give back life. Don't eat meat."
--Kim Bassinger

"If an animal does something we call it instinct; if we do the same thing for the same reason we call it intelligence"
-- Will Cuppie

"I am not basically a conservationist. 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 man'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

"Very few people question that it is an act of kindness to put an animal painlessly to death if it is injured beyond possibility of a pain-free future; or that it is better to neuter pets than to allow thousands of unwanted litters to be born. But mention it might be better for a breeding sow in a farrowing crate if she had never been born, and you will be met with chants of "Any life is better than no life". Humans have an odd way of finding pleasure in activities that bring them pleasure, or profit, or both."
-- Bronwen Humphries

"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

"In a lunch session at the slaughterhouse, a lamb jumped out of its pen and came unnoticed up to some slaughtermen who were sitting in a circle eating some 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 to bloom and blossom wherever possible in each individual.
-- Gordon Latto

"Ask the experimenters why they experiment on animals, and the answer is: 'Because the animals are like us.' Ask the experimenters why it is morally OK to experiment on animals, and the answer is: 'Because the animals are not like us.' Animal experimentation rests on a logical contradiction."
-- Professor Charles Magel

"Man is not the pedestalled creature 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."
-- Howard Moore

Where is the movement now?
"All great movements, it is written, go through three stages: ridicule, discussion, adoption. It is the realisation of this third stage, adoption, that requires our passion and our discipline, our hearts and our heads. The fate of animals is in our hands."
--Tom Regan

"Hunting...the least honorable form of war on the weak."
-- Paul Richard

"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."
-- Richard Ryder

"Every particle of factual evidence supports the factual contention that the higher mammalian vertebrates experience pain sensations at least as acute as our own. To say that they feel pain less because they are lower animals is an absurdity; it can easily be shown that many of their senses are far more acute than ours - visual acuity in certain birds, hearing in most wild animals, and touch in others; these animals depend more than we do today on a the sharpest possible awareness of a hostile environment. Apart from the complexity of the cerebral cortex (which does not directly perceive pain) their nervous systems are almost identical to ours and their reaction to pain remarkably similar, though lacking (so far as we know) the philosophical and moral overtones. The emotional element is all too evident, mainly in the form of fear and anger."
--Richard Serjeant

"Animals of the word exist for their own reasons. They were not made for humans any more than blacks were made for whites or women for men."
-- Alice Walker

"There will come a time...when civilised people will look back in horror on our generation and the ones that preceded it: the idea that we should eat other living things running around on four legs, that we should raise them just for the purpose of killing them! The people of the future will say "meat-eaters!" in disgust and regard us in the same way we regard cannibals and cannibalism"
-- Dennis Weaver

"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 after sweet and gentle creatures who harm no one, which follow you, serve you, and are devoured by you as the reward of their service"
-- John Jacques Rousseau

"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 our own."
-- Robert Louis Stephenson

"We recognise, I hope, our special responsibilities to the aged and infirm, towards the sick, the mentally subnormal and the physically handicapped. We say that such sentient creatures that are less able to care for themselves deserve our special care and support. The same argument applies to children - and we as adults claim we recognise special duties towards them. If this is so, then why do we not recognise our special duties towards individuals from less clever species?"
-- Richard Ryder

"It is in the battery shed that we find the parallel with Auschwitz....To shut your mind, heart and imagination from the sufferings of others is to begin slowly, but inexorably, to die. Those Christians who close their minds and hearts to the cause of animal welfare, and the evils it seeks to combat, are ignoring the Fundamental spiritual teachings of Christ himself"
-- John Baker, Bishop of Salisbury

"What is it but deliberate massacre when tens of thousands of tame, hand-reared creatures are every year literally driven into the jaws of death and mown down in a peculiarly brutal manner? A perfect roar of guns fills the air; louder tap and yell the beaters, while above the din can be heard the heart-rending cries of wounded hares and rabbits, some of which can be seen dragging themselves away, with legs broken, or turning round and round in their agony before they die! And the pheasants! They are on every side, some rising, some dropping; some lying dead, but the great majority fluttering on the ground wounded; some with both wings broken and a leg; others merely winged, running to hide; others mortally wounded, gasping out their last breath amidst the hellish uproar which surrounds them. And this is called 'sport!'"
-- Florence Dixie

"Behind every beautiful fur, there is a story. It is a bloody, barbaric story."
-- Mary Tyler Moore

"To argue that we humans are capable of complex multifarious thought and feeling, whereas the sheep's perception is probably limited by lowly sheepish perceptions, is no more to the point than if I were to slaughter and eat you on the grounds that I am a sophisticated personality able to enjoy Mozart, formal logic and cannibalism, whereas your imaginative world seems confined to True Romances and tinned spaghetti."
-- Brigid Brophy

"At the moment our human world is based on the suffering and destruction of millions of non-humans. To perceive this and to do something to change it in personal and public ways is to undergo a change of perception akin to a religious conversion. Nothing can ever be seen in quite the same way again because once you have admitted the terror and pain of other species you will, unless you resist conversion, be always aware of the endless permutations of suffering that support our society."
-- Arthur Conan Doyle

"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

"I have no doubt that it is part of the destiny of the human race in its gradual development to leave off the eating of animals, as surely as the savage tribes have left off eating each other when they came into contact with the more civilized."
-- Henry David Thoreau

"Of all the creatures ever made, Man is the most detestable. He is the only creature that inflicts pain for sport, knowing it to be pain."
-- Mark Twain

"There will come a time when the world will look back to modern vivisection in the name of Science, as they do now to burning at the stake in the name of religion."
-- Henry J. Bigelow

"If we are trespassing, so were the American Soldiers who broke down the gates of Hitler's death camps; If we are thieves, so were the members of the Underground Railroad who freed the slaves of the South; and if we are vandals, so were those who destroyed forever the gas chambers of Buchenwald and Auschwitz."
-- Animal Liberation Front, author unknown

"Why is compassion not part of the established curriculum, an inherent part of our education? Compassion, awe, wonder, curiosity, humility - these are the foundation of any real civilisation, no longer the prerogatives, the preserves of any one church, but belonging to everyone, every child in every home in every school."
--Yehudi Menhuin

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