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Famous Thinkers


Famous Thinkers

Alice Walker
"The animals of the world exist for their own reasons. They were not made for humans any more than black people were made for whites, or women for men." (The Color Purple)

Henry Beston
"In a world older and more complete than ours, animals 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 underlings; they are other nations, caught with ourselves in the net of life and time, fellow prisoners of the splendor and travail of the earth." (The Outermost House)

Alexander von Humboldt (1769-1859)
"Cruelty to animals is one of the most significant vices of a low and ignoble people."

Sir Wilfred Grenfell (1865-1940)
"Kindness to all God's creatures is an absolute rock-bottom necessity if peace and righteousness are to prevail." (The Adventure of Life)

Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865)
"I am in favour of animal rights as well as human rights. That is the way of a whole human being." (Complete Works)

Cardinal Newman (1801-1890)
"There is something so very dreadful, so Satanic in tormeting those who have never harmed us, and who cannot defend themselves, who are utterly in our power."

Plutarch, c.A.D. 46-c.120
"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." (Moralia)

George Bernard Shaw (1856-1950)
"The worst sin towards our fellow creatures is not to hate them, but to be indifferent to them. That's the essence of inhumanity." (The Devil's Disciple)

Emile Zola (1840-1902):
"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."

Leo Nikolayevich Tolstoy (1828-1910):
"If a man aspires towards a righteous life, his first act of abstinence is from injury to animals."

Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi (1869-1948):
"The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated."
"Vivisection is the blackest of all of the black crimes that man is at present commiting against God and His fair creation. It ill becomes us to invoke in our daily prayers the blessings of God, the Compassionate, if we in turn will not practise elementary compassion towards our fellow creatures." (The Moral Basis of Vegetarianism)

George S. Arundale (1878-1945)
"The world stands at a parting of the ways and those who suffer know this with deeply anxious hearts. One way leads to destruction. It is the way of the tolerance of cruelty, if not the active engagement in it. It is the way of hunting for sport, the way of vivisection, the way of killing for self-adornment, the way of killing animals for food, the way of making slaves of animals without thought for their happiness and well-being. This is the way the world has been treading."
"The other way leads to salvation. It is the way of harmlessness, the way of the recognition of brotherhood with all creatures, the way of tenderness and compassion, the way of service and not of selfishness." (The Night Bell)

Doris Day (1927-):
"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 status when she refuses to see anything killed to be put on her back. Then she's truly beautiful!" (Newspaper interview)

Dr Louis J. Camuti (1893-1981):
"Love of animals is a universal impulse, a common ground on which all of us may meet. By loving and understanding animals, perhaps we humans shall come to understand each other." (All my Patients Are Under the Bed)
"Never believe that animals suffer less than humans. Pain is the same for them that it is for us. Even worse, because they cannot help themselves." (Park Avenue Vet)

Fyodor Mikhailovich Dostoevsky (1821-1881)
"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." (The Brothers Karamazov)

George R. Farnum (1885-1973)
"Tenderness and pity should never be taken as weakness. Men who have been great in the true sense have never been indifferent to the rights, nor blind to the needs, of the helpless."
"The education of the heart should ever go hand in hand with the cultivation of the mind. Kindness toward all sentient creatures and compassion for suffering in all its forms are the hallmarks of the enlightened community and the badge of the cultural individual." (Reverence for Life)

Madame de Staeal (1766-1817)
"The more I see of men, the more I like dogs." (Memoirs)

Revd J. Tyssul Davis (1872-1944)
"Why is it that kindly persons, people endowed with pity and compassion, folk of quick sympathy, who have tears for the lightest ailment of their pet cat or dog, can endure this daily rottenness, this daily massacre, this sacrifice the voices of whose victims rise up to heaven in wearisome lament, in an unending stream of despairing appeal? The outstanding reasons are an utter dearth of imagination and the terrific power of habit. There is not a single person present who would or could be so heartless, or so blood-thirsty, or so barbarous as to go out and prepare a dinner by taking a lamb frolicing in the field, "the lamb that looks you in the face", as Shelley said, and kill it. There is not one who would have the heart to stay it in its innocent play, and deprive it of its life, of its game with its companions in the pasture; not one who could descend to this unmentionable savagery." (Quoted in It is the Privilage of Power to Protect)

Mr Justice Cusack (1916-1978)
"To say that you behaved like animals is offensive to the animal creation because animals of the farmyard and field have an innate sense of decency." (At Leeds Assizes, U.K., 1971)

Thomas Fuller (1608-1661)
"He that will not be merciful to his beast is a beast himself." (The Holy State)

John Lame Deer(1900-)
"You don't want the bird. You don't have the courage to kill honestly - cut off the chicken's head, pluck it and gut it - no, you don't want this anymore. So it all comes in a neat plastic bag, all cut up, ready to eat, with no taste and no guilt. Your mink and seal coats, you don't want to know about the blood and pain that went into making them. Your idea of war - sit in an airplane, way above the clouds, press a buttton, drop the bombs, and never look below the clouds - that's the odorless, guiltless, sanitized way."
"... That terrible arrogance of the white man, making himself something more than God, more than nature, saying I will let this animal live, because it makes money; saying This animal must go, it brings no income, the space it occupies can be used in a better way. The only good coyote is a dead coyote. They are treating coyotes almost as badly as they used to treat Indians."
"You are buying and selling death." (Lame Deer, Seeker of Visions)

Clementine Homilies (Second Century)
"The unnatural eating of flesh-meats is as polluting as the heathen worship of devils, with its sacrifices and its unpure feasts, through participation in which a man becomes a fellow-eater with devils."

Rachel Carson (1907-1964)
"We cannot have peace among men whose hearts find delight in killing any living creature." (Silent Spring)
"As cruel a weapon as the cave man's club, the chemical barrage has been hurled against the fabric of life." (Ibid.)

George Cheyne (1671-1743)
"To see the convulsions, agonies and tortures of a poor fellow-creature, whom they cannot restore nor recompense, dying to gratify luxury and tickle callous and rank organs, must require a rocky heart, and a great degree of cruelty and ferocity. I cannot find any great difference, on the foot of natural reason and equity only, between feeding on human flesh and feeding on (other) animal flesh, except custom and example." (Essay on Regimen)

Alexis Carrel, MD, (1873-1944)
"Scientific civilization has destroyed the soul of the world." (Man the Unknown)

Julia Allen Field (1937-)
"We cannot glimpse the essential life of a caged animal, only the shadow of its former beauty." ('Reflections on the Death of an Elephant', Defenders, 42, Spring 1967)

J. Todd Ferrier (1855-1943)
"It ought to make all who profess evangelical Christianity ashamed that the finest and most compassionate souls have not been within their own borders, but rather amongst those whose deepest thoughts have aroused the suspicion of heresy. Evangelical Christianity, as people understand it, has absolutely failed to kindle the Divine Compassion, and to realize itself in a great fire of sacred devotion to all life." (Ibid.)

Jacques-Yves Cousteau
"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 with those on dry land. That this will come to pass is our dearest wish."
"If human civilization is going to invade the waters of the earth, then let it be first of all to carry a message of respect - respect for all life." (The Whale: Mighty Monarch of the Sea)

Ernest Bell (1851-1933)
"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 of animals' power of reasoning is crushing." (Ibid.)

Arthur C. Benson (1862-1925)
"... Then, too, he never seems quite at home in his deplorably filthy surroundings; he looks at you, up to the knees in ooze, out of his little eyes, as if he would live in a more cleanly way, if he were permitted. Pigs always remind me of the mariners of Homer, who were transformed by Circe; there is a dreadful humanity about them, as if they were trying to indure their base conditions philosophically by waiting for their release." (The Thread of Gold)

James Anthony Froude (1818-1894)
"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." (Oceana)

Henry Ward Beecher (1813-1887)
"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 Judgement Seat and say "I have loved as truly and I have lived as decently as my dog." And yet we call them only brutes!" (Quoted in The Clergy Speak for Animals)

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