Friday, August 13, 2010

Things said that resonate with me...........

Some of my absolutely favorite quotes:

The fact that animals are voiceless is a relief to us, it frees us from feeling much empathy or sorrow. If animals did have voices, if they could speak with the tongues of angels - at the very least with the tongues of angels - it is unlikely that they could save themselves from mankind. Their mysterious otherness has not saved them, nor have their beautiful songs and coats and skins and shells, nor have their strengths, their skills, their swiftness, the beauty of their flights. We discover the remarkable intelligence of the whale, the wolf, the elephant-it does not save them, nor does our awareness of the complexity of their lives. It matters not, it seems, whether they nurse their young or brood patiently on eggs. If they eat meat, we decry their viciousness; if they eat grasses and seeds, we dismiss them as weak. We know that they care for their young and teach them, that they play and grieve, that they have memories and a sense of the future for which they sometimes plan. We know about their habits, their migrations, that they have a sense of home, of finding, seeking, returning to home. We know that when they face death, they fear it. We know all these things and it has not saved them from us. Anything that is animal, that is not us, can be slaughtered as a pest or sucked dry as a memento or reduced to a trophy or eaten, eaten, eaten.
Joy Williams,The Inhumanity of the Animal People

The animal shall not be measured by man.  In a world older and more complete than ours, they move finished and complete, gifted with 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 splendor and travail of the earth.
Henry Beston, The Outermost House, 1928

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 a rabbit defined intelligence the way man does, then the most intelligent animal would be a rabbit, followed by the animal most willing to obey the commands of a rabbit.
Robert Brault

"In his thoughts, Herman spoke a eulogy for the mouse who had shared a portion of her life with him and who, because of him, had left this earth. "What do they know--all these scholars, all these philosophers, all the leaders of the world--about such as you? They have convinced themselves that man, the worst transgressor of all the species, is the crown of creation. All other creatures were created merely to provide him with food, pelts, to be tormented, exterminated. In relation to them, all people are Nazis; for the animals it is an eternal Treblinka."
 Isaac Bashevis Singer, author, Nobel Prize 1978: From The Letter Writer

Animals are my friends...and I don't eat my friends.
 George Bernard Shaw (1856-1950)

Some folks insist that believing in animal rights is like a religion. But religion asks followers to believe in things nobody can see, while animal rights advocates ask followers to see things nobody can believe.
Craig Burton

In fact, 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, author of Animal Machines

“Whenever people say "we mustn't be sentimental", you can take it they are about to do something cruel. And if they add, "we must be realistic", they mean they are going to make money out of it.”
 Brigid Brophy

"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, author, Nobel Prize 1915

"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

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.
Isaac Bashevis Singer

But 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 (c.AD 46-c.120)

I have from an early age abjured the use of meat, and 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 do not like eating meat because I have seen lambs and pigs killed. I saw and felt their pain. They felt the 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 Nijinsky (dancer and choreographer)

"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

We find amongst animals, as amongst men, power of feeling pleasure, power of feeling pain; we see them moved by love and by hate; we see them feeling terror and attraction; we recognize in them powers of sensation closely akin to our own, and while we transcend them immensely in intellect, yet in mere passional characteristics our natures and the animals’ are closely allied. We know that when they feel terror, that terror means suffering. We know that when a wound is inflicted, that wound means pain to them. We know that threats bring to them suffering; they have a feeling of shrinking, of fear, of absence of friendly relations, and at once we begin to see that in our relations to the animal kingdom a duty arises which all thoughtful and compassionate minds should recognize—the duty that because we are stronger in mind than the animals, we are or ought to be their guardians and helpers, not their tyrants and oppressors, and we have no right to cause them suffering and terror merely for the gratification of the palate, merely for an added luxury to our own lives.
Dr. Annie Besant

Until one has loved an animal, a part of one's soul remains unawakened.”— Anatole France


Murph's mom said...

Wow - what a list. I of course could relate to Robert Brault's quote and am the living, breathing animal that does submit to the dominant rabbit.

The quotes you've listed here are eloquent and thought provoking. Some are from people who lived so long ago their beliefs were probably considered strange and unnatural. That they felt like isolated islands is a pretty good guess I think. Thanks to the World Wide Web the islands have become a community. The commnity became instrumental in helping the monarch butterflies survive a few years ago when their wintering over grounds in Mexico was hit by a freak frost. Millions of monarchs were killed by the frost. People who lived along the migratory path of the monarch were asked to plant butterfly gardens with especially the milkweed plant. Last I heard the monarch is surviving. Each time I see a monarch visiting our milkweed I appreciate his or her herculean efforts to get here. What warriors they are. To the ones who planted butterfly gardens out there I am high fiving ya! Islands of hope you are. And to those island dwellers who visit blogs like Veganelder's and find encouragement along your journey I just want to send a friendly wave.

Thanks Veganelder for your blog.

veganelder said...

Thanks Murph's Mom for commenting and sharing the story re the Monarch butterfly. I once lived in a small town in Texas that was in the path of a stream of the Monarch's migration that year. When they came through it was magical and lovely and astonishing. Hooray for anyone and everyone that works to keep such beautiful beings alive.

Christina said...

The last one has always been one of my favorites. I think it speaks volumes. I think if you have never loved an animal, something even as little as a goldfish you have missed out on something that cant be found anywhere else. Animals and babies are my only hope there is a god. (a bit dramatic but true)

So I'm Thinking Of Going Vegan said...

Excellent quotes. And quite a few I hadn't read before!
I'm glad I've come across your blog. :)

veganelder said...

Ah Christina, thanks for commenting, I agree, some part of us never awakens unless we are lucky enough to love an animal person.

Thanks, So I'm Thinking Of Going Vegan, for commenting and reading, I appreciate your visiting and hope you return often.

Bea Elliott said...

Wonderful collection! They will certainly go into "my favorite quotes" for safe keeping. Thanks so much! :)

veganelder said...

You are entirely welcome, thanks for reading and commenting Bea....your blog ( is an inspiration to me.