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Animal Rights

  • Science and vivisection make no appeal to a theological idea, much less a political one. You can argue with a theologian or a politician, but doctors are sacrosanct. They know; you do not. Science has its mystique much more powerful than any religion active today.

  • ... vivisection is not the same thing as scientific progress. There is such a thing as scientific progress. But this wholesale dedication of scientists to vivisection, which is the easy and cheap way, actually prevents them from scientific progress, for true progress is difficult and requires genius and imagination in its devoted workers.

  • People who let their dogs and cats have litters in order to show their children the 'miracle of birth' should come witness the 'miracle of death' performed in the back rooms of animal shelters all over the country.

  • The butcher with his bloody apron incites bloodshed, murder. Why not? From cutting the throat of a young calf to cutting the throats of our brothers and sisters is but a step. While we ourselves are living graves of murdered animals, how can we expect any ideal conditions on the earth?

    • Isadora Duncan,
    • in Carol Adams, "The Inedible Complex: The Political Implications of Vegetarianism," Second Wave ()
  • As we talked of freedom and justice one day for all, we sat down to steaks. I am eating misery, I thought, as I took the first bite. And spit it out.

  • If only I could so live and so serve the world that after me there should never again be birds in cages ...

    • Isak Dinesen,
    • "The Deluge at Norderney," Seven Gothic Tales ()
  • They have sent me some chicken, but, alas! can one eat one's acquaintance! these inoffensive companions of my retirement, can I devour them! How often have I lately admired the provident care and the maternal affection of a hen, and shall I eat her hopeful son or fair daughter! Sure I should then be an unworthy member of the chicken society. I find myself reduced to a vegetable diet, not as a Pythagorean, for fear of removing the soul of a friend, but to avoid destroying the body of an acquaintance. There is not a sheep, a calf, a lamb, a goose, a hen, or a turkey in the neighourhood, with which I am not intimately acquainted.

  • It's animal by animal that you save a species.

  • Surely it should be a matter of moral responsibility that we humans, different from other animals mainly by virtue of our more highly developed intellect and, with it, our greater capacity for understanding and compassion, ensure that medical progress slowly detaches its roots from the manure of non-human animal suffering and despair.

  • Wanton killing for sport, or euphemistically, for 'management' seems to me a poor way of demonstrating our higher intelligence. Predators hunt to live. Only man hunts for the sheer triumph of killing. It is a fact that only man is uplifted by the spectacle of an animal's death.

  • The more active an animal is in its natural state, the crueler it is to cage it.

  • Here in their ugly, empty cages the monkeys were no more tropical than a collection of London rats or dirty park pigeons. They were degraded as in a slum.

  • Fur used to turn heads, now it turns stomachs.

  • ... anyone who cares about the Earth — really cares — must stop eating animals.

  • In his rhapsody on the subject of rodeos he [the author] said nothing about the unspeakably cruel bucking-straps often used on rodeo horses. This strap crosses the most sensitive area of the male beast's groin and is then cinched as tightly as possible. The extreme pain which results drives even the most gentle horse to buck, kick, and otherwise perform in a manner satisfying to the onlookers. ... At least the onlookers should know what is giving them such a thrilling afternoon. It would be even more thrilled if the horse's rider were also forced to wear a bucking-strap, just as strategically placed and as tightly cinched. That would make it a more sporting contest, and I doubt that it would be the horse that gave up first.

  • Good food is a celebration of life, and it seems absurd to me that in celebrating life we should take life. That is why I don't eat flesh. I see no need for killing.

  • A sense of the Rights of Animals has slowly been awakened, and is becoming, by not imperceptible degrees, a new principle of ethics.

  • [On vivisection:] We stand face to face with a new vice ... the vice of scientific cruelty.

  • It is important that our relationship with farm animals is reciprocal. We owe animals a decent life and a painless death. I have observed that the people who are completely out of touch with nature are the most afraid of death ...

    • Temple Grandin,
    • "Thinking Like Animals," in Linda Hogan, Deena Metzger, and Brenda Peterson, eds., Intimate Nature: The Bond Between Women and Animals ()
  • ... death for the partridge, death for the salmon, death for the deer. How hypocritical people were, shuddering away from pain and oblivion when it was inflicted on their own kind; yet conferring that oblivion on another species as an integral part of their own vacation pleasure.

  • It's the veal thing.

  • Winners don't eat wieners.

  • 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.

  • [In a PETA-sponsored anti-meat commercial:] We all love animals, but why do we call some 'pets' and some 'dinner'?

    • k.d. lang,
    • in Victoria Starr, k.d. lang ()
  • [When told that the tickets to an A.S.P.C.A. benefit were going to cost fifteen dollars apiece:] Goodness, it would be cheaper to buy a horse and just be kind to it.

    • Kate Sproehnle,
    • in Margaret Case Harriman, The Vicious Circle: The Story of the Algonquin Round Table ()