We are alone, absolutely alone on this chance planet; and amid all the forms of life that surround us, not one, excepting the dog has made an alliance with us.
—Max De Pree (1924–2017) American Businessman
Nothing to be done really about animals. Anything you do looks foolish. The answer isn’t in us. It’s almost as if we’re put here on earth to show how silly they aren’t.
—Russell Hoban (1925–2011) American Novelist, Children’s Writer
Man is the most intelligent of the animals—and the most silly.
—Diogenes Laertius (f.3rd Century CE) Biographer of the Greek Philosophers
Animals, in their generation, are wiser than the sons of men; but their wisdom is confined to a few particulars, and lies in a very narrow compass.
—Joseph Addison (1672–1719) English Essayist, Poet, Playwright, Politician
Your rat tail is all the fashion now. I prefer a bushy plume, carried straight up. You are Siamese and your ancestors lived in trees. Mine lived in palaces. It has been suggested to me that I am a bit of a snob. How true! I prefer to be.
—Raymond Chandler (1888–1959) American Novelist
Of all the wonders of nature, a tree in summer is perhaps the most remarkable; with the possible exception of a moose singing “Embraceable You” in spats.
—Woody Allen (b.1935) American Film Actor, Director
The owl of ignorance lays the egg of pride.
The elephant, not only the largest but the most intelligent of animals, provides us with an excellent example. It is faithful and tenderly loving to the female of its choice, mating only every third year and then for no more than five days, and so secretly as never to be seen, until, on the sixth day, it appears and goes at once to wash its whole body in the river, unwilling to return to the herd until thus purified. Such good and modest habits are an example to husband and wife.
—Francis de Sales (1567–1622) French Catholic Saint
The poor dog, in life the firmest friend. The first to welcome, foremost to defend.
—Lord Byron (George Gordon Byron) (1788–1824) English Romantic Poet
Man, of all the animals, is probably the only one to regard himself as a great delicacy.
—Jacques Cousteau (1910–97) French Oceanographer, Documentary Director
Animals have these advantages over man: they never hear the clock strike, they die without any idea of death, they have no theologians to instruct them, their last moments are not disturbed by unwelcome and unpleasant ceremonies, their funerals cost them nothing, and no one starts lawsuits over their wills.
—Voltaire (1694–1778) French Philosopher, Author
Poor little Foal of an oppressed race! I love the languid patience of thy face.
—Samuel Taylor Coleridge (1772–1834) English Poet, Literary Critic, Philosopher
A fence should be horse high, hog tight and bull strong.
The best thing about animals is that they don’t talk much.
—Thornton Wilder (1897–1975) American Novelist, Playwright
A dog is the only thing on earth that loves you more than he loves himself.
—Josh Billings (Henry Wheeler Shaw) (1818–85) American Humorist, Author, Lecturer
A hen is only an egg’s way of making another egg.
Elephants suffer from too much patience. Their exhibitions of it may seem superb-such power and such restraint, combined, are noble-but a quality carried to excess defeats itself.
—Clarence Day (1874–1935) American Author, Humorist
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.
—Alice Walker (b.1944) American Novelist, Activist
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 (b.1929) Czech Novelist
What is a country without rabbits and partridges? They are among the most simple and indigenous animal products; ancient and venerable families known to antiquity as to modern times; of the very hue and substance of Nature, nearest allied to leaves and to the ground.
—Henry David Thoreau (1817–62) American Philosopher
The cow is of the bovine ilk;
One end is moo, the other milk.
—Ogden Nash (1902–71) American Writer of Sophisticated Light Verse
The dog was created especially for children. He is the god of frolic.
—Henry Ward Beecher (1813–87) American Clergyman, Writer
If you pick up a starving dog and make him prosperous, he will not bite you. This is the principal difference between a dog and a man.
—Mark Twain (1835–1910) American Humorist
I shoot the Hippopotamus
With bullets made of platinum,
Because if I use leaden ones
His hide is sure to flatten ’em.
—Hilaire Belloc (1870–1953) British Historian, Poet, Critic
The lower animals, like man, manifestly feel pleasure and pain, happiness and misery. Happiness is never better exhibited than by young animals, such as puppies, kittens, lambs, &c., when playing together, like our own children. Even insects play together, as has been described by that excellent observer, P. Huber, who saw ants chasing and pretending to bite each other, like so many puppies.
—Charles Darwin (1809–82) English Naturalist
Animals often strike us as passionate machines.
—Eric Hoffer (1902–83) American Philosopher, Author
I said something which gave you to think I hated cats. But gad, sir, I am one of the most fanatical cat lovers in the business. If you hate them, I may learn to hate you. If your allergies hate them, I will tolerate the situation to the best of my ability.
—Raymond Chandler (1888–1959) American Novelist
There is one respect in which brutes show real wisdom when compared with us-I mean their quiet, placid enjoyment of the present moment.
—Arthur Schopenhauer (1788–1860) German Philosopher
They do not sweat and whine about their condition, they do not lie awake in the dark and weep for their sins, they do not make me sick discussing their duty to God, not one is dissatisfied, not one is demented with the mania of owning things, not one kneels to another, nor to his kind that lived thousands of years ago.
—Walt Whitman (1819–92) American Poet, Essayist, Journalist, American, Poet, Essayist, Journalist
People are not going to care about animal conservation unless they think that animals are worthwhile.
—David Attenborough (b.1926) English Naturalist, Broadcaster