Animal Quotes

I’m convinced that welfare reforms deserve our support, both because they are better (or at least much less bad) for the animals involved (the Golden Rule), and because they push the envelope, moving us closer to the compassionate world that all animal rights activists are working toward…On the other hand, working toward welfare reforms has the immediate benefit of helping improve animals’ lives today and acts as a crucial stepping stone toward animal liberation.

Remember that as a vegan, you save dozens of animals every year from the horrors of factory farms, which is great. And when you convince one person to also become vegan, in that moment you double your lifetime impact as a vegan! That’s power – and we should use it as effectively as possible. Check out the ‘Be a better advocate’ videos and essays at

As a general rule of biology, migratory species are less ‘aggressive’ than sedentary ones. There is one obvious reason why this should be so. The migration itself, like the pilgrimage, is the hard journey: a ‘leveller’ on which the ‘fit’ survive and stragglers fall by the wayside. The journey thus pre-empts the need for hierarchies and shows of dominance. The ‘dictators’ of the animal kingdom are those who live in an ambience of plenty. The anarchists, as always, are the ‘gentlemen of the road’.

The idolatry of food cuts across class lines. This can be seen in the public’s toleration of a level of cruelty in meat production that it would tolerate nowhere else. If someone inflicts pain on an animal for visual, aural, or sexual gratification, we consider him a monster, and the law makes at least a token effort at punishment. If someone’s goal is to put the “product” in his mouth?

Life cannot be classified in terms of a simple neurological ladder, with human beings at the top; it is more accurate to talk of different forms of intelligence, each with its strengths and weaknesses. This point was well demonstrated in the minutes before last December’s tsunami, when tourists grabbed their digital cameras and ran after the ebbing surf, and all the ‘dumb’ animals made for the hills.

There is behavioral ecology, which looks closely at the difference different ecologies make to behavior and other features of animals and humans. There’s evolutionary individual psychology, there’s evolutionary social psychology. In Darwin’s terms, evolution couldn’t exist without variation, and variation is important in behavioral genetics. And so on, and so on. There are so many instances in which evolution actually sharpens the precision, I think, with which one can find out the importance of differences. We’re interested in differences as well as commonalities.