I certainly believe that we have a moral obligation to care for the dogs, cats, and other nonhumans whose existence we have caused or facilitated as part of the institution of 'pet' ownership. But I maintain that we ought to abolish the institution and stop causing or facilitating the existence of more 'companion' animals.— Gary L. Francione
Beautiful Nonhuman quotations
I don't have a hands - on fondness for animals.
I did not grow up bonded to any particular nonhuman animal. I like them and I pet them and I'm kind to them, but there's no special bond between me and other animals...
Speciesism: A failure, in attitude or practice, to accord any nonhuman being equal consideration and respect
To meet God or Medusa face to face, even if it means risking everything human in myself. I dream of a hard and brutal mysticism in which the naked self merges with the nonhuman world and yet somehow survives still intact individual, separate. Paradox and bedrock.
Surely there will be some nonhuman animals whose lives, by any standards, are more valuable than the lives of some humans.
Our knowledge and understanding of nonhuman animals is polluted far more than we acknowledge by our belief in our own superiority, our unrecognized cultural programming, and our separation from nature.
If we compare a severely defective human infant with a nonhuman animal, a dog or a pig, for example, we will often find the nonhuman to have superior capacities, both actual and potential, for rationality, self-consciousness, communication and anything else that can plausibly be considered morally significant.
What is there about the notion of a person, at law, that makes every living member of the species Homo sapiens a person, irrespective of their mental capacities, but excludes every nonhuman animal - again, irrespective of their mental capacities?
It is understood that nonhuman creatures adapt to their places or they don't live. And for some reason that I can't figure out, even the biologists have excused our own species from that obligation. I think there's going to be a biological penalty to be paid for that eventually.
Compassion begets compassion, cruelty begets cruelty.
What we give we will ultimately receive. Nonhumans help make us human. They teach us respect, compassion, and unconditional love. When we mistreat animals, we mistreat ourselves. When we destroy animal spirits and souls, we destroy our own spirits and souls.
Regardless of its purpose, the humpback-whale song is the most complex piece of nonhuman composition on earth. Whether it's art, prayer, or booty call, the humpback song is an amazing thing to experience firsthand, and I suspect that even once the science of it is put to bed, it will remain, as long as they sing, magic.
When you deal with something like compassion for physical pain, which we know is very, very old in evolution - we can find evidence for it in nonhuman species - the brain processes it at a faster speed. Compassion for mental pain took many seconds longer.
The mode of consciousness of nonhuman species is quite different from human consciousness.
To say that a being who is sentient has no interest in continuing to live is like saying that a being with eyes has no interest in continuing to see. Death—however “humane”—is a harm for humans and nonhumans alike.
Forty-two years after Dr. King was murdered, we are still a nation of inequality. People of color, women, gays, lesbians, and others are still treated as second-class citizens. Yes, things have changed but we have still not achieved equality among all humans. And nonhuman animals continue to be chattel property without any inherent value.
The global industrial economy is the engine for massive environmental degradation and massive human (and nonhuman) impoverishment.
It's bad biology to rob nonhuman animals of their emotional lives.
By accepting responsibility, we take effective steps toward our goal: an inclusive human society on a habitable planet, a society that works for all humans and for all nonhumans. By accepting responsibility, we move closer to creating a world that works for all.
We see quite clearly that what happens to the nonhuman, happens to the human.
What happens to the outer world, happens to the inner world.
In what terms should we think of these beings, nonhuman yet possessing so very many human-like characteristics? How should we treat them? Surely we should treat them with the same consideration and kindness as we show to other humans; and as we recognize human rights, so too should we recognize the rights of the great apes? Yes.
The Buddha's teaching leads us to the realization that we must always strive to harm no sentient being, human or nonhuman, whether or not it is in our selfish interest to do so.
There are a lot of obstacles in the way of our understanding animal intelligence - not the least being that we can't even agree whether nonhuman species are conscious. We accept that chimps and dolphins experience awareness; we like to think dogs and cats do. But what about mice and newts? What about a fly? Is anything going on there at all?
human animals and nonhuman animals can communicate quite well;
if we are brought up around animals as children we take this for granted. By the time we are adults we no longer remember.
...eating animals involves an intentional decision to participate in the suffering and death of nonhumans where there is no plausible moral justification.
Veganism is the application of the principle of abolition in your own life;
it represents your recognition that animals are not things. Veganism is the recognition of the moral personhood of nonhuman animals.
The infantile cowardice of our time which demands an external pattern, a nonhuman authority.
The newspapers do little better. Their coverage of nonhuman animals is dominated by "human interest" events like the birth of a baby gorilla at the zoo, or by threats to endangered species; but developments in farming techniques that deprive millions of animals of freedom of movement go unreported.
We declare that only man exists. This is not to say that material, inorganic nature and nonhuman beings--animals and plants--are in any sense unreal, insubstantial, or illusory beccause they do not so exist. We merely state that the reality of these nonhuman realms differs from that of human existence, whose primary characteristic is Dasein (literally being-the-there)...Man as man is present...in a manner wholly different from...inanimate things.
We do not realize how deeply our starting assumptions affect the way we go about looking for and interpreting the data we collect. We should recognize that nonhuman organisms need not meet every new definition of human language, tool use, mind, or consciousness in order to have versions of their own that are worthy of serious study. We have set ourselves too much apart, grasping for definitions that will distinguish man from all other life on the planet. We must rejoin the great stream of life from whence we arose and strive to see within it the seeds of all we are and all we may become.
The Zhuangzi is very good on telling us how the nonhuman-made world can enter into who we are more deeply than at the level of answering to our current interests. If the environment can shape who we are, it can shape our very interests, leading us to recognize things, events, and processes that are of genuine value and that we have not previously recognized as such.
Priestly stewardship suggests that creation is not just for us, that it has purpose independent of the uses we can make of it. All of creation-human and nonhuman alike-exists ultimately for God and to the praise of God.
It took Christians many years to realize that we cannot love God and also keep humans as slaves. It has taken even longer for Christians to realize that we cannot love God and also regard women as second-class humans. Now is the time for Christians to realize that we cannot love God and hate the Creator's nonhuman creatures.
99% of our uses of animals, including our numerically most significant use of them for food, do not involve any sort of necessity or any real conflict between human and nonhuman interests. If animals matter morally at all, then, even without accepting a theory of animal rights, those uses of animals cannot be morally justified.
Buddhism cannot be true to itself until Buddhists resolve their ambivalence toward nonhuman animals and extend the full protection of their compassion to the most harmless and helpless of those who live at our mercy in the visible realms.
For most humans, especially for those in modern urban and suburban communities, the most direct form of contact with nonhuman animals is at meal time: we eat them.... The use and abuse of animals raised for food far exceeds, in sheer numbers of animals affected, any other kind of mistreatment.