A few musings...from other people! (how exciting!)
"We cannot bring ourselves to regard close confinement of sows by stalls or thethers throughout their pregnancies-- which is, for most of their adult lives-- with anything but distaste."-- Great Britain's House of Commons' Agricultural Committee, report, 1981.
“Although other animals cannot reason or speak the way humans do, this does not give us the right to do with them as we like. Even though our supposed possession of a soul and superior intelligence are used to create an arbitrary dividing line over rights, the fact remains that all animals have the capacity to experience pain and suffering, and in suffering they are our equals.” — Nathaniel Altman (1948- )
“The earth is the Lord’s and the fullness Thereof, Oh, God, enlarge within us the Sense of fellowship with all living Things, our brothers the animals to Whom Thou gavest the earth as Their home in common with us . . . May we realize that they live not For us alone but for themselves and For Thee and that they love the sweetness Of life.” — St. Basil, Bishop of Caesarea (330-379)
“The old assumption that animals acted exclusively by instinct, while man had a monopoly of reason, is, we think, maintained by few people nowadays who have any knowledge at all about animals. We can only wonder that so absurd a theory could have been held for so long a time as it was, when on all sides the evidence of animals’ power of reasoning is crushing.” — Ernest Bell (1851-1933)
“The day may come when the rest of the animal creation may acquire those rights which never could have been withheld from them but by the hand of tyranny . . . a full-grown horse or dog is beyond comparison a more rational, as well as a more conversable animal, than an infant of a day, or a week or even a month old. But suppose the case were otherwise, what would it avail? The question is not, can they reason? Nor, can they talk? But, can they suffer? Why should the law refuse its protection to any sensitive being? The time will come when humanity will extend its mantle over everything which breathes. . . .” — Jeremy Bentham (1748-1832)
“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.” — Annie Besant (1847-1933)
“What the factory farmers emphasize is that animals are different from humans: we can’t, we are told, judge their reactions by our own, because they don’t have human feelings. But no one in his senses ever supposed they did. Anyone acquainted with animals can guess pretty well that they have less intellect and memory than humans, and live closer to their instincts. But the reasonable conclusion to draw from this is the very opposite of the one the factory farmers try to force upon us. In all probability, animals feel more sharply than we do any restrictions on such instinctual promptings as the need, which we share with them, to wander around and stretch one’s legs every now and then; and terror or distress suffered by an animal is never, as sometimes in us, softened by intellectual comprehension of the circumstances.” — Brigid Brophy (1929- )
“On profit-driven factory farms, veal calves are confined to dark wooden crates so small that they are prevented from lying down or scratching themselves. These creatures feel; they know pain. They suffer pain just as we humans suffer pain. Egg-laying hens are confined to battery cages. Unable to spread their wings, they are reduced to nothing more than an egg-laying machine. . . . The law clearly requires that these poor creatures be stunned and rendered insensitive to pain before [the slaughtering] process begins. Federal law is being ignored. Animal cruelty abounds. It is sickening. It is infuriating. Barbaric treatment of helpless, defenseless creatures must not be tolerated even if these animals are being raised for food—and even more so, more so. Such insensitivity is insidious and can spread and is dangerous. Life must be respected and dealt with humanely in a civilized society.” — Senator Robert Byrd (on the floor of the U.S. Senate, July 9, 2001)
"Our inhumane treatment of livestock is becoming widespread and more and more barbaric. Six-hundred-pound hogs-they were pigs at one time-raised in 2-foot-wide metal cages called gestation crates, in which the poor beasts are unable to turn around or lie down in natural positions, and this way they live for months at a time." — Senator Robert Byrd
“Never believe that animals suffer less than humans. Pain is the same for them that it is for us. Even worse, because they cannot help themselves.” — Dr. Louis J. Camuti (1893-1981)
“The saints are exceedingly loving and gentle to mankind, and even to brute beasts. . . . Surely we ought to show [animals] great kindness and gentleness for many reasons, but, above all, because they are of the same origin as ourselves.” — St. John Chrysostom (347-407)
“There is no fundamental difference between man and the higher mammals in their mental faculties. . . . The difference in mind between man and the higher animals, great as it is, certainly is one of degree and not of kind. The love for all living creatures is the most noble attribute of man. We have seen that the senses and intuitions, the various emotions and faculties, such as love, memory, attention and curiosity, imitation, reason, etc., of which man boasts, may be found in an incipient, or even sometimes a well-developed condition, in the lower animals.” — Charles Darwin (1809-1882)
“To my mind, the life of a lamb is no less precious than that of a human being. I should be unwilling to take the life of a lamb for the sake of the human body. I hold that, the more helpless a creature, the more entitled it is to protection by man from the cruelty of man. . . . I want to realize brotherhood or identity not merely with the beings called human, but I want to realize identity with all life, even with such things as crawl upon earth.” — Mahatma Gandhi (1869-1948)
“This [eating animals] appears from the frequent hard-heartedness and cruelty found among those persons whose occupations engage them in destroying animal life, as well as from the uneasiness which others feel in beholding the butchery of animals. It is most evident in respect to the larger animals and those with whom we have a familiar intercourse—such as oxen, sheep, and domestic fowls, etc. They resemble us greatly in the make of the body, in general, and in that of the particular organs of circulation, respiration, digestion, etc.; also in the formation of their intellects, memories and passions, and in the signs of distress, fear, pain and death. They often, likewise, win our affections by the marks of peculiar sagacity, by their instincts, helplessness, innocence, nascent benevolence, etc., and if there be any glimmering hope of an ‘hereafter’ for them—if they should prove to be our brethren and sisters in this higher sense—in immortality as well as mortality, in the permanent principle of our minds as well as in the frail dust of our bodies—this ought to be still further reason for tenderness for them.” — David Hartley (1705-1757)
“The soul is the same in all living creatures, although the body of each is different.” — Hippocrates (460?-370? BC)
“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)
“It should not be believed that all beings exist for the sake of the existence of man. On the contrary, all the other beings too have been intended for their own sakes and not for the sake of anything else . . . there is no difference between the pain of humans and the pain of other living beings, since the love and tenderness of the mother for the young are not produced by reasoning, but by feeling, and this faculty exists not only in humans but in most living beings.” — Rabbi Moses ben Maimon (1135-1204)
“Since factory farming exerts a violent and unnatural force upon the living organisms of animals and birds in order to increase production and profits; since it involves callous and cruel exploitation of life, with implicit contempt for nature, I must join in the protest being uttered against it. It does not seem that these methods have any really justifiable purpose, except to increase the quantity of production at the expense of quality—if that can be called a justifiable purpose.” — Thomas Merton (1915-1968)
“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 (in Moralia) (46-120)
Excerpts from an interview with Pope Benedict XVI, (then known as Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, the Prefect for the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith - the Vatican's foremost advisor on matters of doctrine) by German journalist Peter Seewald.
Seewald: Are we allowed to make use of animals, and even to eat them?
Ratzinger: That is a very serious question. At any rate, we can see that they are given into our care, that we cannot just do whatever we want with them. Animals, too, are God's creatures, and even if they do not have the same direct relation to God that man has, they are creatures of his will, creatures we must respect as companions in creation and as important elements in the creation.As far as whether we are allowed to kill and to eat animals, there is a remarkable ordering of matters in Holy Scripture. We can read how, at first, only plants are mentioned as providing food for man. Only after the flood, that is to say, after a new breach has been opened between God and man, are we told that man eats flesh...Nonetheless...we should not proceed from this to a kind of sectarian cult of animals. For this, too, is permitted to man. He should always maintain his respect for these creatures, but he knows at the same time that he is not forbidden to take food from them. Certainly, a sort of industrial use of creatures, so that geese are fed in such a way as to produce as large a liver as possible, or hens live so packed together that they become just caricatures of birds, this degrading of living creatures to a commodity seems to me in fact to contradict the relationship of mutuality that comes across in the Bible.
— Pope Benedict XVI
“The welfare of animal citizens is as much our concern as is that of other humans. Surely if we are all God’s creatures, if all animal species are capable of feeling, if we are all evolutionary relatives, if all animals are on the same biological continuum, then also we should all be on the same moral continuum—and if it is wrong to inflict suffering upon an innocent and unwilling human, then it is wrong to so treat another species.” — Richard D. Ryder (1940- )
“The emancipation of men from cruelty and injustice will bring with it in due course the emancipation of animals also. The two reforms are inseparably connected, and neither can be fully realized alone.” — Henry Salt (1851-1939)
“If the use of animal food be, in consequence, subversive to the peace of human society, how unwarrantable is the injustice and the barbarity which is exercised toward these miserable victims. They are called into existence by human artifice that they may drag out a short and miserable existence of slavery and disease, that their bodies may be mutilated, their social feelings outraged. It were much better that a sentient being should never have existed, than that it should have existed only to endure unmitigated misery.” — Percy Bysshe Shelley (1792-1822)
“The same questions are bothering me today as they did fifty years ago. Why is one born? Why does one suffer? In my case, the suffering of animals also makes me very sad. I’m a vegetarian, you know. When I see how little attention people pay to animals, and how easily they make peace with man being allowed to do with animals whatever he wants because he keeps a knife or a gun, it gives me a feeling of misery and sometimes anger with the Almighty. I say ‘Do you need your glory to be connected with so much suffering of creatures without glory, just innocent creatures who would like to pass a few years in peace?’ I feel that animals are as bewildered as we are except that they have no words for it. I would say that all life is asking: ‘What am I doing here?’” — Isaac Bashevis Singer, Newsweek interview (October 16, 1978) after winning the Nobel Prize in literature
“How pitiful, and what poverty of mind, to have said that the animals are machines deprived of understanding and feeling . . . has Nature arranged all the springs of feeling in this animal to the end that he might not feel? Has he nerves that he may he incapable of suffering? People must have renounced, it seems to me, all natural intelligence to dare to advance that animals are but animated machines . . . It appears to me, besides, that [such people] can never have observed with attention the character of animals, not to have distinguished among them the different Voices of need, of suffering, of joy, of pain, of love, of anger, and of all their affections. It would be very strange that they should express so well what they could not feel. . . . They are endowed with life as we are, because they have the same principles of life, the same feelings, the same ideas, memory, industry—as we.” — Voltaire (1694-1778)
“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