Cruelty Quotations

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To sin by silence when they should protest makes cowards out of men.
Abraham Lincoln

The worst sin toward our fellow creatures is not to hate them, but to be indifferent to them; that's the essence of humanity.
George Bernard Shaw

Cruelty to animals is one of the most significant vices of a low and ignoble people. Wherever one notices them, they constitute a sign of ignorance and brutality which cannot be painted over even by all the evidence of wealth and luxury.
Alexander Von Humbolt

The quiet conscience is the invention of the devil. No one of us may permit any preventable pain to be inflicted even though the responsibility for that pain is not ours. No one may shut his eyes and think that the pain which is therefore not visible, is non-existent.
Albert Schweitzer

You cannot do a kindness too soon, because you never know how soon it will be too late.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

It is as if life had said, "I am going to send you into a world of cruelty. I shall make you sensitive to pain, fear, heat, cold, hunger and starvation. In this world of cruelty, I shall make you defenseless. In addition, I shall strike you dumb." This is the kind of world that animals are born into.
Grace Johnson

All the beautiful sentiments in the world weigh less than a single lovely action.
James Russell Lowell

Very little of the great cruelty shown by men can really be attributed to cruel instinct. Most of it comes from thoughtlessness or inherited habit. The roots of cruelty, therefore, are not so much strong as widespread. But the time will come when inhumanity protected by custom and thoughtlessness will succumb before humanity championed by thought. Let us work that this time may come.
Albert Schweitzer

To close your eyes will not ease another's pain.
Chinese Proverb

The most solid comfort one can fall back upon is the thought that the business of one's life is to help in some small way to reduce the sum of ignorance, degradation, and misery on this earth.
George Eliot

These birds and animals and fish cannot speak, but they can suffer, and our God who created them, knows their sufferings, and will hold him who causes them to suffer unnecessarily to answer for it. It is a sin against their Creator.
George Q. Cannon

Cruelty to dumb animals is one of the distinguishing vices of the lowest and basest of the people -- wherever it is found, it is a certain mark of ignorance and meanness.
Jones of Nayland

If you have men who will exclude any of God's creatures from the shelter of pity and compassion, you will have men who will deal likewise with their fellow men.
St. Francis of Assisi

Until we have the courage to recognize cruelty for what it is — whether its victim is human or animal — we cannot expect things to be much better in this world.
Rachel Carson

The scale of justice must be equal for all God’s creatures.
Defenders of Animal Rights

A right to destruction and cruelty can be made legal but it can never be made right, ethical, or just, and it’s detrimental to any society that supports it. It is our duty, as Americans and as human beings, to save our innocent fellow creatures from the heartless, the greedy, and the cruel.
Dallas Gragg, in The ANIMALS’ AGENDA
Contract Painter, Environmentalist, Animal
Protectionist, Ex-hunter

Wealth without work, pleasure without conscience, knowledge without character, commerce without morality, science without humanity, worship without sacrifice, and politics without principle.
Mahatma Gandhi, quoted by President Jimmy
Carter at Sen. Hubert Humphrey’s funeral.
“The seven deadly sins”

Any glimpse into the life of an animal quickens our own and makes it so much the larger and better in every way.
John Muir

The highest evolution of the human person is the mind that cannot bear to see the suffering of others
Mencius, Confucian philosopher

The world has achieved brilliance without conscience. Ours is a world of nuclear giants and ethical infants.
General Omar Bradley (1893-1981)

Take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented.
Elie Wiesel, 1986 Nobel Peace Prize Winner

Paying attention to the survival of a species is an important issue, but species are abstractions which do not suffer — only individual animals do.
Patrice Greanville, Sept 1987

Heartless people are at bottom stupid. I have never known anyone of intelligence (cleverness yes; intelligence, no; there is a difference) who did not resonate to the sufferings of others.
Sidney Harris

It has become clear that animals do not reveal the higher possibilities of their nature and behavior, nor the full range of their individual diversity, except in...conditions of freedom. Captivity cages minds as well as bodies, and rigid experimental procedure limits the range of performance.
Sir Julian Huxley
British biologist

Non-violence leads to the highest ethics, which is the goal of all evolution. Until we stop harming all living beings, we are still savages.
Thomas Edison
Harper’s Magazine, 1890

Animals were on earth before man, yet man even now knows and understands little about them, ignoring such admonitions as that of Aristotle centuries ago, who said, “Wherefore should one be childishly contemptuous of the most insignificant animals? For there is something marvelous in all natural objects.”

No argument for experiments on animals can be found which is not also argument for experiments on inferior men. If we cut up beasts simply because they cannot prevent us and because we are backing up our own is only logical to cut up imbeciles , criminals, or enemies for the same reason.
C. S. Lewis

There may be times when we are powerless to prevent injustice, but there must never be a time when we fail to protest.
Elie Wiesel

...there can be no reason — except the selfish desire to preserve the privileges of the exploiting group — for refusing to extend the basic principle of equality of consideration to members of other species.
Peter Singer

The love of animals, like the love of our neighbor, is not a gift to be condescendingly bestowed, but a profound and humble acceptance of their kinship.
Robert R. Logan

Animals share with us the privilege of having a soul.
Pythagoras, circa 570-500 B.C.

Animals have rights in themselves because of their capacity to feel both pain and pleasure.
St. Ciaran of Ossory, 5-6 A.D.

O justice of God! Why dost thou not awake to behold thy creatures thus abused?
Leonardo da Vinci (1452-1519)

Once admit that we have the right to inflict unnecessary suffering and you destroy the very basis of human society.
John Galsworthy (1867-1933)

The animal world is a manifestation of God’s power, and demands respect and consideration. The desire to kill animals, unnecessary harshness and callous cruelty towards them, must always be condemned.
Pope Pius the Twelth (1876-1958)

There is not an animal on the earth, nor a flying creature on two wings, but they are people like unto you.
The Koran

It is a sobering thought that animals could do without man yet man would find it almost impossible to do without animals.
Ruth Harrison
Member of Ministry of Agriculture’s
Advisory Committee of Farm Animal Welfare
U.K., 1972

...even should it by conclusively proved that human beings benefit directly from the suffering of animals, its infliction would nevertheless be unethical and wrong...
Air Chief Marshal Lord Dowding
Address to the House of Lords, October 1952

I ask upon what pinnacle do we base human life and well being that denies all rights whatsoever to every species but our own?
Rt. Hon. Douglas Houghton, C.H., M.P.
House of Commons Debate, 11 May 1973

We give them the love we can spare, the time we can spare. In return dogs have given us their absolute all. It is without a doubt the best deal man has ever made.
Roger Caras, A Celebration of Dogs
(Times Books)

Some people are uncomfortable with the idea that humans belong to the same class of animals as cats and cows and raccoons. They’re like the people who become successful and then don’t want to be reminded of the old neighborhood.
Phil Donahue, The Human Animal
Simon & Schuster) Quoted in Reader’s Digest Oct ‘88