Wednesday 13 April 2022

Animal rights quotes and some thoughts

I think we should make up our own animal rights quotes. Here is one I just made up: "Animal cruelty leads to human cruelty. Hurting animals hurts humankind in the long run" - Michael Broad (webmaster PoC).

Animal advocate
Animal advocate. Image: Pixabay.

OK, it's not that good but it makes the point. Here are some "professional" animal rights quotes:

The first one is a very well-known quote. It has been quoted hundreds of thousands of times and rightly so. To emphasise what I have stated below, I don't think that the human race can be described as civilised until we all respect animals. We have a long way to go. That is abundantly clear. 

Animal rights
Animal rights. Image: Pixabay.

The invasion of Ukraine by Putin's forces has resulted in horrifically uncivilised human behaviour towards both people and animals by the Russians. In contrast, the Ukrainian defenders appear to be very gentle and respectful of stray dogs and cats.

"The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated." - Mahatma Gandhi

It is so right because the treatment of living creatures who are vulnerable or at the mercy of people in authority and/or power indicates the quality of the society and the calibre of the people who in power. For animals all people are in power all people have dominion over them. The bible as I recall endorses that view which is wrong. The bible is wrong in many respects. Please read The Age of Reason by Thomas Paine.

So, it is an animal quote that actually applies to all living creatures including people who are vulnerable. These are usually the poorer people, people more likely to be abused and used by the stronger, alpha male types.

Bodega cat insists on equal rights to humans
Bodega cat insists on equal rights with humans and why not? 
Photo: Facebook @thebodegacats.

A society that cares properly for the most vulnerable - and companion animals are vulnerable in a human dominated world - is one that has become truly civilised. The world is not civilised, not even western nations are civilised. Over 2 million feral cats are needlessly and deliberately killed in the USA every year. They don't pass the Gandhi test I am afraid.

I was reminded, incidentally, that Gandhi was no saint himself. He was human but he knew how to make a good quote! And he knew animal and human rights.

"Life is life's greatest gift. Guard the life of another creature as you would your own because it is your own. On life's scale of values, the smallest is no less precious to the creature who owns it than the largest..."
- Lloyd Biggle Jr.

I have not heard this animal rights quote before. Actually, it is not necessarily an animal rights quote, more commonsense.

The thing is this: if we kill and abuse animals, we are hurting nature and nature is the world. We are killing a part of us indirectly. We are hurting ourselves slowly and indirectly. If we do something bad to an animal, we are damaging ourselves psychologically I believe. If we do the opposite and do good, we build our self-esteem. We create a better world inside our heads and outside in our small way.

"True human goodness, in all its purity and freedom, can come to the fore only when its recipient has no power. 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, (Czech Novelist)

"Most people have forgotten how to live with living creatures, with living systems and that, in turn, is the reason why man, whenever he comes into contact with nature, threatens to kill the natural system in which and from which he lives." - Konrad Lorenz, (Naturalist)

In general, the world has forgotten how to live with nature. We have forgotten that we don't own the planet but are guardians of it. We live on it and yet we destroy it. Abusing animal rights is a small manifestation of our inability to think sustainably and how to live harmoniously with nature. By nature, I mean all living creatures and the landscape on which we live.

Sometimes I believe that we hate ourselves so much that we are destroying the planet as a way of destroying ourselves.

One area where animal rights are routinely abused wholly legally is in the area of animal testing. This is a controversial area. But if we have any sensitivity to animal rights, animal testing is repugnant. It is distasteful and obviously wrong. Why are we more important than animals? In terms of world health, we are less important than all other animals because we are the greatest threat to the world. As I said we are destroying it. Animals don't destroy the world. They live in harmony with nature and the planet.

"Atrocities are no less atrocities when they occur in laboratories and are called 'medical research." - George Bernard Shaw, (Irish Playright and Critic)

It would seem that some progress has been made in the area of animal rights....

Eleanor Roosevelt with family dog
"It seems to me of great importance to teach children respect for life. Towards this end, experiments on living animals in classrooms should be stopped. To encourage cruelty in the name of science can only destroy the finer emotions of affection and sympathy, and breed an unfeeling callousness in the young towards suffering in all living creatures." - Eleanor Roosevelt, (former First Lady of the United States of America)

Eleanor Roosevelt lived October 11, 1884 – November 7, 1962. Am I correct is presuming that in the United States, conducting live animal experiments has been banned in the classroom? God, I hope so. It is disgusting.

It is particularly important that children learn to respect other living creatures, to respect nature and other people. Martha Kane working in Malta as a cat rescuer gives talks to school children for this particular purpose.

I hope you enjoyed these animal rights quotes. Please add your own animal rights quote by leaving a comment.

Postscript: I might be an extreme animal advocate but I believe that the human-animal is not superior to any animal. I believe that we are all equal whether we are humans or animals. Obviously, we are not because in the human world very few people think that but I also believe that it would be a better world if people thought like me. There would be much less animal cruelty. Little animal exploitation. A much lower human population and so on. Human population growth is almost a disease on the planet. It is destroying the planet. And if you destroy animals, you also destroy humans and the planet. We need to live in harmony. There needs to be far more respect for animals both wild and domestic. We have a legacy of Christianity in large parts of the world which more or less states that humans have dominion over animals. Not a good concept.

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