(ANIMAL ACTIVISM/ANIMAL QUOTES) In celebration of Earth Day, check out our favorite quotes about animals throughout the ages. Read all the wisdom, compassion and humor to put yourself in the spirit of gratitude – and in tune to some of the world’s greatest thinkers and humanitarians – true Global Animals!

great migration

We can judge the heart of a man by his treatment of animals. – Immanuel Kant

A dog is the only thing on earth that loves you more than he loves himself. ― Josh Billings

I care not for a man’s religion whose dog and cat are not the better for it.
 – Abraham Lincoln

I am fond of pigs. Dogs look up to us. Cats look down on us. Pigs treat us as equals. — Winston Churchill

Photo Credit: David Tipling/NPL/Rex Features
Photo Credit: David Tipling/NPL/Rex Features

Who can believe that there is no soul behind those luminous eyes! – Theophile Gautier

I am in favor of animal rights as well as human rights. That is the way of a whole human being. – Abraham Lincoln

Until one has loved an animal, a part of one’s soul remains unawakened. – Anatole France

Questers of the truth, that’s who dogs are; seekers after the invisible scent of another being’s authentic core. — Jeffrey Moussaieff Masson

There is no psychiatrist in the world like a puppy licking your face. — Ben Williams

[quote style=”boxed” float=”right”]Man is a two-legged animal without feathers. – Plato[/quote]

Deliberate cruelty to our defenceless and beautiful little cousins is surely one of the meanest and most detestable vices of which a human being can be guilty.  – William Ralph Inge

My little dog — a heartbeat at my feet. – Edith Wharton

It is absurd for a man to kill an elephant. It is not brutal, it is not heroic, and certainly it is not easy; it is just one of those preposterous things that men do like putting a dam across a great river, one tenth of whose volume could engulf the whole of mankind without disturbing the domestic life of a single catfish. ― Beryl Markham, West with the Night

Because the heart beats under a covering of hair, of fur, feathers, or wings, it is, for that reason, to be of no account?  – Jean Paul Richter

I ask people why they have deer heads on their walls. They always say because it’s such a beautiful animal. There you go. I think my mother is attractive, but I have photographs of her. ― Ellen DeGeneres

All beings tremble before violence. 
All fear death, all love life. See 
yourself in others. Then whom can 
you hurt? What harm can you do?
 – Buddha

The thinking man must oppose all cruel customs no matter how deeply rooted in tradition or surrounded by a halo . . . We need a boundless ethic which will include the animals also. – Dr. Albert Schweitzer

Animals are my friends…and I don’t eat my friends.― George Bernard Shaw

[quote style=”boxed” float=”left”]Lots of people talk to animals. Not very many listen, though. That’s the problem. — Benjamin Hoff[/quote]

Dogs never bite me. Just humans.  — Marilyn Monroe

The greatest pleasure of a dog is that you may make a fool of yourself with him and not only will he not scold you, but he will make a fool of himself, too. — Samuel Butler

I know at last what distinguishes man from animals: financial worries. — Romain Roland

I love cats because I enjoy my home; and little by little, they become its visible soul. — Jean Cocteau

In order to keep a true perspective of one’s importance, everyone should have a dog that will worship him and a cat that will ignore him. — Dereke Bruce

If a dog will not come to you after having looked you in the face, you should go home and examine your conscience. ― Woodrow Wilson

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

The dog is the god of frolic. – Henry Ward Beecher

The animals of the world exist for their own reasons.  They were not made for humans any more than black people were made for white, or women created for men. – Alice Walker

Think occasionally of the suffering of which you spare yourself the sight.  – Albert SchweitzerBirds Follow Microlight

No one in the world needs a mink coat but a mink.  – Murray Banks

The love for all living creatures is the most noble attribute of man.
 — Charles Darwin

Animals can communicate quite well.  And they do.  And generally speaking, they are ignored. – Alice Walker

When it comes to having a central nervous system, and the ability to feel pain, hunger, and thirst, a rat is a pig is a dog is a boy. Ingrid Newkirk

Until he extends the circle of his compassion to all living things, man will not himself find peace.
 – Albert Schweitzer

Wild animals never kill for sport. Man is the only one to whom the torture and death of his fellow creatures is amusing in itself.
 – James A. Froude

All of the animals except for man know that principle business of life is to enjoy it. — Samuel Butler

Women and cats will do as they please, and men and dogs should relax and get used to the idea. — Robert A. Heinlein

A man that don’t love a horse, there is something the matter with him. — Will Rogers

A bird does not sing because it has an answer. It sings because it has a song. — Chinese Proverb

If having a soul means being able to feel love and loyalty and gratitude, then animals are better off than a lot of humans. — James Herriot

I abhor vivisection. It should at least be curbed. Better, it should be abolished. I know of no achievement through vivisection, no scientific discovery, that could not have been obtained without such barbarism and cruelty. The whole thing is evil.
 – Charles Mayo, founder of the Mayo Clinic

A growing and increasingly influential movement of philosophers, ethicists, law professors and activists are convinced that the great moral struggle of our time will be for the rights of animals. – Michael Pollan

Creating the new dam will push tigers out of their habitats. Photo Credit: National Fish and Wildlife Fund
Photo Credit: National Fish and Wildlife Fund

The question is not, “Can they 
reason?” nor, “Can they talk?” 
but rather, “Can they suffer?” –
 Jeremy Bentham

Life is as dear to a mute creature as it is to man. Just as one wants happiness and fears pain, just as one wants to live and not die, so do other creatures.  – His Holiness The Dalai Lama

Animals are reliable, many full of love, true in their affections, predictable in their actions, grateful and loyal. Difficult standards for people to live up to. – Alfred A. Montapert

The animals of the planet are in desperate peril. Without free animal life I believe we will lose the spiritual equivalent of oxygen. – Alice Walker

[quote style=”boxed” float=”right”]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[/quote]

For the animal shall not be measured by man. In a world older and more complete than ours, they move finished and complete, gifted with the extension of the senses we have lost or never attained, living by voices we shall never hear. They are not brethren, they are not underlings; they are other nations, caught with ourselves in the net of life and time, fellow prisoners of the splendor and travail of the earth. – Henry Beston, naturalist

The line we draw between animals that are socially acceptable and those we find repugnant can be awfully arbitrary. — Alexandra Harney

Only when the last tree is cut, only when the last river is polluted, only when the last fish is caught, will they realize that you can’t eat money. – Native American proverb

What is man without the beasts? If all the beasts were gone, man would die from a great loneliness of spirit. For whatever happens to the beasts, soon happens to man. All things are connected. – Chief Seattle

It is difficult to obtain the friendship of a cat. It is a philosophical animal… one that does not place its affections thoughtlessly. – Theophile Gautier

Drinking, when we are not thirsty and making love all year round, madam; that is all there is to distinguish us from other animals. – Pierre de Beaumarchais

Even the tiniest poodle is lionhearted, ready to do anything to defend home, master, and mistress. — Louis Sabin

But perhaps the most important lesson I learned is that there are no walls between humans and the elephants except those that we put up ourselves, and that until we allow not only elephants, but all living creatures their place in the sun, we can never be whole ourselves. ― Lawrence Anthony, The Elephant Whisperer

The poor dog, in life the firmest friend. The first to welcome, foremost to defend. – Lord Byronhumpback whale and diver

It’s almost as if we’re put here on earth to show how silly they aren’t. – Russell Hoban

Cows are amongst the gentlest of breathing creatures; none show more passionate tenderness to their young when deprived of them; and, in short, I am not ashamed to profess a deep love for these quiet creatures. – Thomas De Quincey

Life is life – whether in a cat, or dog or man. There is no difference there between a cat or a man. The idea of difference is a human conception for man’s own advantage. – Sri Aurobindo

The greatest pleasure of a dog is that you may make a fool of yourself with him and not only will he not scold you, but he will make a fool of himself too. — Samuel Butler

The average dog is a nicer person than the average person. — Andy Rooney

No matter how little money and how few possessions you own, having a dog makes you rich. — Louis Sabin

Happiness is a warm puppy. — Charles Schulz

I expect to pass through this world but once. Any good therefore that I can do, or any kindness or abilities that I can show to any fellow creature, let me do it now. Let me not defer it or neglect it, for I shall not pass this way again. – William Penn

On Taking Action

People may doubt what you say, but they will believe what you do. — Lewis Cass

The important work of moving the world forward does not wait to be done by perfect men. – George Elliot

If you’re not giving the world the best you have, what world are you saving it for? – Anonymous

The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy. 
— Martin Luther King, Jr.

In the End, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends. — Martin Luther King, Jr.

There is nothing more frightful than ignorance in action.
 – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, German writer

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

The fact that an opinion has been widely held is no evidence that it is not utterly absurd; indeed, in view of the silliness of the majority of mankind, a widespread belief is more often likely to be foolish than sensible. – Bertrand Russell, Marriage and Morals, 1929

On not eating animals

The eating of meat extinguishes the great seed of compassion. –Buddha (563-483 BC)

To be a vegetarian is to disagree — to disagree with the course of things today. Starvation, world hunger, cruelty, waste, wars — we must make a statement against these things. Vegetarianism is my statement. And I think it’s a strong one. – Isaac Bashevis Singer

Poor animals! How jealously they guard their pathetic bodies…that which to us is merely an evening’s meal, but to them is life itself. – T. Casey Brennan

A man can live and be healthy without killing animals for food; therefore, if he eats meat, he participates in taking animal life merely for the sake of his appetite. – Leo Tolstoy

When a human being kills an animal for food, he is neglecting his own hunger for justice.
 – Isaac Bashevis Singer

As long as people will shed the blood of innocent creatures there can be no peace, no liberty, no harmony between people. Slaughter and justice cannot dwell together.
 – Isaac Bashevis Singer

Now I can look at you in peace; I don’t eat you anymore. – Franz Kafka, while admiring fish in an aquarium

Great minds think alike

Mohandas K. Gandhi:

Be the change that you want to see in the world. – Mohandas K. Gandhi

The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated. – Mohandas K. Gandhi

A small body of determined spirits fired by an unquenchable faith in their mission can alter the course of history. – Mohandas K. Gandhi

Non-cooperation with evil is as much a duty as is cooperation with good.  – Mohandas K. Gandhi

First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win. – Mohandas K. Gandhi

Albert Einstein:

If a man aspires towards a righteous life, his first act of abstinence is from injury to animals.” – Albert Einstein

Vegetarian food leaves a deep impression on our nature. If the whole world adopts vegetarianism, it can change the destiny of humankind. – Albert Einstein

It is my view that the vegetarian manner of living, by its purely physical effect on the human temperament, would be the most beneficial influence to mankind. – Albert Einstein

The world is a dangerous place, not because of those who do evil, but because of those who look on and do nothing. – Albert Einstein

Mark Twain:

It is just like man’s vanity and impertinence to call an animal dumb because it is dumb to his dull perceptions. – Mark Twain

Loyalty to a petrified opinion never yet broke a chain or freed a human soul. 
– Mark Twain

I have been studying the traits and dispositions of the “lower animals” (so called) and contrasting them with the traits and dispositions of man. I find the result humiliating to me. – Mark Twain

Heaven is by favor; if it were by merit your dog would go in and you would stay out.  Of all the creatures ever made [man] is the most detestable.  Of the entire brood, he is the only one… that possesses malice.  He is the only creature that inflicts pain for sport, knowing it to be pain. – Mark Twain

If animals could speak, the dog would be a blundering outspoken fellow; but the cat would have the rare grace of never saying a word too much. – Mark Twain

Are these animal quotes speaking your language? Then chances are you’re a Global Animal. Find out here: 

Are You A Global Animal?

And join other animal lovers and advocates worldwide who are lending their voices to animals.





  1. Is Ignorance bliss?
    Is it better to be ignorant of the evils in the world and be happy or have knowledge of them and be sad? Ernest Hemingway said "Happiness is the rarest emotion among intelligent people".

    I think that’s really true, because I see that every day… there's a lot of really ugly things in the world but I choose not to ignore them.

    I truly believe that knowledge is Power and you can help to make a change.
    One voice won’t change the World but millions like yours can!

  2. “Auschwitz begins wherever someone looks at a slaughterhouse and thinks: they’re only animals.”.

    “Let me say it openly: we are surrounded by an enterprise of degradation, cruelty, and killing which rivals anything that the Third Reich was capable of, indeed dwarfs it, in that ours is an enterprise without end, self-regenerating, bringing rabbits, rats, poultry, livestock ceaselessly into the world for the purpose of killing them.”.

    Humans Are Nazis To Animals!

  3. I’ve often seen People close their ears, cover their eyes, when the subject of Animal Cruelty comes up, particularly the inherent violence against animals bred and killed for Human consumption.
    And yet , covering our ears and covering our eyes is exactly what allows it to continue.

    “If you don't like pictures of animal cruelty being posted on social media, you need to help stop the cruelty, not the pictures. You should be bothered that its happening, not that you saw it.”.
    ― Marie Sarantakis.

    It is not okay to turn away from Animal Cruelty or Abuse!

    The world is a dangerous place, not because of those who do evil, but because of those who look on and do nothing. – Albert Einstein.

  4. It amazing to think that some of the greatest people have said this, & yet so sad to believe that humankind chooses to ignore these words. It just shows were or loyalties lie & where we will end up soon.