Animal Suffering
Animal Suffering

"The question is not, Can they reason? nor, Can they talk? But rather, Can they suffer?"
--Jeremy Bentham, 19th century Philosopher, Oxford University

"All the arguments to prove man's superiority can not shatter this hard fact: In suffering, the animals are our equals."
--Peter singer - Animal Liberation

"There is no fundamental difference between man and the higher animals in their mental faculties... The lower animals, like man, manifestly feel pleasure and pain, happiness, and misery."
--Charles Darwin

"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

To one whose mind is free, there is something even more intolerable in the suffering of animals than in the sufferings of humans. For with the latter, it is at least admitted that suffering is evil and that the person who causes it is a criminal. But thousands of animals are uselessly butchered every day without a shadow of remorse. If any person were to refer to it, they would be thought ridiculous. And that is the unpardonable crime. That alone is the justification of all that humans may suffer. It cries vengeance upon all the human race. If God exists and tolerates it, it cries vengeance upon God.
--Romain Rolland (from his 1915 Nobel Prizewinning novel, Jean-Christophe)

Humans - who enslave, castrate, experiment on, and fillet other animals - have had an understandable penchant for pretending animals do not feel pain. A sharp distinction between humans and "animals" is essential if we are to bend them to our will, make them work for us, wear them, eat them - without any disquieting tinges of guilt or regret. It is unseemly of us, who often behave so unfeelingly toward other animals, to contend that only humans can suffer. The behavior of other animals renders such pretensions specious. They are just too much like us.
--Dr. Carl Sagan & Dr. Ann Druyan, Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors, 1992

"How long can you hear someone crying - how long can you hear someone dying - before you ask yourself why?"
--Jackson Browne

"Some will take refuge in the old cliché that humans are different from other animals. But when did a difference justify a moral prejudice? When did those with black hair have a right to mistreat those with red hair...or even those with blue or purple hair...Surely the crucial similarity that men share with other animals is the capacity to suffer? Regardless of the number of legs or the woolliness of our fur, we can all suffer..."
--Richard Ryder

"Not having known anything better does not alleviate the suffering of the animal. Its fundamental desires remain and it is the frustration of those desires that is a great part of its suffering. There are so many examples: the dairy cow who is never allowed to raise her young, the battery hen who can never walk or stretch her wings, the sow who can never build a nest or root for food in the forest litter, etc. Eventually we frustrate the animal's most fundamental desire of all - to live."
--David Cowles-Hamar.

At the moment our human world is based on the suffering and destruction of millions of non-humans. To perceive this and to do something to change it in personal and public ways is to undergo a change of perception akin to a religious conversion. Nothing can ever be seen in quite the same way again because once you have admitted the terror and pain of other species you will, unless you resist conversion, be always aware of the endless permutations of suffering that support our society."
--Arthur Conan Doyle

"The awful wrongs and sufferings forced upon the innocent, faithful animal race, form the blackest chapter in the whole world's history."
--Edward Augustus Freeman


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