All Creatures Great and Small: 30 Best Quotes About Animals

EcoSalon’s 30 favorite quotes about animals.

Whether you’re an aspiring crazy cat lady or partial to the clumsy wet-nosed affections of a dog, a conscious meat eater or a passionate animal-defending vegetarian, it’s hard not to be touched and inspired by animals and the unique connection that we have with them as humans. These 30 quotes from Ghandi, David Sedaris, Paul McCartney and many more illustrate some of the most poignant, uplifting and funny things people have to say about animals.

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

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. – The Dalai Lama

Happiness is a warm puppy. – Charles M. Schulz

I wish outer space guys would conquer the Earth and make people their pets, because I’d like to have one of those little beds with my name on it. – Jack Handey

Heaven goes by favor. If it went by merit, you would stay out and your dog would go in. – Mark Twain

Animals never worry about Heaven or Hell. Neither do I. Maybe that’s why we get along. – Charles Bukowski, The Last Night of the Earth Poems

Dogs come when they’re called; cats take a message and get back to you later. – Mary Bly

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

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

Animals are such agreeable friends – they ask no questions, they pass no criticisms. – George Eliot

You can judge a man’s true character by the way he treats his fellow animals. – Paul McCartney

If you pick up a starving dog and make him prosperous he will not bite you. This is the principal difference between dog and man. – Mark Twain

Were the walls of our meat industry to become transparent, literally or figuratively, we would not long continue to raise, kill and eat animals the way we do. – Michael Pollan, The Omnivore’s Dilemma: A Natural History of Our Meals

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

Look, PETA! If God hadn’t wanted us to eat animals, he wouldn’t have made them so darn tasty! – Stephen Colbert

Our task must be to free ourselves… by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature and its beauty. – Albert Einstein

Blackbird singing in the dead of night, take these broken wings and learn to fly. All your life, you were only waiting for this moment to arise. – The Beatles

If language naturally evolves to serve the needs of tiny rodents with tiny rodent brains, then what’s unique about language isn’t the brilliant humans who invented it to communicate high-level abstract thoughts. What’s unique about language is that the creatures who develop it are highly vulnerable to being eaten. – Temple Grandin

The bee is more honored than other animals, not because she labors, but because she labors for others. – Saint John Chrysostom

When I was a kid, if a guy got killed in a western movie I always wondered who got his horse. – George Carlin

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

Time spent with cats is never wasted. – Sigmund Freud

We should have each other to tea huh? We should have each other with cream, then curl up in the fire and sleep for a while – it’s the grooviest thing, it’s the perfect dream. – The Cure, ‘The Lovecats’

I love things made out of animals. It’s just so funny to think of someone saying, ‘I need a letter opener. I guess I’ll have to kill a deer.’ – David Sedaris

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

Animals, whom we have made our slaves, we do not like to consider our equal. – Charles Darwin

Outside of a dog, a book is man’s best friend. Inside of a dog it’s too dark to read. – Groucho Marx, The Essential Groucho

Animals have these advantages over men: they have no theologians to instruct them, their funerals cost them nothing, and no one starts lawsuits over their wills. – Voltaire

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 is deeply buried from view), consists of its attitude toward those who are at its mercy: animals. – Milan Kundera, The Unbearable Lightness of Being

Everyone’s pet is the most outstanding. This begets mutual blindness. – Jean Cocteau


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Stephanie Rogers

Stephanie Rogers currently resides in North Carolina where she covers a variety of green topics, from sustainability to food.