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Gizmotude Quotation Archives



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


Man is the only animal that blushes. Or needs to. ~~ Mark Twain


Your dog won't see you in your fluorescent hunting outfit any more than the deer will -- colorblind, you see. In fact, very few animals will see it except maybe your cat … ~~ Deane Jordan [1,001 Facts Somebody Screwed Up]


You can tell all you need to about a society from how it treats animals and beaches. ~~ Frank DeFord


Of all wild animals, the boy is the most unmanageable. ~~ Plato


Have you any notion how many books are written about women in the course of one year? Have you any notion how many are written by men? Are you aware that you are, perhaps, the most discussed animal in the universe? ~~ Virginia Woolf


We must plant the sea and herd its animals … using the sea as farmers instead of hunters. That is what civilization is all about -- farming replacing hunting. ~~ Jacques Costeau


Man is the only animal who causes pain to others with no other object than wanting to do so. ~~ Arthur Schopenhauer


Man is an animal with primary instincts of survival. Consequently, his ingenuity has developed first and his soul afterward. Thus the progress of science is far ahead of man's ethical behavior. ~~ Charlie Chaplin


We have been God-like in our planned breeding of our domestic plants and animals, but we have been rabbit-like in our unplanned breeding of ourselves. ~~ A. J. Toynbee


There are as many jealousies in life as there are different flowers or trees or animals. ~~ Martha Albrand


Man -- a reasoning rather than a reasonable animal. ~~ Alexander Hamilton


Man is a pliant animal, a being who gets accustomed to anything. ~~ Fyodor Dostoyevsky


There are two things for which animals are to be envied: they know nothing of future evils, or of what people say about them. ~~ Voltaire


Men are the only animals that devote themselves, day in and day out, to making one another unhappy. ~~ H. L. Mencken


We lavish on animals the love we are afraid to show to people. They might not return it; or worse, they might. ~~ Mignon McLaughlin


A committee is an animal with four back legs. ~~ John Le Carre


In the matter of animals I love only cats, but I love them unreasonably for their qualities and in spite of their numerous faults. I have only one, but I could not live without a cat. ~~ J. K. Huysmans


If animals could speak, the dog would be a blundering, outspoken, honest fellow -- but the cat would have the rare grace of never saying a word too much. ~~ Philip Gilbert Hamerton


I believe I've found the missing link between animal and civilized man. It is us. ~~ Konrad Lorenz


Insofar as it is the only one of man's domestic animals that can boast truly solitary roots, the cat is indeed an enigma, but almost certainly for the same reason, it is a very successful enigma. While it is able to form warm and lasting relationships with humans and members of its own kind (and with other animals also), it has no overwhelming need for company, and reserves the right to choose the degree of its involvement with others according to its mood or situation. For every house cat that is willing to share its home with others, one could probably find one who will absolutely refuse to do so. ~~ Jeremy Angel


An animal's eyes have the power to speak a great language. ~~ Martin Buber


To be reminded that one is very much like other members of the animal kingdom is often funny … though … I do not too much mind being somewhat like a cat. ~~ Joseph Wood Krutch


I finally know what distinguishes man from the other beasts: financial worries. ~~ Jules Renard


Shooting has a fascination only for those who have never faced the wrong end of the gun; if animals were armed, instead of us, all humans would proclaim the sacred creed of vegetarianism. ~~ Unattributed


I've always thought a hotel ought to offer optional small animals … I mean a cat to sleep on your bed at night, or a dog of some kind to act pleased when you come in. You ever notice how a hotel room feels so lifeless? ~~ Anne Tyler


We have forgotten how to be good guests, how to walk lightly on the earth as other creatures do. ~~ 1972 Only One Earth Conference


Children, like animals, use all their senses to discover the world. Then artists come along and discover it the same way all over again. ~~ Eudora Welty


A humanist is anyone who rejects the attempt to describe or account for man wholly on the basis of physics, chemistry or animal behavior. ~~ Joseph Wood Krutch


Man, an animal that makes bargains. ~~ Adam Smith


Alexander the Great, Napoleon, and Hitler… were apparently terrified of small felines… If you want to conquer the world you had better not share even a moment with an animal that refuses to be conquered at any price, by anyone. ~~ Desmond Morris


Man is a successful animal, that's all. ~~ Remy de Gourmont


It is inexcusable for scientists to torture animals; let them make their experiments on journalists and politicians. ~~ Henrik Ibsen


Man is the only animal that feels insulted when called an animal. ~~ Unattributed


The cat, like many other animals, will often form singular attachments. One would sit in my horse's manger and purr and rub against his nose, which undoubtedly the horse enjoyed, for he would frequently turn his head purposely to be so treated. One went as consort with a Dorking cock; another took a great liking to my collie, Rover; another loved Lina, the cow; while another would cosset up close to a sitting hen, and allowed the fresh-hatched chickens to seek warmth by creeping under her. ~~ Harrison Weir


The animal needing something knows how much it needs; the man does not. ~~ Democritus


The desire to take medicine is perhaps the greatest feature which distinguishes man from animals. ~~ William Osler


The human animal varies from class to class, culture to culture. In one way we are consistent: We are irrational. ~~ Rita Mae Brown


There are people who live lives little different than the beasts, and I don't mean that badly. I mean that they accept whatever happens day to day without struggle or question or regret. To them things just are, like the earth and sky and seasons. ~~ Celeste De Blasis [Wild Swan]


There is no evidence that at any time during its history the cat's way of life and its reception into human homesteads were purposely planned and directed by humans, as was the case with all other domestic animals, at least from a very early stage of their association… In other words, there was no agent domesticating the cat besides the cat himself. ~~ Paul Leyhausen


Most sorts of diversion in men, children, and other animals, are in imitation of fighting. ~~ Jonathan Swift


All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others. ~~ George Orwell


Adversity is like the period of the rain … cold, comfortless, unfriendly to man and to animal; yet from that season have their birth the flower, the fruit, the date, the rose, and the pomegranate. ~~ Sir Walter Scott

We call them dumb animals, and so they are, for they cannot tell us how they feel, but they do not suffer less because they have not words. ~~ Anna Sewell [Black Beauty]


Odd things animals. All dogs look up to you. All cats look down to you. Only a pig looks at you as an equal. ~~ Winston Churchill


There is no animal in the world so treacherous as man. ~~ Michel de Montaigne


Poetry is the journal of a sea animal living on land, wanting to fly in the air. ~~ Carl Sandburg


Few animals exhibit more maternal tenderness, or show a greater love for their offspring, than the cat. ~~ Rev. W. Bingley


Of all the domesticated animals in the world, the cat has been domesticated the shortest duration of time. ~~ Bill Fleming and Judy Peterson-Fleming


I gave my beauty and my youth to men. I am going to give my wisdom and experience to animals. ~~ Brigitte Bardot


Mankind's true moral test… 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

All things bright and beautiful,
All creatures great and small,
All things wise and wonderful,
The Lord God made them all. ~~ Cecil Frances Alexander


At times almost all of us envy the animals. They suffer and die, but do not seem to make a "problem" of it. ~~ Alan Watts


Man is the only animal that eats when he is not hungry, drinks when he is not thirsty, and makes love at all seasons. ~~ Unattributed


I can say with sincerity that I like cats. A cat is an animal which has more human feeling than almost any other. ~~ Emily Bronte


Men, my dear, are very queer animals--a mixture of horse-nervousness, ass-stubbornness and camel-malice. ~~ T. H. Huxley


Nothing to be done really about animals. Anything you do looks foolish. The answer isn't in us. It's almost as if we're put here on earth to show how silly they aren't. ~~ Russell Hoban


I don't feel compelled to treat any creature as a fellow citizen of the planet, with rights equal to mine and deserving of all courtesies, if it regards me as dinner. I'm confident that Mother Nature understands my attitude and is not offended. ~~ Dean Koontz [Seize the Night]


Whenever you observe an animal closely, you feel as if a human being sitting inside were making fun of you. ~~ Elias Canetti


What does it mean to love an animal, a pet, in my case a cat, in the fierce, entire and unambivalent way that some of us do? I really want to know this. Does the cat (did the cat) represent some person, a parent or a child? Some part of one's self? I don't think so -- and none of the words or phrases that one uses for human connections sound quite right: "crazy about," "really liked," "very fond of" -- none of those describes how I felt and still feel about my cat. ~~ Alice Adams


Horses are creatures who worship the earth
As they gallop on feet of ivory
Constrained by the wonder of dying and birth
The horses still run, they are free. ~~ John Denver and Joe Henry [Eagles and Horses]


Man is at the bottom an animal, midway, a citizen, and at the top, divine. But the climate of this world is such that few ripen at the top. ~~ Henry Ward Beecher


A man is ethical only when life, as such, is sacred to him, that of plants and animals as well as that of his fellowman, and when he devotes himself helpfully to all life that is in need of help. ~~ Albert Schweitzer


Woman is the female of the human species, and not a different kind of animal. ~~ George Bernard Shaw


Man is a clever animal who behaves like an imbecile. ~~ Albert Schweitzer


In the whole animal kingdom I recollect no family but man, steadily and systematically employed in the destruction of itself. ~~ Thomas Jefferson


Man is the only animal whose desires increase as they are fed; the only animal that is never satisfied. ~~ Henry George


A cat is the only domestic animal I know who toilet trains itself and does a damned impressive job of it. ~~ Joseph Epstein


There is not a more mean, stupid, dastardly, pitiful, selfish, spiteful, envious, ungrateful animal than the public. It is the greatest of cowards, for it is afraid of itself. ~~ William Hazlitt


Cats' names are more for human benefit. They give one a certain degree more confidence that the animal belongs to you. ~~ Alan Ayckbourn


The cat is the only animal which accepts the comforts but rejects the bondage of domesticity. ~~ Agnes Repplier


Human nature is a mystic duality, half animal, half angel; a worm, a God; and the contrast and strife between the two natures is never so marked as in the gifted. ~~ Lady Wilde


Young kittens assume that all other animals are cats, approach them with jaunty friendliness and invite them to play. ~~ Muriel Beadle


My mother thought it would make us feel better to know animals had no souls and thus their deaths were not to be taken seriously. But it didn't help and when I think of some of the animals I've known, I wonder. The only really "soulful" eyes in the world belong to the dog or cat who sits on your lap or at your feet commiserating when you cry. ~~ Liz Smith


The cat is not really a domestic animal, and his chief charm lies in the fact that he still walks by himself. ~~ Konrad Lorenz


This animal is very wicked,
When it is attacked it defends itself. ~~ Unattributed


All our knowledge merely helps us to die a more painful death than the animals that know nothing. ~~ Maurice Maeterlinck


Man is a make-believe animal -- he is never so truly himself as when he is acting a part. ~~ William Hazlitt


…the animal shall not be measured by man. In a world older and more complete than ours they move finished and complete, gifted with extensions 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. ~~ Henry Beston [The Outermost House]


Cats have always been avoided by serious students of animal behavior. Not that cats cannot be taught to behave but because they usually behave only in the way they feel like behaving -- which rarely coincides with anything except their immediate desires. At least, that is the assumption of the uninitiated. ~~ Ken Von Der Porten


I don't think they have to go that high. That is not necessary, to be that high in the air. I think they're showing off, those pilots. I think we could just go really fast just a few feet off the ground. Just high enough to miss the animals. ~~ Ellen DeGeneres


A taste for dirty stories may be said to be inherent in the human animal. ~~ George Moore


At whiles it seems as if one were somewhat as the cats, which ever have appeared to me to be animals of two parts, the one of the house and the cushion and the prepared food, the other that is free of the night and runs wild with the wind in its coat and the smell of the earth in its nostrils. ~~ Una L. Silberrad


Man is a credulous animal, and must believe something; in the absence of good grounds for belief, he will be satisfied with bad ones. ~~ Bertrand Russell


The countenances of children, like those of animals, are masks, not faces, for they have not yet developed a significant profile of their own. ~~ W. H. Auden


One of the laws of paleontology is that an animal which must protect itself with thick armor is degenerate. It is usually a sign that the species is on the road to extinction. ~~ John Steinbeck


But the wildest of all the wild animals was the Cat. He walked by himself, and all places were alike to him. ~~ Rudyard Kipling


There are few wild beasts more to be dreaded than a talking man having nothing to say. ~~ Jonathan Swift


The cat, in dignity and independence, is very much like the human animal should be but isn't. Perhaps that's my strongest reason for choosing the cat as a subject for the human animal to watch: some of the cat's dignity and independence may rub off on the watcher. ~~ Paul Corey


Man is not like other animals in the ways that are really significant: animals have instincts, we have taxes. ~~ Erving Goffman


Mutual aid is as much the law of animal life as mutual struggle. ~~ Peter Kropotkin


You can keep a dog; but it is the cat who keeps people because cats find humans useful domestic animals. A dog will flatter you but you have to flatter a cat. A dog is an employee; the cat is a freelance. ~~ George Mikes


A family is a unit composed not only of children but of men, women, an occasional animal, and the common cold. ~~ Ogden Nash


The capacity of human beings to bore one another seems to be vastly greater than that of any other animals. ~~ H. L. Mencken


To my way of thinking there's something wrong, or missing, with any person who hasn't got a soft spot in their hearts for an animal of some kind. ~~ Will James


[About the rhinoceros:] Here is an animal with a hide two feet think and no apparent interest in politics. What a waste. ~~ James C. Wright, Jr.


We are, perhaps uniquely among the earth's creatures, the worrying animal. We worry away our lives, fearing the future, discontent with the present, unable to take in the idea of dying, unable to sit still. ~~ Lewis Thomas [The Medusa and the Snail]


Of all the ways of defining man, the worst is the one which makes him out to be a rational animal. ~~ Anatole France


Man is the only animal that laughs and weeps; for he is the only animal that is struck with the difference between what things are and what they might have been. ~~ William Hazlitt


Flowers have an expression of countenance as much as men or animals. Some seem to smile, some have a sad expression, some are pensive and diffident, others again are plain, honest, and upright. ~~ Henry Ward Beecher


It is worthwhile to take pains to make children kind to animals … make children treat the cat and dog kindly, allow no teasing or harshness … If they behave properly to animals, they are more likely to behave rightly to their brothers and sisters. ~~ The Old Farmer's Almanac (1882)


I think I could turn and live with animals, they are so placid and self-contain'd,
I stand and look at them long and long
They do not sweat and whine about their condition,
They do not lie awake in the dark and weep for their sins,
They do not make me sick discussing their duty to God,
Not one is dissatisfied, not one is demented with the mania of owning things,
Not one kneels to another, nor to his kind that lived thousands of years ago,
Not one is respectable or unhappy over the whole earth. ~~ Walt Whitman [Leaves of Grass]


In the animal kingdom, the rule is, eat or be eaten; in the human kingdom, define or be defined. ~~ Thomas Szasz


If I could do anything about the way people behave towards each other, I would, but since I can't I'll stick to the animals. ~~ Brigitte Bardot


Human beings are the only animals of which I am thoroughly and cravenly afraid. ~~ George Bernard Shaw (see Said Who?)


Sometimes the veil between human and animal intelligence wears very thin -- then one experiences the supreme thrill of keeping a cat, or perhaps allowing oneself to be owned by a cat. ~~ Catherine Manley