Archive

Quotes

Man is a noble animal, splendid in ashes and pompous in the grave.

—Thomas Browne, 1658

How like to us is that filthy beast the ape.

—Cicero, 45 BC

Imitate the ass in his love to his master.

—St. John Chrysostom, c. 388

The fox knows lots of tricks, the hedgehog only one—but it’s a winner.

—Archilochus, c. 650 BC

Men, my dear, are very queer animals—a mixture of horse nervousness, ass stubbornness, and camel malice.

—T. H. Huxley, 1895

Cows are among 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, 1821

Man is a troublesome animal and therefore is not very manageable.

—Plato, c. 349 BC

Animals are good to think with.

—Claude Lévi-Strauss, 1962

Animals are such agreeable friends—they ask no questions, they pass no criticisms.

—George Eliot, 1857

Weaseling out of things is important to learn. It’s what separates us from the animals—except the weasel.

—The Simpsons, 1993

Life is no way to treat an animal.

—Kurt Vonnegut, 2005

Man is the only animal for whom his own existence is a problem which he has to solve and from which he cannot escape.

—Erich Fromm, 1947

I do not mean to call an elephant a vulgar animal, but if you think about him carefully, you will find that his nonvulgarity consists in such gentleness as is possible to elephantine nature—not in his insensitive hide, nor in his clumsy foot, but in the way he will lift his foot if a child lies in his way; and in his sensitive trunk, and still more sensitive mind, and capability of pique on points of honor.

—John Ruskin, 1860