The Quote Garden
 “I dig old books.”
 Est. 1998

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Quotations about Animals & Pets

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NOTE:  Some of the quotes on this page were submitted to me by visitors, and not all have been verified for original source or wording. I'm working hard to confirm everything, but in the meantime please be aware of the possibility for errors.   —ღ Terri, March 2021

You can always tell about somebody by the way they put their hands on an animal. ~Betty White

The difference between friends and pets is that friends we allow into our company, pets we allow into our solitude. ~Robert Brault,

A house was not a home without animals. ~Abby Geni, The Wildlands, 2018

I am an animal person, which, I suppose, is one way of saying that, when I'm unable to find any redeeming traits in myself, I declare that I am kind to animals. Of course, human beings are also animals (we aren't exactly plants), but I am arrogant enough to mean "lower forms of animal life" when I refer to animals. Thus, when I say that I like animals, I do not necessarily include my own species, among whom are large numbers of individuals for whom I have no fondness at all, and some whom I hold in utter contempt. Indeed, I sometimes wonder why "You're an animal" is an insult; it seems to me that, if animals could talk, "You're a human" would be one of their favorite insults. ~Richard E. Turner (1937–2011), The Grammar Curmudgeon, a.k.a. "The Mudge," "Animal People," 2004,

To insult someone we call him "bestial." For deliberate cruelty and nature, "human" might be the greater insult. ~Isaac Asimov

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

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

Ever consider what pets must think of us? I mean, here we come back from a grocery store with the most amazing haul — chicken, pork, half a cow. They must think we're the greatest hunters on earth! ~Anne Tyler, The Accidental Tourist

You enter into a certain amount of madness when you marry a person with pets. ~Nora Ephron

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

Lots of people talk to animals.... Not very many listen, though.... That's the problem. ~Benjamin Hoff, The Tao of Pooh

It is an important and popular fact that things are not always what they seem. For instance, on the planet Earth, man had always assumed that he was more intelligent than dolphins because he had achieved so much — the wheel, New York, wars and so on — whilst all the dolphins had ever done was muck about in the water having a good time. But conversely, the dolphins had always believed that they were far more intelligent than man — for precisely the same reasons. ~Douglas Adams, The Hitch-Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy

Man is rated the highest animal, at least among all animals who returned the questionnaire. ~Robert Brault,

The kind man feeds his beast before sitting down to dinner. ~Hebrew Proverb

The long-suspected meanings
of rustlings, chirps, and growls!
Soliloquies of forests!
The epic hoots of owls!
Those crafty hedgehogs drafting
aphorisms after dark,
while we blindly believe
they're sleeping in the park!
~Wisława Szymborska (1923–2012), "I'm Working on the World," Calling Out to Yeti (1957), translated from the Polish by Clare Cavanagh

Animals have these advantages over man: they never hear the clock strike, they die without any idea of death, they have no theologians to instruct them, their last moments are not disturbed by unwelcome and unpleasant ceremonies, their funerals cost them nothing, and no one starts lawsuits over their wills. ~Voltaire, letter to Count Schomberg, 1769 August 31st

I had to have company — I was made for it, I think — so I made friends with the animals. They are just charming, and they have the kindest disposition and the politest ways; they never look sour, they never let you feel that you are intruding, they smile at you and wag their tail, if they've got one, and they are always ready for a romp or an excursion or anything you want to propose. ~Mark Twain

There is no mode of action, no form of emotion, that we do not share with the lower animals. ~Oscar Wilde

Everything native to Oklahoma was tough and warlike. Only the strong survived here. Our snakes came with venom and a warning signal. Our insects were armored against predators and dehydration. Our birds possessed talons, telescopic vision, and hollow bones. These animals were designed for hardship. All weakness and softness had been beaten out of their genetic lineage by the dust storms, the droughts, and the tornadoes. Disaster was as much a part of life in Oklahoma as the weather-worn sky. The crayfish were plated with complex carapaces. The coyotes were shy and clever, as elusive as dreams. The groundhogs dug deep burrows, safe from heat and wind. The turtles and frogs lived a halfway existence, dipping between tepid water and balmy air. The porcupines carried weaponry on their backs. The mule deer had lightning reflexes. The alligators were stupid but heavily armed. I was jealous of them all — their savage strength and vivid senses, their power and tenaciousness. The way they were born was the best way to be. ~Abby Geni, The Wildlands, 2018

[H]e doesn't reckon his dog has human feelings, but he sure lets you know when you hurt his instincts. ~Robert Brault,

The lizard struck an attitude — sleek back a little arched, legs in odd, uncouth positions, tail set stiffly in a queer curve. They are brilliant little creatures. "Pretty little chap, isn't he?" said Jonathan. "Stylish," I said, "but foolish. They never do anything that I can see, except attitudinize." ~Elisabeth Woodbridge, "In the Rain," 1911  [a little altered —tg]

It often happens that a man is more humanely related to a cat or dog than to any human being. ~Henry David Thoreau

Our perfect companions never have fewer than four feet. ~Colette

I believe in animal rights, and high among them is the right to the gentle stroke of a human hand. ~Robert Brault,

Be it human or animal, touch is a life-giving thing. Has anyone ever had a stroke or a heart attack while cozied up with a pet? I doubt it. ~Robert Brault,

If what are miscalled the lower animals were as silly as man is, they would all perish from the earth in a year. ~Mark Twain, 1898

I have been scientifically 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 profoundly humiliating to me. For it obliges me to renounce my allegiance to the Darwinian theory of the Ascent of Man from the Lower Animals; since it now seems plain to me that that theory ought to be vacated in favor of a new and truer one, this new and truer one to be named the Descent of Man from the Higher Animals. ~Mark Twain, "The Lowest Animal"

ZEBRA. An animal used principally to illustrate the letter Z. ~Noah Lott (George V. Hobart), The Silly Syclopedia, 1905

I like pigs. Dogs look up to us. Cats look down on us. Pigs treat us as equals. ~Winston Churchill

Concealed within the brushland were white-tailed deer, javelina, coyotes, bobcats, racoons, ocelots, weasels, opossums, badgers, gray foxes, ground squirrels, cottontail rabbits, jaguarundis, skunks, kangaroo mice, field rats, and shrews. And rattlesnakes, coral snakes, garter snakes, lizards, skinks, and frogs. Critters small and large, nocturnal, diurnal, crepuscular, walking and sliding, barking, howling, hissing — all of them beneath a raucous umbrella of calls and whistles from hundreds of birds that hopped from branches to pads and nested among protective thorns. ~Arturo Longoria, Adios to the Brushlands, 1997 [Texas –tg]

There is in all animals a sense of duty that man condescends to call instinct. ~Robert Brault,

I subscribe to the theory that Mankind never domesticated any animal. They came in from the cold and looked cute until they were fed. ~David J. Beard (1947–2016), tweet, 2010 May 29th

If all the beasts were gone, men would die from a great loneliness of spirit, for whatever happens to the beasts also happens to the man. All things are connected. Whatever befalls the Earth befalls the sons of the Earth. ~Chief Seattle of the Suquamish Tribe, letter to President Franklin Pierce

It is a perversely human perception that animals in their native habitat are running wild. ~Robert Brault,

There is something wholly likeable about most people who write about animals. ~Eric Duthie

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