QuotationsMarc Bekoff
Quotations Archive From all-creatures.org

This Quotations Archive contains words from famous and some not so famous people who have expressed a sense of love, compassion, and respect for all of God's creation: for people, for animals, and for the environment. They speak of our teaching methods and philosophy. They speak of a lifestyle of non-violence. They seek to eliminate cruelty and suffering. They seek to wake us up. They seek to give us hope.

Weeds by Mary T. Hoffman

Marc Bekoff, PhD
American professor emeritus of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of Colorado, Boulder
(1945 - )

"We often have unrealistic expectations, or we define our needs and build our communities such that animals will inevitably become a problem. This reminds me of how some zoo administrators call animals who are not part of their captive breeding program “surplus” animals, and then they kill these animals because they are of no use to the zoo. For example, in early 2014, the Copenhagen Zoo killed a young healthy male giraffe named Marius because he couldn’t be used as a breeding machine, and later four lions, including two cubs, were killed at the same zoo so that a new male could be introduced to the remaining females. It’s a perversion of logic and morality to breed animals to “save” species only to kill those same animals when they become too inconvenient to care for." 

“That it’s possible to kill a few select animals without causing much population-level harm is a tenet of wildlife management, guiding everything from trophy hunting to the collection of souvenir beetles. Yet several new studies challenge this conventional wisdom. In a human-dominated world where animals face many stresses, removing even a few creatures may have more far-reaching and complex consequences than expected.”

“Make ethical choices in what we buy, do, and watch. In a consumer-driven society our individual choices, used collectively for the good of animals and nature, can change the world faster than laws.”

“Some people say they love animals and yet harm them nonetheless; I'm glad those people don't love me.”

“Silence is the enemy of social change.”

“Human beings are a part of the animal kingdom, not apart from it. The separation of "us" and "them" creates a false picture and is responsible for much suffering. It is part of the in-group/out-group mentality that leads to human oppression of the weak by the strong as in ethic, religious, political, and social conflicts.”

“When animals express their feelings they pour out like water from a spout. Animals' emotions are raw, unfiltered, and uncontrolled. Their joy is the purest and most contagious of joys and their grief the deepest and most devastating. Their passions bring us to our knees in delight and sorrow.”

“Often, the greater our ignorance about something, the greater our resistance to change.”

“A reduction of meat consumption by only 10% would result in about 12 million more tons of grain for human consumption. This additional grain could feed all of the humans across the world who starve to death each year- about 60 million people!”

“Dominion does not mean domination. We hold dominion over animals only because of our powerful and ubiquitous intellect. Not because we are morally superior. Not because we have a "right" to exploit those who cannot defend themselves. Let us use our brain to move toward compassion and away from cruelty, to feel empathy rather than cold indifference, to feel animals' pain in our hearts.”

“Although other animals may be different from us, this does not make them LESS than us.”

“Let us remember that animals are not mere resources for human consumption. They are splendid beings in their own right, who have evolved alongside us as co-inheritors of all the beauty and abundance of life on this planet.”

“Hunting and fishing involve killing animals with devices (such as guns) for which the animals have not evolved natural defenses. No animal on earth has adequate defense against a human armed with a gun, a bow and arrow, a trap that can maim, a snare that can strangle, or a fishing lure designed for the sole purpose of fooling fish into thinking they have found something to eat.”

“Many animals experience pain, anxiety and suffering, physically and psychologically, when they are held in captivity or subjected to starvation, social isolation, physical restraint, or painful situations from which they cannot escape. Even if it is not the same experience of pain, anxiety, or suffering undergone by humans- or even other animals, including members of the same species- an individual's pain, suffering, and anxiety matter.”

“These enthusiasts often like to hang signs that say "Gone Fishin'" or "Gone Huntin'". But what these slogans really mean is "Gone Killing.”

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