Writers on Animals

I think I could turn and live with the animals, they are so placid and self contained;
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 his kind that lived thousands of years ago;
Not one is responsible or industrious over the whole earth.”
― Walt Whitman

We need another and a wiser and perhaps a more mystical concept of animals. 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, fellow prisoners of the splendour and travail of the earth.”

–Henry Besot

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

Don’t you find it a beautiful clean thought, a world empty of people, just uninterrupted grass, and a hare sitting up?”

―D.H. Lawrence  Women in Love

 

He said that people who loved [animals] to excess were capable of the worst cruelties toward human beings. He said that dogs were not loyal but servile, that cats were opportunists and traitors, that peacocks were heralds of death, that macaws were simply decorative annoyances, that rabbits fomented greed, that monkeys carried the fever of lust, and that roosters were damned because they had been complicit in the three denials of Christ.
―Gabriel Garcia Marquez   Love in the Time of Cholera

When I consider that the nobler animal have been exterminated here – the cougar, the panther, lynx, wolverine, wolf, bear, moose, dear, the beaver, the turkey and so forth and so forth, I cannot but feel as if I lived in a tamed and, as it were, emasculated country… Is it not a maimed and imperfect nature I am conversing with? As if I were to study a tribe of Indians that had lost all it’s warriors…I take infinite pains to know all the phenomena of the spring, for instance, thinking that I have here the entire poem, and then, to my chagrin, I hear that it is but an imperfect copy that I possess and have read, that my ancestors have torn out many of the first leaves and grandest passages, and mutilated it in many places. I should not like to think that some demigod had come before me and picked out some of the best of the stars. I wish to know an entire heaven and an entire earth.Unknown
―Henry David Thoreau  The Journal 1837-1861

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

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2 thoughts on “Writers on Animals

  1. Especially love the Henry Besot excerpt, feel sure I’ve read that one line many times, “they are other nations, caught with ourselves in the net of life and time, fellow prisoners of the splendour and travail of the earth.” But the others also….why don’t you do a whole book of these? Raise money for Sharks etc. I admire you work on your blog….my time management sucks! xo

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