Quotes & Reflections: On Our Animal Friends
“Until one has loved an animal, a part of one’s soul remains unawakened.” Anatole France
Every seed is awakened, and all animal life. Sitting Bull
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
It is through this mysterious power that we too have our being, and we therefore yield to our neighbors, even to our animal neighbors, the same right as ourselves to inhabit this vast land. Sitting Bull
If you’ve ever owned one of these popular pets, you’d understand the important roles animals play in our lives and how much we cherish our pets; even those that have long gone to pet heaven or the other side of life. Growing up, we had our share of pets but my earliest memory was of the family dogs and chickens that ran around our home in the city, and the goats, sheep and other farm animals and lifeforms that populated the landscape in my father’s village. One of my strongest memories is of a particular dog we had and called “Doggy” (yeah, truly original naming here). He loved to run around the yard in circles and, if you tried to engage him, he’d dash into the streets as if ready for a chase. Sometimes we chased him down the street and he’d let us win, and at other times, he left us in the dust as he ran ahead of us kids. He roamed freely, like many pets I remember from my childhood, and didn’t need to be walked or chained… He was free and when he died after being hit by a car, we were devastated. I wonder if that memory lured me away from ever owning a dog again… For now, we are quite content with our cat, Tangy, who is ever ready to play and make demands of us. Cats are, I believe, easier to care for and I’m glad Tangy regularly reminds us about his self sufficient ways.
“An animal’s eyes have the power to speak a great language.” Martin Buber
I am fond of pigs. Dogs look up to us. Cats look down on us. Pigs treat us as equals. Winston Churchill
If it is indeed impossible – or at least very difficult – to inhabit the consciousness of an animal, then in writing about animals there is a temptation to project upon them feelings and thoughts that may belong only to our own human mind and heart. J. M. Coetzee
Animals are reliable, many full of love, true in their affections, predictable in their actions, grateful and loyal. Difficult standards for people to live up to. Alfred A. Montapert
Animals are more than ever a test of our character, of mankind’s capacity for empathy and for decent, honorable conduct and faithful stewardship. We are called to treat them with kindness, not because they have rights or power or some claim to equality, but in a sense because they don’t; because they all stand unequal and powerless before us. Matthew Scully
My mom was big on gathering her own collection of pets; she had turtles, chickens, rabbits, pigs, and a few other little animals that came and went after being cared for. Even though she told us she was raising her pets for sale, I don’t recall ever seeing money change hands when she scooped up one of her turtles, chickens, hamsters or what have you and handed them to a friend or neighbor. We just saw them as part of the family and all was fine; except for a couple of wild turkeys that had zero interest in being part of the family. They were not pets, true but, as a kid, it didn’t occur to me that they weren’t like the cute chickens, rabbits or even our dogs and the occasional stray cat. They were residents of the family compound but not petting animals. They flew off in a huff if you came near them and, if you had the temerity to persist, they were always happy to aim for your arm or eyeballs. Let’s just say they were happy being wild in the yard, until one of them would suddenly disappear and reappear as a tasty dish on some family friend’s dinner table… That said, our animal friends have always provided us, their loving owners, with much fodder for our writing and many life lessons to boot.
Read: 25 Quotes About Animals That Will Make You A Better Human via BuzzFeed
“If having a soul means being able to feel love and loyalty and gratitude, then animals are better off than a lot of humans.” James Herriot.
You can always tell about somebody by the way they put their hands on an animal. Betty White
How it is that animals understand things I do not know, but it is certain that they do understand. Perhaps there is a language which is not made of words and everything in the world understands it. Perhaps there is a soul hidden in everything and it can always speak, without even making a sound, to another soul. Frances Hodgson Burnett
It is difficult to obtain the friendship of a cat. It is a philosophical animal… one that does not place its affections thoughtlessly. Theophile Gautie
Besides love and sympathy, animals exhibit other qualities connected with the social instincts which in us would be called moral. Charles Darwin
When my twins arrived, we knew they’d also want their share of pets in our household and, sure enough, by pre-school age, they were bringing the class rabbit home on weekends and asking for hamsters and all manner of pets. We relented and got them hamsters, guinea pigs, gold fish, and, eventually, a cat. The guinea pigs grew to a large family of twenty and we handed them out to friends, teachers, and neighbors until the last standing guinea pig, a feisty male with a huge appetite, kicked the proverbial bucket at the ripe old age of 5. The goldfish, out of boredom and inadequate feedings, drowned in their glass cage, and the hamsters spun themselves into oblivion… they spin on those wheels, remember? Let’s just say that our cat outlasted all the others and remains a faithful, entertaining, and not erstwhile companion. Sometimes, I wonder where all our long gone pets must be. Are they really in pet heaven? Are they part of the ether or have they reincarnated up the food chain to something larger and perhaps more intelligent than their predecessors? Do you ever consider that idea…? Hm mm
“The animal is ignorant of the fact that he knows. The man is aware of the fact that he is ignorant.” Victor Hugo
Animals are the bridge between us and the beauty of all that is natural. They show us what’s missing in our lives, and how to love ourselves more completely and unconditionally. They connect us back to who we are, and to the purpose of why we’re here. Trisha McCagh
Birds are the most popular group in the animal kingdom. We feed them and tame them and think we know them. And yet they inhabit a world which is really rather mysterious. David Attenborough
Animals are born who they are, accept it, and that is that. They live with greater peace than people do. Gregory Maguire
As I think about the endless joy that our animal friends bring into our lives, I must add that there are two animals that I still would love to have around me on my fantasy farm or compound. No, it is not a Unicorn, even though some might think it would make the perfect companion in this crazy world. Nope. Instead, I would love to have cows and horses roaming in my backyard and emitting an occasional sound to remind me of their glorious presence… I love horses and cows but, they are not ideal pets for city living or even suburban life… So for now, I will sit and reminisce about our long gone dogs, hamsters, guinea pigs, rabbits, chickens, goldfish, turtles, birds, and on and on…. They add something special to our lives and I’m sure you have a memory or two to share. Please do.
This post was inspired by a Daily Word Prompt: – ANIMAL – For this week’s Discover challenge, focus on a post about an animal: Share a story or poem about your beloved pet. Describe a memorable wildlife sighting in nature. Sketch a scene of the birds you encounter on your morning walk. Share the underwater photographs of that time you snorkeled with turtles. To help other participants and new fans find your response in the Reader, tag your post #DiscoverWP. Not sure how to add a tag? Learn more.
Positive Motivation Tip: Cherish the memories of your pets you hold dear