Best J. Howard Moore quotes about humanity, animals, and ethics

Best J. Howard Moore quotes about humanity, animals, and ethics

Best J. Howard Moore quotes

he was a great philosopher was an advocate for animal rights, ethics, and humanity, he died in 1916

John Howard Moore was an American zoologist, philosopher, educator, and socialist. He advocated for the welfare and rights of animals and authored several articles, books, essays, and pamphlets on ethics, vegetarianism, humanitarianism, and education.

All conscious beings are struggling, struggling to keep themselves in joint with their environment. Those things and creatures and events that aid them in their struggles are desirable and they call them good, and those things and creatures and events that oppose and defeat the satisfaction of desires is called bad. Right and wrong exist as conceptions of mind because there are portions of the universe capable of happiness and misery. Erase sentiency from the universe and you erase the possibility of ethics. Every conscious portion of the universe, therefore, has ethical relations to every other conscious portion (man, woman, worm, Eskimo, oyster, ox), but not to inanimate portions (clod, cabbage, river, rose), because the ones are sentient and the others are not.
― J. Howard Moore

Every being is incomparably precious to himself. This is the most mournful feature in human psychology. We did not invent it. It was handed to us along with our fingers and our fondness for eating. It is the psychic calamity of the animal kingdom.
― J. Howard Moore

Best J. Howard Moore quotes

“I am ashamed of the race of beings to which I belong. It is so cruel and bigoted, so hypocritical, so soulless and insane. I would rather be an insect … a bee or a butterfly … and float in dim dreams among the wild-flowers of summer than be a man and feel the horrible and ghastly wrongs and sufferings of this wretched world.”
― J. Howard Moore

The universe, so far as we can make out, is neither all-wise nor all foolish. It is both good and bad. It maintains some of the most careful economies sides by side with the most reckless. The defects of the universe are just as apparent to him who is not cowardly or incompetent as are its excellencies. It is the rogue and the ignoramus who argue in justification of existing barbarisms that these barbarisms are beautiful because they represent the procedures of “nature.” As a matter of fact, all ways are nature’s ways, the unconscious and clumsy as truly as the intelligent and exquisite. The philosophers of laissez-faire, who would have human beings disuse what little intelligence has, during the past twenty millions of years, been developed on the earth, and would have them derive their ethics from the regions of biological somnambulism, are the philosophers to be heeded when humanity goes mad. It is childish to assume that we upper intelligence can not improve on the unconscious conditions about us. It is the very thing that is being done every hour of time. The whole effort of the industry is nothing else than an effort to improve the attitudes of the material universe. And it is just as sagacious to suppose that living beings are incompetent to improve their relations to the inanimate universe as to suppose they may not reform and enhance their relations to each other.
J. Howard Moore

“Yes, do as you would be done by – and not to the dark man and the white woman alone, but to the sorrel horse and the grey squirrel as well; not to creatures of your own anatomy alone, but to all creatures. You cannot go high enough, low enough nor far enough to find those whose bowed and broken beings will not rise up at the coming of the kindly heart, or whose souls will not darken at the touch of inhumanity. Do to beings below as you would be done by beings above you. They are our fellow mortals. They came out of the same mysterious womb of the past, are passing through the same dream, and are destined to the same melancholy end as we ourselves. Let us be kind and merciful to them.”
― J. Howard Moore

“A universe is, indeed, to be pitied whose dominating inhabitants are so unconscious and so ethically embryonic that they make life a commodity, mercy a disease, and systematic massacre a pastime and a profession.”
― J. Howard Moore

The trouble with all ethical systems of this world has been their partiality. They have been arranged with undue regard for those who invented them. And this defect vitiates the prevailing systems to-day as it has vitiated the systems that have been produced in times gone by.
― J. Howard Moore

Best J. Howard Moore quotes

It is simply monstrous, this horrible savagery and somnambulism in which we grope. It is the climax of mundane infamy — the “paragon of the universe” dozing on the pedestal of his imagination and contemplating himself as an interstellar pet and all other beings as commodities. Let us startle ourselves, those of us who can, to a realization of the holocaust we are perpetrating on our feathered and fur-covered friends. For remember the same sentiment of sympathy and fraternity that broke the black man’s manacles and is to-day melting the white woman’s chains will to-morrow emancipate the sorrel horse and the heifer; and as the ages bloom and the great wheels of the centuries grind on, all the races of the earth shall become kind, and this age of ours, so bigoted and raw, shall be remembered in history as an age of insanity, somnambulism, and blood.
― J. Howard Moore

Well, may we be dazed by the horrific metamorphosis? Dark days are upon us. The pendulum of civilization trembles, as if to swing back to the inglorious twilight of the past. Imperialistic tendencies are laying their damning clutches on the unsuspecting form of the republic. Fearful questions confront us. Whether we are to be compelled henceforth to read with downcast gaze the matchless axioms of Jefferson and to mumble in confusion the heroic history of our dead—whether the Fourth of July is to be henceforth a day of embarrassment and shame instead of, as hitherto, an occasion for spontaneous and boundless pride—whether Yorktown and Monmouth are to become events which, instead of inspiring a continent to eulogy and song, shall provoke no higher eloquence than that which gutturals from the limping lips of apology—whether the political wisdom of the founders of the republic, gleaned in terrible hours, by anxious eyes, from the travail of ages past, shall be swept away by the heartless levity of upstart statesmen—whether, in short, we shall turn our backs inexorably upon the past—a past glorious achievement and unrivaled in precept—and become the wretched exemplars of a policy, ruinous to ourselves and to our children, repulsive to every truly civilized mind and destructive of the fairest hopes of humanity—these. are questions that assail with a relentless emphasis on the consciences of great people.
― J. Howard Moore

have just finished your little book on ‘The Logic of Vegetarianism.’ It is the best thing on this subject in existence – bold, brilliant, unanswerable. I am glad you are on earth. If it were not for a very few souls like you, this world would seem to be an intellectual solitude.
― J. Howard Moore

I cannot express myself when I get to thinking about these things—these terrible crimes that man is inflicting year after year on millions of his poor, helpless brothers. I become indignant and desperate. I am ashamed of the race of beings to which I belong. It is so cruel and bigoted, so hypocritical, so soul-less and insane. I’d rather be an insect—a bee or a butterfly—and float in dim dreams among the wildflowers of summer than be a man and feel the wrongs and sufferings of this wretched world.
― J. Howard Moore

Is murder stripped of its blackness by becoming fine art? All assassination is practically instantaneous and painless, the assassination of men as well as that of birds and quadrupeds. What would the author of such nonsense think if the assassination of his brother or mother blandly attempted to relieve himself of all guilt by means of the assurance that his victim had experienced no suffering? The crime of extermination does not consist in the creation of pain, but in the destruction of that precious and mysterious essence called life.
― J. Howard Moore

Human nature is defective. It is selfish. It is cruel and revengeful. It is a product of militancy and hate. It is much better adapted to a fighting life, in which it was generated than it is in cooperation and peace.
― J. Howard Moore

Best J. Howard Moore quotes

In the nature of living beings, there are two elements—that element which impels a living creature to move in behalf or in the interests of itself, and that which prompts or prevents movement out of consideration for others. The former of these two elements is called egoism, the latter, altruism.
― J. Howard Moore

Best J. Howard Moore quotes

Sympathy, the consciousness of kind, means simply the realization or the conscious recognition by living beings of the kinship of content. A human being unconscious of kind, an unsympathetic and inhuman person, is one who is likely to assume that his conscious states are sui generis, that they are more precious and intense than, and intrinsically different from, those of others—one who realizes that an injured sensory is a savage thing in his own organism, but who does not suppose it to be anything of the kind when it hangs to the brain of a Hottentot or a horse. Why do the human rich treat the human poor with such inconsideration? Why do they allow or compel them to remain disinherited and crushed while they themselves loll in superfluous wealth? Because there is an Inadequate consciousness of kind.