I tend to be suspicious of people whose love of animals is exaggerated; they are often frustrated in their relationships with humans.
Nature is not anthropomorphic.
To me nature is . . . spiders and bugs, and big fish eating little fish, and plants eating plants, and animals eating animals. . . . It’s like an enormous restaurant, that’s the way I see it.
Mankind’s true moral test, its fundamental test (which lies deeply buried from view), consists of its attitude toward those who are at its mercy: animals. And in this respect mankind has suffered a fundamental debacle, a debacle so fundamental that all others stem from it.
A robin redbreast in a cage / puts all heaven in a rage.
The country before us thronged with buffalo. They were crowded so densely together that in the distance their rounded backs presented a surface of uniform blackness.
God is infinite, and his shadow is also infinite.
A peasant becomes fond of his pig and is glad to salt away its pork. What is significant, and is so difficult for the urban stranger to understand, is that the two statements are connected by an and, and not by a but.
The animal shall not be measured by man. 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, fellow prisoners of the splendor and travail of the earth.
Abu Yazid made his periodic journey to purchase supplies at the bazaar in the city of Hamadhan — a distance of several hundred miles. When he returned home, he discovered a colony of ants in the cardamom seeds. He carefully packed the seeds up again and walked back across the desert to the merchant from whom he had bought them. His intent was not to exchange the seeds but to return the ants to their home.
Love is the extremely difficult realization that something other than oneself is real.
I have sometimes thought of the final cause of dogs having such short lives and I am quite satisfied it is in compassion to the human race; for if we suffer so much in losing a dog after an acquaintance of ten or twelve years, what would it be if they were to live double that time?
In order to really enjoy a dog, one doesn’t merely try to train him to be semihuman. The point of it is to open oneself to the possibility of becoming partly a dog.
Cats are smarter than dogs. You can’t get eight cats to pull a sled through snow.
Be a good animal, true to your animal instincts.
When an animal has nothing to do, it goes to sleep. When a man has nothing to do, he may ask questions.
When the visitor arrived he found the holy man in prayer. He sat so still that not even a hair of his head moved. When the holy man had finished his prayer, the visitor asked where he had learned such stillness. He replied, “From my cat. She was watching a mouse hole with even greater concentration than you have seen in me.” The holy man’s cat was seeking something with all her heart and soul. Such seeking gives power. The intensity of desire gives one the power to return, day after day, to the “hot seat” of sitting still. If we are making little headway on our spiritual quest, perhaps we should ask ourselves if we are seeking our goal with the same passion that a cat seeks a mouse.