Follow by Email

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Kant, Einstein, and All Creatures (Great and Small)

A little over a year ago I wrote that people who love animals are more likely to be kind to all of God's creatures than are those who do not ("James Herriot and Jimmy Stewart's Dog Named Beau"). I didn't argue that everyone who loves pets is destined to be compassionate (I believe Hitler was quite attached to one of his pets), or that those who dislike pets are incapable of expressing compassion. Rather, I simply argued that those who are able to love dogs, cats, horses, and so on are much more likely to show compassion to others that are those who do not. Since then, I've learned I'm in good (intellectual) company:

"We can judge the heart of a man by his treatment of animals"
-- Immanuel Kant

"Until he extends the circle of his compassion to all living things, 
man will not himself find peace."
-- Albert Einstein

Then, of course, there's the wonderful English hymn written by Cecil Alexander and used by James Herriot for his series of books about being a vet in Yorkshire in the 1930s:

All things bright and beautiful,
All creatures great and small,
All things wise and wonderful,
The Lord God made them all.

No comments:

Post a Comment