Weekend Words: Beasts

Unknown Goldsmith, Flemish, “Panel with a Centaur” (1160s). Copper, gilded, champlevé, height: 10 cm. Musée du Louvre, Paris. (Image via Web Gallery of Art)

The other day, Hyperallergic’s Allison Meier reported on snakes who are artists, rather than the other way around. Weekend Words ponders the distance between us and our beastly brethren:

“What is the difference between man and ape, based on natural history? Most definitely I see no difference. I wish someone could show me even one distinction.”

—Carolus Linnaeus

“Animals have these advantages over man: they never hear the clock strike, they die without any idea of death, they have no theologians to instruct them, their last moments are not disturbed by unwelcome and unpleasant ceremonies, their funerals cost them nothing, and no one starts lawsuits over their wills.”


“Man is a gaming animal. He must always be trying to get the better in something or other.”

—Charles Lamb, Essays of Elia

“An animal experiment cannot be justifiable unless the experiment is so important that the use of a brain-damaged human would be justifiable.”

—Peter Singer, Animal Liberation

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