Wildlife Quotes

Some of my favourite wildlife quotes are gathered in this page, as well as other inspirational, nature and animal lovers wise words.

I just love quotes, first because I love words and how clever people use them to built a strong and witty message, and second because when you’re lonely or depressed about the state of our world, it is reassuring to know you are surrounded in your fight by the brightest minds!


"We have not inherited this earth from our parents {...} we have borrowed it from our children"

attributed to Moses Henry Cass

Wildlife Quotes: YOU can Change the World. Yes, you!

"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever does."

Margaret Mead


“Be the change that you wish to see in the world.”

Mahatma Gandhi


“I am only one, but I am one.

I cannot do everything, but I can do something.

And I will not let what I cannot do interfere with what I can do.”

Edward Everett Hale

“You cannot get through a single day without having an impact on the world around you. What you do makes a difference, and you have to decide what kind of difference you want to make.”

Jane Goodall

"If you think you're too small to have an impact,

try going to bed with a mosquito in the room."

Author unknown


“A small body of determined spirits fired by an unquenchable faith in their mission can alter the course of history.”

Mahatma Gandhi

"What I see everywhere in the world are ordinary people willing to confront despair, power, and incalculable odds in order to restore some semblance of grace, justice, and beauty to this world."

Paul Hawken

"Every individual matters. Every individual has a role to play. Every individual makes a difference."

Jane Goodall

"Every time you spend money, you're casting a vote for the kind of world you want."

Anna Lappe

"The most important thing, as I am constantly saying, is to think about small ways in which we can make a difference — every day. "

Jane Goodall

“The purpose of life is not to be happy. It is to be useful, to be honorable, to be compassionate, to have it make some difference that you have lived and lived well.”

Leo Rosten (sometimes attributed to Ralph Waldo Emerson)

"I'm afraid you have humans", credits: lolbrary

Wildlife Quotes: Time to act!

“People may doubt what you say, but they will believe what you do.”

Lewis Cass


“I think it is far more important to save one square mile of wilderness, anywhere, by any means, than to produce another book on the subject.”

Edward Abbey


“The important work of moving the world forward does not wait to be done by perfect men.”

George Elliot


“The world is a dangerous place, not because of those who do evil, but because of those who look on and do nothing.”

Albert Einstein


“There may be times when we are powerless to prevent injustice, but there must never be a time when we fail to protest.”

Elie Wiesel

“Sentiment without action is the ruin of the soul.”

Edward Abbey

“We have a responsibility toward the other life-forms of our planet whose continued existence is threatened by the thoughtless behavior of our own human species. . . . Environmental responsibility – for if there is no God, then, obviously, it is up to us to put things right.”

Jane Goodall

“The idea of wilderness needs no defense, it only needs defenders.”

Edward Abbey

"If we are demoralized, sad and only complain, we’ll not solve our problems.

If we only pray for a solution, we’ll not solve our problems.

We need to face them, to deal with them without violence, but with confidence - and never give up. If you adopt a non-violent approach, but are also hesitant within, you’ll not succeed.

You have to have confidence and keep up your efforts - in other words, never give up."

Dalai Lama

"Anything else you're interested in is not going to happen if you can't breathe the air and drink the water. Don't sit this one out. Do something. You are by accident of fate alive at an absolutely critical moment in the history of our planet."

Carl Sagan

"The greatest danger to our future is apathy.

Jane Goodall

Wildlife Quotes: Sustainability is the future of the Human race

“While environmental and financial sustainability have often been seen as opposite goals, they are, in truth, one and the very same”

Ray Anderson


"Business is the economic engine of our Western culture, and, if it could be transformed to truly serve Nature as well as ourselves, it could become essential to our rescue"

Karl-Henrik Robert (The Natural Step)

“Another world is not only possible, she is on her way. On a quiet day, I can hear her breathing.”

Arundhati Roy

Wildlife Quotes: On the economic nonsense of destroying Nature

“When the last tree is cut, the last fish is caught, and the last river is polluted; when to breathe the air is sickening, you will realise, too late, that wealth is not in bank accounts and that you can’t eat money.”

Canadian Cree Alanis Obomsawin


Or, a shorter version often found:

"Only when the last tree is cut, only when the last river is polluted, only when the last fish is caught, will Men realize that they can’t eat money."

Native American proverb


“Destroying rainforest for economic gain is like burning a Renaissance painting to cook a meal.”

Edward O. Wilson

"At present we are stealing the future, selling it in the present, and calling it gross domestic product."

Paul Hawken

“I stood indicted as a plunderer, a destroyer of the earth, a thief, stealing my own grandchildren’s future. And I thought, My God, someday what I do here will be illegal.

Someday, they’ll send people like me to jail."

Ray Anderson


"Human society is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Earth environment. If our "parent company" destabilizes, our society and our economies go down with it."

The Natural Step

 “Growth for the sake of growth is the ideology of the cancer cell.”

Edward Abbey


"The Gross Domestic Product measures just about everything except the things that make life truly worthwhile"

Ray Anderson

“Progress is measured by the speed at which we destroy the conditions that sustain life.”

George Monbiot

"It is horrifying that we have to fight our own government to save the environment." A

Ansel Adams

"I don't understand why when we destroy something created by man we call it vandalism, but when we destroy something created by nature we call it progress."

Ed Begley Jr.

"If you look at the science about what is happening on earth and aren’t pessimistic, you don’t understand the data.

But if you meet the people who are working to restore this earth and the lives of the poor, and you aren’t optimistic, you haven’t got a pulse. "

Paul Hawken

Wildlife Quotes: Nature is Vital to the Human Race

“If we kill off the wild, then we are killing a part of our souls.”

Jane Goodall


“The truth is: the natural world is changing. And we are totally dependent on that world. It provides our food, water and air. It is the most precious thing we have and we need to defend it.”

David Attenborough

“Wilderness is not a luxury but a necessity of the human spirit, and as vital to our lives as water and good bread. A civilization which destroys what little remains of the wild, the spare, the original, is cutting itself off from its origins and betraying the principle of civilization itself.”

Edward Abbey

Wildlife Quotes: To respect Nature is Ultimately to Respect Ourselves

“The question is whether any civilization can wage relentless war on life without destroying itself, and without losing the right to be called civilized.”

Rachel Carson


“What we are doing to the forests of the world is but a mirror reflection of what we are doing to ourselves and to one another.”

Mahatma Gandhi

“We abuse land because we regard it as a commodity belonging to us. When we see land as a community to which we belong, we may begin to use it with love and respect.”

Aldo Leopold

Wildlife Quotes: Enjoy Nature and the Wilderness

"Do not burn yourselves out.

Be as I am - a reluctant enthusiast....a part-time crusader, a half-hearted fanatic.

Save the other half of yourselves and your lives for pleasure and adventure.

It is not enough to fight for the land; it is even more important to enjoy it. While you can. While it’s still here.

So get out there [...] and mess around with your friends, ramble out yonder and explore the forests, climb the mountains, bag the peaks, run the rivers, breathe deep of that yet sweet and lucid air, sit quietly for a while and contemplate the precious stillness, the lovely, mysterious, and awesome space.

Enjoy yourselves, keep your brain in your head and your head firmly attached to the body, the body active and alive, and I promise you this much; I promise you this one sweet victory over our enemies, over those desk-bound men and women with their hearts in a safe deposit box, and their eyes hypnotized by desk calculators.

I promise you this; You will outlive the bastards."

Edward Abbey


“Nature is not a place to visit. It is home.”

Gary Snyder


“To those devoid of imagination a blank place on the map is a useless waste; to others, the most valuable part.”

Aldo Leopold

"Take nothing but pictures
Kill nothing but time
Leave nothing but footprints"

John Kay

Wildlife Quotes: Pollution

“We are living on the planet as if we have another one to go to.”

Terry Swearingen


“Water and air, the two essential fluids on which all life depends, have become global garbage cans.”

Jacques-Yves Cousteau

Wildlife Quotes: Reduce, reuse, recycle

"Recycling is what we do when we're out of options to avoid, repair, or reuse the product first. Firstly: Reduce. Don't buy what we don't need. Repair: Fix stuff that still has life in it. Reuse: Share. Then, only when you've exhausted those options, recycle."

Annie Leonard

“If it can’t be reduced, reused, repaired, rebuilt, refurbished, refinished, resold, recycled or composted, then it should be restricted, redesigned or removed from production.”

Pete Seeger

Wildlife Quotes: Consumerism

"Too many people spend money they haven’t earned, to buy things they don’t want, to impress people they don’t like."

Will Rogers

"We used to build civilizations. Now we build shopping malls."

Bill Bryson

"Consumers have not been told effectively enough that they have huge power and that purchasing and shopping involve a moral choice."

Anita Roddick

"Advertising has us chasing cars and clothes, working jobs we hate so we can buy shit we don’t need." 

based on Chuck Palahniuk (and the movie "Fight Club")

"The gap in our economy is between what we have and what we think we ought to have - and that is a moral problem, not an economic one." 

Paul Heyne

"God forbid that India should ever take to industrialism after the manner of the west... keeping the world in chains.  If [our nation] took to similar economic exploitation, it would strip the world bare like locusts." 

Mahatma Gandhi

"I’m beginning to suspect that the new commercial lifestyle [...] is actually a hidden form of retardation [...] that is making us sick, anti-social, increasingly vain, ecologically indifferent and, perhaps, more and more malleable for the controlling faction of our society"

Peter Joseph

Wildlife Quotes: Keep up the fight

“In motivating people to love and defend the natural world, an ounce of hope is worth a ton of despair”

George Monbiot

Wildlife Quotes: Love and respect for all animals

On respecting all creatures

“The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated”

Mahatma Gandhi

”Non-violence leads to the highest ethics, which is the goal of all evolution. Until we stop harming all other living beings, we are still savages.”

Thomas A. Edison

“Until he extends the circle of his compassion to all living things, man will not himself find peace.”

Albert Schweitzer


“Life is as dear to a mute creature as it is to man. Just as one wants happiness and fears pain, just as one wants to live and not die, so do other creatures.”

His Holiness The Dalai Lama

“If a man aspires towards a righteous life, his first act of abstinence is from injury to animals.”

Albert Einstein

“It is just like man’s vanity and impertinence to call an animal dumb because it is dumb to his dull perceptions.”

Mark Twain


“I have been studying the traits and dispositions of the “lower animals” (so called) and contrasting them with the traits and dispositions of man. I find the result humiliating to me.”

Mark Twain

“Heaven is by favor; if it were by merit your dog would go in and you would stay out. Of all the creatures ever made [man] is the most detestable. Of the entire brood, he is the only one… that possesses malice. He is the only creature that inflicts pain for sport, knowing it to be pain.”

Mark Twain

On being a vegetarian

“If slaughterhouses had glass walls, we would all be vegetarian”.  

Paul McCartney


“Vegetarian food leaves a deep impression on our nature. If the whole world adopts vegetarianism, it can change the destiny of humankind.”

Albert Einstein


“It is my view that the vegetarian manner of living, by its purely physical effect on the human temperament, would be the most beneficial influence to mankind.”

Albert Einstein

Fur and dead animal parts

"No one in the world needs a mink coat but a mink."

Murray Banks


"I ask people why they have deer heads on their walls. They always say because it’s such a beautiful animal. There you go. I think my mother is attractive, but I have photographs of her."

Ellen DeGeneres


“Animal fur is worn by beautiful animals and heartless people”

adapted by Wildhelpers

Wildlife kill on roads

“We treat the attrition of [wildlife] lives on the road like the attrition of lives in war:

horrifying, unavoidable, justified.”

Barry Lopez

Here they are: a few of my favourite wildlife quotes.

If ever you feel alone and need some comfort that your fight is right, come back here and speak with your friends and co-fighters: Mahatma Gandhi, The Dalai Lama, Albert Einstein, David Attenborough or Jane Goodall...

Yes, us Nature lovers are not in bad company!