“It is scarcely possible, according to our notions, to commit crimes upon any beings in the world except men. There are no beings in the universe, according to human beings, except themselves. All others are commodities. They are of consequence only because they have flesh and fill up the empty void of the human stomach. Human beings are persons and have souls, and gods, and places to go when they die. But the hundreds of thousands of other races of terrestrial inhabitants are mere animals, mere brutes, and beasts of the field, livestock and vermin. Every crime capable of being perpetrated by one being upon another, is day by day rained upon them and with a calmness that would do honour to the managers of an inferno. Human beings preach as the cardinal rule of humanity — and they never seem to tire of its reiteration — that they should do unto others as they would that others should do unto them, but they hypocritically confine its application to the members of their own crowd, notwithstanding that there are the same reasons identically for extending it to all creatures. The happiness of the human species is assumed to be so much more precious than that of others that the most sacred interests of others are unhesitatingly sacrificed in order that human desires may all be fastidiously catered to.
“Instead of the highest, man is in some respects the lowest, of the animal kingdom. Man is the most unchaste, the most drunken, the most selfish and conceited, the most miserly, the most hypocritical, and the most bloodthirsty of terrestrial creatures. Even vipers and hyenas do not exterminate for recreation. No animal, except man, habitually seeks wealth purely out of an insane impulse to accumulate. And no animal, except man, gloats over accumulations that are of no possible use to him, that are an injury and an abomination, and in whose acquisition he may have committed irreparable crimes upon others. There are no millionaires—no professional, legalised, lifelong kleptomaniacs — among the birds and quadrupeds. No animal, except man, spends so large a part of his energies striving for superiority — not superiority in usefulness, but that superiority which consists in simply getting on the heads of one’s fellows. And no animal practices common, ordinary morality to the other beings of the world in which he lives so little, compared with the amount he preaches it, as man.”
J. Howard Moore, Universal Kinship, 1918