August 1st, 1999.
"I would not enter on my list of friends
... the man,
Who needlessly sets foot upon a worm."
"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."
"I think I could turn and live with animals, they're so placid and self-contain'd
I stand and look at them long and long.
They do not sweat and whine about their condition,
They do not lie awake in the dark and weep for their sins,
They do not make me sick discussing their duty to God,
Not one is dissatisfied, not one is demented with the mania of owning things,
Not one keels to another, nor to his kind that lived thousands of years ago,
Not one is respectable or unhappy over the whole earth."
Leaves of Grass, "Song of Myself," #32.)