“One morning in May, on the front page of The New York Times, there was a photograph of a soldier firing his rifle at Taliban attackers from the ramparts of Fire Base Restrepo in Afghanastan. An Associated Press photographer had captured Specialist Zachary Boyd defending his Fire Base dressed in helmet, body armor, flip flops, and pink boxer shorts with little red hearts in which were printed, ‘I Love New York’. I burst out laughing. Any soldier who goes into battle against the Taliban in pink boxers and flip flops has a special kind of courage, I said publicly. What an incredible innovation in psychological warfare. I loved that picture so much that an enlargement hung on the wall outside my office for two years.”

former U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert M. Gates
Duty: Memoirs of a Secretary at War

“I can't always be in the wild. Sometimes I have to be in places that smell of fear, fumes, and ambition. When I'm there it helps very much to know that badgers are asleep inside a Welsh hill, that an otter is turning over stones in one of the Rockford pools, that a fox is blinking in the same sun that makes me sweat in my tweed coat, that a red stag is cutting amongst ghost trees by a stone circle near Hoar Oak, and that there's a swift hatched above my Oxford study hunting almost beyond human sight in the high, hot blue over the Congo River. That these things should be a comfort is strange. They should taunt, not comfort. They should say, ‘you're not there—ha, ha, ha’. Why does that not happen? Well, I note that I get a similar sense of comfort only from being assured of the continued existence of things, and notably people, that, whatever love is, I love. Perhaps then, whatever love means, I love these creatures.”

Charles Foster
Being a Beast

“All civilized hunters, bound to their prey by the same theory of mind that makes us empathize with our children, mourn the death. It's dangerous not to do so, says the old wisdom. And the old wisdom is right. The planet, if not its horned Gods, will judge our modern ecocides sternly.”

Charles Foster
Being a Beast