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J.M. Coetzee

We are not by nature cruel.

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I tend to resist invitations to interpret my own fiction.

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In order to be cruel we have to close our hearts to the suffering of the other.

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The mode of consciousness of nonhuman species is quite different from human consciousness.

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In the whole wretched business there was something generous that was doing its best to flower.

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I say that I represent this movement because my intellectual allegiances are clearly European, not African.

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Strictly speaking, my interest is not in legal rights for animals but in a change of heart towards animals.

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The idea of writer as sage is pretty much dead today. I would certainly feel very uncomfortable in the role.

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If there were a better, clearer, shorter way of saying what the fiction says, then why not scrap the fiction?

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The most important of all rights is the right to life, and I cannot foresee a day when domesticated animals will be granted that right in law.

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