Answered By: Steve Kuehler Last Updated: Apr 18, 2017 Views: 18
This version of the quote appears on many websites. After a lot of digging, we found the source in Richter’s 1806 work Levana, oder Erzielehre (Levana, or the Doctrine of Education). In the Sixth Fragment, Chapter 3, section 118, Richter talks about the need to encourage children to love animals, and he asks:
"Oder soll das schlagende Herz unter Borsten, Federn, Flügeldecken darum keines sehn?"
An English translation from 1848, reprinted several times, rendered it like this:
"Or is the heart, beating under bristles, feathers, or hard wing-covers, therefore any the less a heart?"
Another translation, found in John Todd Ferrier’s Concerning Human Carnivorism from 1903, is closer to the version which is now current on the web:
“Because the heart beats under a covering of hair, feathers, or wings, is it, therefore, to be of no account?”