Sloth Quotes – What Others Have Said

As the owner of, I usually write articles about those wonderful creatures. However, this article is going to be a bit different as it will present sloth quotes from others. Specifically, I will present quotes about sloths from a number of individuals, all from varying backgrounds.

There will be quotes from a prime minister, an actor, a musician, a historian….even from a pirate! After presenting these quotes, I will dig deeper as I attempt to analyze the meaning of each quote, then going on to discuss how accurate each quote is, as well as giving my own opinion of each quote. So, here we go – it is now “quote time”.


Sloth Quote From A Prime Minister

“I’ve got more in common with a three-toed sloth than I have with Winston Churchill. There is no easy comparison with any modern politician. The more you read about him, the more completely amazed you are about what he did – his energy, his literary fecundity, his ability to work – just unbelievable energy.” Boris Johnson

Boris Johnson, current Prime Minister of the United Kingdom (as of the writing of this article), made the above statement, which I think is witty and cute. In addition, this quote also gives a huge amount of credit to the hard-working Winston Churchill, who was twice Prime Minister of the United Kingdom. There’s a quote by Winston Churchill himself that shows his own personal thoughts, which is, “Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.”

I’ve already analyzed Boris Johnson’s quote, so now I am going to discuss how accurate it actually is. First of all, I am impressed that Boris Johnson compared himself to a three-toed sloth specifically, rather than just to a sloth (there are two-toed sloths as well as three-toed ones). For more information on the different types of sloths, check out my article titled “Different Types Of Sloths – How Many Are There?

Sloths are the slowest-moving mammal on the planet, and when comparing three-toed and two-toed ones, the two-toed ones actually move faster than the three-toed ones. There are numerous reasons why all sloths move slowly (check out this article, “Why Do Sloths Move Slowly? It’s About Survival” to learn more). In summary, their slow movements are done strategically with a large part of it being to conserve energy.

So, my opinion of Boris Johnson’s quote is that I am quite impressed with his three-toed sloth comparison, as well as his reference to energy (and the use of it). Well done, Prime Minister Johnson. Well done.


Sloth Quote From An Actor

“The kindest word to describe my performance in school was Sloth.” Harrison Ford

Harrison Ford, the well-known American actor who has appeared in over 60 movies, made this statement. Like Boris Johnson’s quote, I found Harrison Ford’s quote witty and cute, too. It doesn’t seem like Harrison Ford had much ambition in his days as a student in school, but I’d say that he turned out just fine.

Even though no distinction is made between three-toed and two-toed sloths by Harrison Ford, he does compare himself as a student to a sloth. If he used this comparison because he was slow in getting school work done, then I believe that his quote is accurate. However, if he used this comparison because he was lazy as a student in school, then that is inaccurate as sloths are actually not lazy. As previously mentioned, they move slowly intentionally.

So, my opinion of Harrison Ford’s quote is that it made me smile as I found it to be witty and cute, and it also made me smile thinking about sloths in general. So, thank you for that, Mr. Ford.


Sloth Quote From A Musician

“I’m an all-or-nothing guy. When I’m working, I work, work, work, work, work, and when I’m not, I’m the laziest sloth this planet has ever provided us.” Al Jourgensen

Al Jourgensen, a musician, made this comment about himself. Like the previous two quotes presented, this one made me smile, too. As far as accuracy goes, we now know that sloths are not lazy. Having said that, my opinion of Al Jourgensen’s quote is that it made me smile, as well as reflect on how hard so many people in this world actually do work.


Sloth Quote From A Historian

“The sloth is the stupidest animal that can be found in the world, and is so awkward and slow in movement that it would require a whole day to go fifty paces.” Gonzalo Fernández de Oviedo y Valdés (Gonzalo Fernández de Oviedo)

Gonzalo Fernández de Oviedo y Valdés (Gonzalo Fernández de Oviedo) was a Spanish historian and the first European in the West Indies. In addition to that, he apparently did not like sloths (how could someone not like sloths?). I’m pretty sure no further analysis is required to determine a meaning of this quote, so I will move on to assess the accuracy of it.

According to Science Kids, “Sloths can move along the ground at just 2 m (6.5 ft) per minute! In the trees they are slightly quicker at 3 m (10 ft) per minute.” World Animal Protection says, “…on the rare occasion that they find themselves at ground level, they crawl only 1 foot (30 cm) per minute.” As slow as these speeds are, they are still much faster than fifty paces per day. In addition, sloths are not stupid – rather, their movements are thought out, planned, and strategic in nature.

So, Gonzalo Fernández de Oviedo y Valdés (Gonzalo Fernández de Oviedo) was inaccurate on his statement regarding sloths. My opinion of his quote is certainly not a positive one, but perhaps it can be attributed to a lack of knowledge and understanding by people all those years ago (this historian lived from 1478 to 1557).


Sloth Quote From A Pirate

“It takes them up to eight or nine minutes to move three inches forward”. William Dampier

William Dampier was an English explorer, as well as a pirate, who lived from 1651 to 1715 and made this statement regarding sloths. As in the analysis of the statement by Gonzalo Fernández de Oviedo y Valdés (Gonzalo Fernández de Oviedo), this quote is also inaccurate. Once again, perhaps it can be attributed to a lack of knowledge and understanding by people during this period.


The Final Sloth Quote

After presenting sloth quotes from a prime minister, an actor, a musician, a historian, and a pirate, I then went on to analyze the meaning and accuracy of each quote (as well as provide my own opinion of each one). I hope that this article provided some information for you, as well as some enjoyable reading. I would like to end this article with one final sloth quote, “Sloths are adorable, gentle, lovable, wonderful animals that deserve to be protected and treated with respect. They also deserve to be safe and healthy and my wish is for them to have that safety and health at all times and in all places.”

This is my quote and this is how I feel about these incredible creatures. If you have any comments to share, please feel free to provide them below as I am always interested to read what others have to say.

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  • Really cute post on sloths as usual 🙂 I really enjoyed reading the quotes especially Boris Johnson’s! I think it was super witty! Thank you for continuing to educate us all about this unique animal.

    All the very best.

    • I’m glad that you enjoyed reading this post and enjoyed Boris Johnson’s quote as much as I did. Super witty indeed! 😁

      Thank you for reading and commenting. All the very best to you, too.

  • Michael,

    I think this article is great. I don’t understand why anyone would think they’re lazy. Animals in the wild all have to move differently in order to avoid their natural predators. Moving slowly also expends more energy than moving quickly, I believe personally. I say this because if you look at a cheetah, they expend energy in quick bursts, but then it’s done. Slow moving animals have to move slowly all day in order to get where they need to be, thus, expending energy over a long period of time, versus the short bursts.
    It’s like the old saying goes, “A slow turtle wins the race.” They never stop.

    Great information!

    • You are indeed correct when you discuss moving slowly in order to avoid predators, as well as to expend less energy. Those are two major reasons why sloths move so slowly.

      Your cheetah example is so fitting and I love the quote, “A slow turtle wins the race.”

      Thank you for reading and commenting on my article. 😊

  • I love all these sloth quotes and also the photos. So cute!! Thanks for providing a unique interesting topic.

    • I’m so glad that you enjoyed this article – and I totally agree that sloths are so cute!!

      Thank you for reading and commenting on this article. 🙂

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