Animals and Their Souls

“Until one has loved an animal,
a part of one’s soul remains unawakened.”

Anatole France

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Article Ref:

What Animals Teach Us About Spirituality:

Celebrating Life with Our Pets
By Rev. Laurie Sue Brockway and Rev. Victor Fuhrman

Celebrating our pets, and celebrating with our pets, has become a national pastime.

We love our pets. And statistics show that we are willing to spend oodles on our poodles, kitties, horses and other animals, keeping them well-fed, well-groomed, stylishly attired, happy, healthy and safe.

More than 70 million American’s share their homes with cats, 60 million with dogs, and 2 or more adore their domestic birds. At least 65% of all homes in the United States own at least one pet. Financial surveys tell us that people spend more of their disposable income on their pets in times of economic expansion. For example, the most recent statistics tell us the pet care industry is raking in about 30 billion, and growing stronger.

Animal lovers agree that pet’s are a loving addition to our lives.

  • Studies have shown that people who own pets, live longer, feel better and feel they have a friend who will love them without conditions and listen without judgment.
  • Pets bring comfort to the ill, mobility to the disabled, and sense of kinship and protection to children.
  • For many people, the relationship with a pet mirrors the relationship they have, or would otherwise have, with a child or any intimate family member. Many of us simply do not distinguish between animal and human family members.
  • As our human relationships becoming trickier and more challenging in our lives, some of us choose to place focus on our pets as their primary relationships in life.
  • More of us lavish attention on pets. We look for ways to enjoy life together – living in pet friendly environments, traveling to animal friendly locales, toting doggies to special events, buying pet presents for birthdays, Christmas and beyond.

“For many of us, pets are as much a part of the family as any human member,” says my friend Dr. Dan Neuharth (Ph.D.), Marriage and Family Therapist and author of Secrets You Keep from Yourself: How to Stop Sabotaging Your Happiness. “Perhaps it’s the unconditional love pets provide. Perhaps having a smaller critter to care for and watch out for brings out the best in us. Perhaps pets are so themselves, so congruous, so present, that it gives we humans an inspiring example.”

A boom in honoring animal spirituality
In recent years there has been much growth and interest in animal spirituality, and human spiritual connection to animals. We’ve seen a growing number of books exploring pets as our angels and guardians here on earth and on communicating with animals. We have also seen a huge increase in “Blessings of the Animals” taking place around the country. Once the domain of the Catholic Church and some Christian denominations, more and more interfaith and non denominational groups are offering blessings for all the neighborhood pets.

Perhaps pets put us deeply in touch with a state if being that sages and spiritual leaders have tried to help us attain: Living in the moment. That’s what pet’s do best. And many would say that is the moment in which spirit can be most easily accessed.

Whatever the reason, we adore the domestic animals we invite into our lives. They fill a special place in our hearts, and homes. Not only do we treat them like family – or better in some cases! – we want for them all the things want for any family member.

Many people are recognizing the spiritual nature of all “creatures great and small.” A lot of them happen to be pet owners. Pet Spirituality, and spirituality shared with our pets, is flourishing along with high end dog collars and gourmet fish food. And celebrating life with our pets has become a way of life!

Copyright © 2008 Laurie Sue Brockway. All rights reserved.

More Reading Material :

Animals in Spirituality



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