Pets Have Souls Too by Jenny SmedleyI really wanted to enjoy this book but it is a book that insults a reasonable and enlightened reader’s intelligence and does nothing to advance or promote the cannon of ‘spiritual’ non-fiction.
From the spurious introduction in which we are told in no uncertain terms that the authours relationship with her dog was one that noone else could ever achieve with an animal, we are led condescendingly through a series of personal accounts written by third parties which ‘prove’ the existence of an animals’ higher consciousness and life after death. What troubles me is that this book is poorly researched, poorly written, unscientific and amateurish. A story will be recounted and then the narrator, Jenny Smedley, will conclude therefore this proves a dog has a soul or therefore this proves a pet has self-awareness. On what basis? Second hand stories from people who were in deep distress at the time and wanted nothing more than to see their pet again?
In particular the stories where owners are grieving and come to conclusions that they see their departed pets are given no further analysis. Theres your proof, Smedley almost yells, animals live beyond death, end of story.
Not once does she acknowledge that there is a counter argument, a rational, scientific reason behind the events. If she had and had then built a strong case against these arguments I would be taking her writing and her work a lot more seriously.
If this book helps people who have been bereaved then great, its worth its weight in gold but as an interesting document of overwhelming proof, I think it sits on decidedly shaky ground.
The sad thing is, I as a reader, pet lover and believer in rebirth, don’t need convincing by an amateurish, sloppily put together set of arguments; I believe that all animals belong to the same ongoing process of death and rebirth, but the arguments could have been presented in such a better way. Shame that the sceptics and the cynics are going to tear this one apart simply because it was executed so poorly.
Do animals have souls?
Customer Service for Subscribers. It was something numinous, something larger and greater than just the body in which the cat lived. It was the same kind of light and presence I saw in the eyes of the people in my life. As I moved through my teenage years and began developing a more adult sense of spirituality, I came to understand that distinct quality as the presence of a soul. It was clear to me when I looked into the eyes of my cats and all the other animals who have graced my life that they had souls just as much as any human being did. I know the Bible says that God gave humans dominion over the beasts of the Earth and all, but I never interpreted that to mean that animals are simply machines that eat, breathe, crap, and copulate.
The short answer is, we don't know. The long answer is that scientists, religious scholars and pet owners all have opinions on the subject. Since nobody has proven that souls truly exist, it comes down to what you believe -- and how much you can trust those sweet, loving eyes. Whether animals have a soul or not might depend on your interpretation of what a soul is. If you're referring to the capacity to love and experience other emotions, many experts believe pets are capable of this. Even Darwin, in his book "The Descent of Man," said animals are capable of feeling "pleasure and pain, happiness and misery. Research has shown that some animals have a sense of morality, which would certainly indicate the presence of a soul.
You are here
Lots of people wonder from time to time whether animals have souls or whether humans have souls for that matter! That is perfectly natural, and this website exists to help such people in their questioning about the afterlife. Some common questions you may be wondering are: Do animals have souls? Are such souls the same, similar or different to human souls? What happens to animals when they die? Can they communicate with us after passing over?
My favorite movie as a child was All Dogs Go to Heaven , an animated tale about a German shepherd named Charlie who is killed by his Bulldog business partner. With the help of an orphaned girl who can speak to animals, Charlie returns to earth to seek revenge on his killer. When I got older, however, I learned Catholic doctrine taught that animals even dogs did not have souls and therefore did not go to heaven. As an animal lover, this was an ideology I simply could not get behind. I always imagined my pets with even more soul than I had. We want to believe that our best furry friends will join us in heaven, but many of us have been told they will not. This passage within the encyclical is short but surprisingly important and not only to Catholic animal lovers everywhere.