Faith Roundtable: Do animals have souls?


Well, The Pope, the Dali Lama and even I think the answer to this is a simple YES.  We love our pets. But we eat and hunt animals and we consider many to be enemies, predators and dangerous. We even celebrate when our President’s two sons kill endangered trophy animals in Africa, as if that is a truly manly thing for rich kids to do.

We tell ourselves that animals do not have souls and they were created just for our consumption. We raise them in factories and pen them up so that they cannot even turn around while they are growing in our animal factories. Watch any of the animal slaughters on YouTube and you will understand that we do not even think animals feel pain as they are slaughtered. Even fishes have neurotransmitters for pain and they feel great pain and fear when we land them in our boats ready to be frozen or cooked.

We even pretend, at the bidding of the church, that we have dominion over the eight million species of animals on the Earth. We treat most animals as if they did not matter.

Yet, as we can see now more than ever, because of the endless videos on YouTube and Facebook, all the animals relate to their own kind and with other species as well. To be fair, unless you were born in the past 10 years, you did not have a lot of support for this knowledge.

So, what would happen, beginning right now, if you decided to honor all animals as sentient beings, which they are?

Quite a bit, actually.  We might even become like all the world’s indigenous people who never kill an animal without giving it thanks for laying down its life for them. We certainly would insist that animals we eat be treated as compassionately as possible all their lives. 

The real lesson for treating all the animals, God’s creation, as they deserve to be is that compassion for animals transfers and strengthens our compassion for each other.

And there is another reason. As we extend our consciousness to all of God’s creatures we begin to experience that EVERYTHING is part of one divine whole. We cannot divide God’s creation into sacred and profane.  It is all of one divine piece.


 Chuck and Karen Robison broadcast a Consciousness interview show locally and internationally.  Their work can be found at .