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Portland, OR, United States


There are animal welfare vegans and animal only-fight-against-other-vegans abolitionist vegans. V-EGANISM is neither. Just as there are positive things and negative things about conservatives and liberals, there are positive things and negative things about welfarists and abolitionists. V-EGANISM avoids all 4 "political parties", and remains as an independent in thoughts and actions, only choosing what is right and just for animals, humans, and the environment. V-EGANISM however does have a mission statement which is how the founder of veganism, Donald Watson, originally coined the word's definition. It was a perfect definition then and it still is a perfect definition now! So the following paragraph is V-EGANISM's official Mission Statement--and nothing more, nothing less, we are simply called, "Vegan Activists", with no additives:

"V-EGANISM educates people and helps people and animals regarding the political and social justice cause, Veganism, which is a philosophy and way of living which seeks to exclude--as far as is possible and practical--all forms of exploitation of, and cruelty to, animals for food, clothing, cosmetics, household products, entertainment, service or any other purpose; and by extension, promotes the development and use of animal-free alternatives for the benefit of humans, animals, and the environment."

Healthy Body, Mind & Spirit Maneki Neko Cat

Healthy Body, Mind & Spirit Maneki Neko Cat

Love & Peace Maneki Neko Cat

Love & Peace Maneki Neko Cat

Friday, December 21, 2012

A Prayer for Chickens

"....a sense of interconnection between the beauty within and the beauty without, in chickens, and in all of life."

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Animals and the End of the World

Many people believe the end of the world is tomorrow, December 21, 2012. This time based on the Mayan calendar. I say "this time" because as we all know, there have been many predictions made in the past about the end times, coming from a variety of places.

According to the Bible and other religious sources, like Allan Kardec's The Spirits' Book, no one can predict the end time, for only God knows the exact time and He's not telling us. In The Spirits' Book, it says if you think God or another spirit has told you an exact date of the end times (or even your or someone else's death), ignore it, as such information is coming from an evil spirit, and--at best--you possibly may get a vague sign but not a precise date of the end times (if indeed there is such a date, especially with the theory of reincarnation....)

I agree with the above statements. No one really knows the time of the end of the world if there will be such a thing (as I believe in reincarnation). No one will ever know until then. But I do strongly believe animals can give us a clue as to when the end of the world is truly near.

I believe animals have predicted earthquakes. For example, in 373 B.C., historians recorded that animals, including rats, snakes and weasels, deserted the Greek city of Helice in droves just days before a quake devastated the area.

Accounts of similar animal anticipation of earthquakes have surfaced across the centuries since. Catfish moving violently, chickens that stop laying eggs and bees leaving their hive in a panic have been reported. Many people with companion animals have said they've witnessed their dogs and cats acting strangely before the ground shook—barking or whining for no apparent reason, or showing signs of nervousness and restlessness.

Wildlife experts believe animals' more acute hearing and other senses might enable them to hear or feel the Earth's vibration, tipping them off to approaching disaster long before humans realize what's going on. Other ideas suggest animals detect electrical changes in the air or gas released from the Earth. Earthquakes are a sudden phenomenon. Seismologists have no way of knowing exactly when or where the next one will hit, but animals seem to know. The belief that wild and domestic animals possess a sixth sense, and know in advance when the earth is going to shake, has been around for centuries. One of the world's most earthquake-prone countries is Japan, where devastation has taken countless lives and caused enormous damage to property. Researchers there have long studied animals in hopes of discovering what they hear or feel before the Earth shakes can be used as a prediction tool.  In September 2003, a medical doctor in Japan made headlines with a study that indicated erratic behavior in dogs, such as excessive barking or biting, could be used to forecast earthquakes. There have also been examples where authorities have forecast successfully major earthquakes, based in part on the observation of the strange antics of animals. For example, in 1975, Chinese officials ordered the evacuation of Haicheng, a city with one million people, just days before a 7.3-magnitude earthquake. Only a small portion of the population was hurt or killed.
It was later discovered though, that a rare series of small tremors, called fore-shocks, occurred before the large earthquake hit the city. It was the fore-shock sequence that gave Chinese officials the solid prediction, but still, the Chinese have continued to look at animal behavior as an aid to earthquake prediction.

Another example is the giant waves that slammed into Sri Lanka and India coastlines. Wild and domestic animals seemed to have known what was about to happen and fled to safety. According to eyewitness accounts, the following events happened:

Elephants screamed and ran for higher ground. Dogs refused to go outdoors. Flamingos abandoned their low-lying breeding areas. Zoo animals rushed into their shelters and could not be enticed to come back out.

The massive tsunami was triggered by a magnitude 9 temblor off the coast of northern Sumatra island. The giant waves rolled through the Indian Ocean, killing more than 150,000 people in a dozen countries.  But relatively few animals were reported dead, however, as the animals somehow sensed impending disaster.

In my opinion, I believe if someone really wants to know--as much as they can--around the time the end of the world would occur, they should move to a rural area, and regularly observe the daily behavior of the wildlife animals around them. Having companion, domestic animals is good too, but having been domesticated, these animals could have loss some sharpness in their senses as they aren't as much in touch with nature as their fellow wild animals are. But observe both on a regular basis, learning how to tell normal behavior from abnormal, nervous behavior from both types.

Another great help will be subscribing to reputable wildlife newsletters and checking out their websites from time-to-time. Websites like those have access to researchers all over the world who go out and study/observe animals in their natural habitat; they could be very valuable in news reporting unusual behavior in wildlife.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Forwarding a Message about Wiccans and Veganism

The following is from a 2007 article titled:

Why Wiccans Have to Suck It Up and Realize "Harm None" Includes Diet

Written by Paloma

Yes, I am aware that many in the Wiccan community like to believe that Wicca is a design-your-own mix-and-match hodgepodge spirituality that has no "dogma." Because dogma is of Western Religions and therefore evil. You're Wiccan as long as you believe in the duality of Deity and the Wheel of the Year, blah blah blah.

Sure you are still Wiccan if you eat meat and dairy and all that-- but are you a "good" Wiccan? Are you a Wiccan living your Wiccan path according to what the tenets of what being Wiccan means? Before you start, don't send me emails asking how dare I judge other Wiccans, who I am to say who is a "good" Wiccan, whatever. Please listen first:

Being "religious," having a "spiritual tradition," walking the Wiccan "path" all mean the same thing. People coming out of bad experiences in Catholicism, Christianity, Judaism, etc, can be wary of initiating this sort of dialogue into Wicca because it brings up bad memories of Judgement and Hellfire. The difference between what I'm suggesting and what occurs in those religions is that Wiccans should "judge" or evaluate themselves, instead of being judged by their community.

In evaluating themselves and their diet choices, Wiccans must ask themselves if they are truly doing everything they can to reduce Harm. I can absolutely understand how people who work long hours and overtime, or single parents, full time students who work full time and plenty of other situations will make it difficult if not impossible to educate oneself on complete nutrition overhaul.

But what about those that have the time, energy and resources and accuse me of being too dogmatic for Wicca? Or cite gods and goddesses of the hunt and say it's part of the natural cycle to eat meat, as long as it's in moderation? "In moderation" is the most abused prepositional phrase in
Inanna's gift of language. Would anyone say that using IV drugs is okay in moderation? Haha, I doubt it. But just like I wouldn't judge someone addicted to IV drug use, I'm not going to say those addicted to meat and dairy are horrible people either, but they are putting themselves at huge personal risk and causing Harm to themselves. But everyone knows that and I'm not here to preach.

Live you must and let to live, fairly take and fairly give.

That's part of the longer poem,
The Celtic Wiccan Rede. I'm not Celtic, and I think this poem can get silly in parts, there's still great stuff in it. Fairly take and fairly give... If the same plot of land can sustain healthfully TWENTY vegans or ONE omnivore, is that really taking fairly? Or is that willfully contributing to a preventable imbalance of Nature? The argument that "even vegans have to kill, and therefore Harm for food, so just giving up animals is pointless!" is silly against this fact, and it's really grasping at straws. If there was something you could do to lessen inevitable Harm, you have to ask yourself why you wouldn't do it.

So, while Wiccans who won't stop eating animal products are of course, still Wiccan, they are going against the tenets of what Wicca is if they are aware of the implications on humanity and the environment (you know, the body of The Goddess,) and this is one inconsistancy they may choose to work on in the future. Catholics who use birth control are still Catholic and good human beings, but are going against teachings.

It's hard to forego animal products, as it is a physiological
addiction, and addictions are terrifying to overcome.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

The Animals' Christmas

The Animals' Christmas album features vocals by Art Garfunkel, Amy Grant, and Wimbledon King's College Choir. The Animals' Christmas tells the story of the Nativity of Jesus from the perspective of the animals present. The album cover art was created by Abby Levine.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Dare To Rise Edition 2

This video is similar to the previous edition of "Dare to Rise" but now has multiple vocalists with a richer sound. Also, new and improved slides have been added. This is a music video about the wonder of creation, which helps us have reverence for all life so our spirits can be nourished and we can help heal the world.

Written by Anna Huckabee Tull and given by her and Kathyrn Shane (from the First Parish in Concord) to the Reverence for Life Program, Unitarian Universalist Animal Minister. Vocalists are from the First Parish in Concord

Friday, December 14, 2012

Animal Wise: The Thoughts and Emotions of Our Fellow Creatures

Animal Wise takes us on an odyssey into the inner world of animals, from ants to elephants to wolves, and from sharp-shooting archerfish to pods of dolphins. With 30 years of experience covering the sciences, Virgina Morell uses her gifts as a story-teller to transport us to field sites and laboratories around the world, introducing us to pioneering animal-cognition researchers and their surprisingly intelligent and sensitive subjects; the unique personalities of the pioneering researchers involved; the moral and ethical issues raised; and the dilemmas involving how we can accurately uncover animals' cognitive abilities like memory, feelings, personality and self-awareness – traits that many in the 20th century felt were unique only to human beings. By standing behaviourism on its head,  She explores how this rapidly evolving, controversial field has only recently overturned old notions about why animals behave as they do. She probes the moral and ethical dilemmas of recognizing that even “lesser animals” have cognitive abilities such as memory, feelings, personality, and self-awareness--traits that many in the twentieth century felt were unique to human beings.
There are stories about the researchers and their creative studies involving slugs, chimps, voles, hummingbirds, ants and many other creatures.
Most people have no idea that dolphins are self-aware, rats love to be tickled, chimps grieve, killer whales have cultures, and octopuses have personalities, dogs have extensive vocabularies and birds practice songs in their sleep. Voles love, jays plan ahead. A moth remembers its life as a caterpillar. 
Animal Wise: The Thoughts and Emotions of Our Fellow Creatures takes us on this journey into the minds and emotions of animals through the unusual, bright, and committed researchers who study them.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Costa Rica Bans Sport Hunting

Costa Rica bans hunting

This could be a sign posted in the country of Costa Rica!

Costa Rica is now the first country in the Americas to ban sport hunting!

An overwhelming majority of the country’s lawmakers voted 41 to 5 to protect its greatest treasures--the animals--who call this tropical paradise home. Costa Rica is one of the world’s most biodiverse countries, and welcomes around 300,000 visitors a year who come to enjoy exotic species like jaguars, pumas and giant sea turtles.

This small Latin American nation, of just under five million people, has become a model for the world to strive to emulate.

They said they have declared peace with nature. They feel a strong sense of responsibility about looking after their wealth of biodiversity.

Costa Rica also takes top honors as the happiest country on the planet, according to the Happy Planet Index.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Dare To Rise

Music video about the wonder of creation, which helps us have reverence for all life....Performed and written by Anna Huckabee Tull....


Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Task Force Phone Conference

cellity groupCALL

I had my very first phone conference this afternoon with 6 other people as we discussed ways of getting the word out more regarding having reverence for all lives, based on the Unitarian Universalist 7th Principle:

Respect for the interdependent web of all existence of which we are a part.

Which, in simpler terms, means we need to take care of our planet, Earth, the home we share with all living things.

The one-hour phone conference went very well. We came up with a lot of great ideas, and decided to keep several old ideas that work. We also made some clarifications about certain issues. We decided to have another meeting--be it via phone or online--sometime in the near future.

I'm really looking forward to our next meeting!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Cruelty-Free Runway Show and Clothing Gift Ideas

Check out this San Francisco Vegan Fashion Show, held on Oct 2, 2010 in Golden Gate Park:

These are some fantastic places to get vegan clothing, shoes, bags, and accessory gifts for someone--or for yourself!



Also, check out PETA's page for a plethora of sites to shop for more vegan clothing, shoes, bags and other accessories:


Monday, November 26, 2012

Ten Talents

As I mention great gifts for holiday shopping, I want to mention Ten Talents cookbook, which is my favorite all-around book of all time. Just to let you know, Ten Talents is not a vegan cookbook; it does have some recipes with honey, but that's it regarding animal ingredients.

Frank and Rosalie Hurd's Ten Talents is a classic natural foods vegetarian/vegan health manual emphasizing God's Original Diet for man, from the Garden of Eden as found in the Bible--Genesis 1:29.

A pioneer veg*n best-seller, Ten Talents was first published in 1968, when the term vegan was virtually unknown in the US. This book of 675 pages has over 1,000 healthy recipes, including 21 informative chapters on foods, and in proper combination for fantastic health and nutrition. It has a natural foods and appliance glossary, information on baby feeding with recipes, recipes using vegetables, legumes,  breads, desserts, fruits & fruit salads, grains, herbs & seasonings, meatless main dishes, nuts, seeds, olives, vegetable salads, salad dressings & dips, sandwiches & spreads, sauces, creams & gravies, soups & stews, sprouting, vegetables & side dishes, meal planning & menus, canning, freezing & drying, dairy & cheese substitutes, beverages, a section for those on a transition diet, and a chapter on the 10 healthy lifestyle principals for abundant health.

Compiled from the storehouse of real foods without the use of refined sugars, harmful additives, and animal/dairy products (except honey, which can be easily substituted by using other sweeteners the book mentions).

Ten Talents stays updated (the current book edition was published in April 2, 2012). It is also beautifully and artistically illustrated with more than 1,300 color photographs.

It makes a fabulous all-in-one veg*n cookbook!

Friday, November 23, 2012

In Praise of Animals

In Praise of Animals honors the animals in our lives. In this unique collection, Edward Searl has gathered poems, prose, blessings, chants--tributes of all kinds, ancient and modern. He explores the varied topics of pets, wildlife, stewardship, ecology, evolution, and the spiritual connection among all creatures.

He establishes the connections which link us to two-legged, four-legged, winged and finned creatures and sees us all together on the same evolutionary adventure of diversity.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Cruelty-Free Thanks!

Me too!
I give thanks today especially to all my fellow vegans who extend compassion to all living beings.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

A Child's Book of Animal Poems and Blessings

These poems, prayers and blessings about our animal brethren are drawn from around the world and throughout history. The book speaks to a child's sense of connection with the animal kingdom.
Amusing and reverential, Eliza Blanchard weaves together a collection that inspires gratitude and joy for a world rich in diversity and wonder. Sources include the Bible, African and Native American cultures, Lewis Carroll, William Wordsworth and Christina Rosetti. Full-color illustrations.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Gary Kowalski - Minister and Animal Rights Activist

Gary A. Kowalski is a minister and an American author noted for his books on eco-spirituality, science, history, and animals. He is the author of eight books including:

The Souls of Animals, Science and the Search for God

Goodbye Friend: Healing Wisdom For Anyone Who Has Ever Lost A Pet

Blessings of the Animals: Celebrating Our Kinship With All Creation

The Bible According To Noah: Theology As If Animals Mattered, Earth Day

Green Mountain Spring and Other Leaps of Faith

Revolutionary Spirits: The Enlightened Faith of America's Founding Fathers

A graduate of Harvard College and the Harvard Divinity School, Kowalski was the senior minister of Burlington's First Unitarian Universalist Society for over 20 years. While there, he performed about 25 marriage ceremonies each year, including same-sex marriages because Kowalski said that the church should support all long-term, mutually committed relationships. He also served on the Vermont State Advisory Panel to the United States Commission on Civil Rights.

In the summer of 2010, Kowalski left Burlington and moved to Santa Fe, New Mexico, to begin a 12-month interim ministry for the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Santa Fe. In the following year, he became interim minister at the First Parish Unitarian Universalist, of Sudbury, Massachusetts.

Monday, November 19, 2012

The Bible According to Noah: Theology As If Animals Mattered

The Bible According to Noah explores the ancient stories of the Creation, Noah's Ark, Abraham's near sacrifice of Isaac, the torment of Job, and Jonah and the whale to explore their relevance today—especially in regard to how we view and treat other animals. Kowalski draws together the findings of animal science to create an ecologically inspired rendition of the scriptures that honors the sanctity and kinship of all living beings. He uncovers the psychological and spiritual connections we have with other animals and those, such as children, who are left in our care. Kowalski calls for a different reading of the ancient wisdom of the Bible—one that advocates nonviolence, tolerates difference, and demands justice.

The book takes this topic to new depths of intellectual inquiry, examining the role of animals in biblical texts and, by extension, contemporary culture. Arguing that a new appreciation of animals is desperately needed to rescue Western society from its own anti-environmentalism, Gary Kowalski offers new renditions of familiar biblical stories: God tells humans to love the earth and preserve it instead of dominate it.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Goodbye, Friend

In the book, Goodbye, Friend, author Gary Kowalski takes you on a journey of healing, offering warmth and sound advice on how to cope with the death of your companion animal. Filled with heartwarming stories and practical guidance on such matters as taking care of yourself while mourning, creating rituals to honor your companion's memory, talking to children about death, and considering death and the continuum of life, Goodbye, Friend is a beautiful and comforting book for anyone grieving the loss of a beloved animal and is a much-needed resource for any grieving companion parent.

The author shows the need for the Church to recognize bereavement for companion animals in the same way it recognizes bereavement over human loss and the need to stop denying the fact that animals have souls and spirits, just as we do.
Through a series of short chapters, the author walks us through the mourning process of various individuals through whom we can relate our own losses and look forward with hope to seeing our lost companions again in heaven. Our feelings of loss are not unique, but universal among all people of compassion.
He concludes his book with ideas for creating a memorial service and inspirational readings from many faiths, past and present.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Compassion in Action

A week from today is Thanksgiving. This holiday and it’s traditions are mainly about food and one food in particular:


A turkey is, like a dog or cat, a sentient being with thoughts, feelings and desires.

But unlike our companion animals, a turkey goes through a tremendous amount of suffering to end up in the grocery store and consequently on the Thanksgiving table. Turkeys are neglected, mutilated, and die a horrible death all so they can be the centerpiece on tables, and as people gorge themselves on the carcass of a sentient being that endured a gruesome fate.

We can stop this tradition and the cruelty involved. There are other foods that can be sought for those who want to look at this time of giving thanks in a different, more compassionate way. A way without supporting cruelty, a way to celebrate giving thanks with an abundance of compassion.

Instead of eating a turkey this Thanksgiving, it is possible to start a new tradition:  Save a turkey. All traditional foods on the Thanksgiving table can be made animal product-free, cruelty-free with little effort.

If you are not vegan already, please think about the animal suffering that is involved during this holiday season and every day. The traditions of Thanksgiving is to be thankful for what we have, health, happiness, love and family. We should extend these privileges to all creatures that share this planet with us.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Blessings of the Animals: Celebrating Our Kinship with All Creation

This is a brand new book that came out yesterday! Included in Blessings of the Animals:
Find out how "swarm intelligence" is creating smarter phone systems inspired by the creativity and collective wisdom of the common ant.

Discover what happens when a visionary artist travels to Africa to bury the portraits of 23 primates who died in a Philadelphia zoo.

Ponder how cultures as diverse as the Cherokee, Chinese, Egyptians, and ancient Hindus identified the night's brightest star with a canine spirit guide.

Explore how meditation practice helps a Buddhist beekeeper fend off a disease that threatens most of the world's honeybees.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

The Souls of Animals

In this revised edition of his celebrated book, The Souls of Animals, Unitarian Universalist minister Reverend Gary Kowalski discusses the big spiritual questions around our relationship with animals--whether they have souls, self-consciousness, awareness of death, and a capacity for recognizing beauty. Rev. Kowalski combines heartwarming stories with solid science to show that other creatures are not insensitive objects devoid of feeling and intellect but thinking, sentient beings with an inward, spiritual life.
The Souls of Animals presents insights into the emotional lives of animals, their creative abilities, their sense of play, their experience of love, and their awareness of death. As John Robbins states in the preface: this book is a resource that is about "learning to take our place with reverence and respect in the council of all beings."

Monday, November 12, 2012

Familiar Strangers

Familiar Strangers: The Church and the Vegetarian Movement in Britain (1809-2009) is a book about the history of the relationship between the Churches and organized vegetarianism in Britain over two centuries.

Within the name, Familiar Strangers, author John Gilheany captures the essence of the struggle that has existed between the church and the vegetarian movements for the past 2,000 years, and his study of the last 200 years in Britain highlights the continued struggle, as well as the advances that have occurred.

For far too many years the majority of churches and church leaders have turned a blind eye and heart toward the suffering of animals, and the health problems to human beings that an animal product based diet causes. In Familiar Strangers, John Gilheany brings to light the historical documentation and the need for all of us to become vegetarian/vegan, for it is God's heavenly will for our lives, and the best thing for the animals and the environment.

In Familiar Strangers, we also see how the animal rights movement was a natural progression of the vegetarian influence with it's concern for the suffering of animals.

In 1809, the origins of the vegetarian movement were set in place with the foundation of the Bible Christian Church of Salford. The radical sect, whose congregation included local Civic leaders and the first M.P. for Salford, Joseph Brotherton (1783 - 1857) was instrumental in the formation of the Vegetarian Society, in 1847. Towards the end of the nineteenth century, the wider Food Reform movement had developed both secular and spiritual ideals which attracted a notable proportion of Christians.

Among the more prominent religious figures to have shared an association with Christian vegetarianism have been John and Charles Wesley; General William Booth, C.H Spurgeon, Leo Tolstoy, Lord Soper, and even Mahatma Gandhi.

The reluctance of the Vegetarian Society to adopt an overtly theological stance led to the formation of related but distinctly religious organizations. The Order of the Golden Age became particularly influential during the Edwardian period whilst operating from prestigious offices in London's Knightsbridge. The most remarkable achievement of the forgotten organization occurred in 1907, when their propaganda was met with a change in diet on the part of Pope Pius X.

The vegetarian movement entered into a decline after the Second World War from which it was unable to recover until the Counter Culture of the 1960s eventually gave rise to the modern animal rights movement.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Animals--God's Faithful Servants

Animals--God's Faithful Servants is written from a Christian perspective about the sacred relationship between God, man and animals. It deals with animal theology, pet loss euthanasia, dealing with grief, funeral services and includes biblical references to animals.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Pet Loss


The grief that follows the death of an animal companion  can be crippling emotionally, mentally, and even physically. This book can help anyone discover the many emotional reactions and responses to the loss of a pet, learn what happens at a pet cemetery burial, cremation, or home burial and help you to find out arrangements that are legally available.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Animals in Religion, Science, and Ethics


This is a fabulous book on animals and spirituality, and it covers other topics relating to animals as well. Leading animal experts "consider how major religious traditions have incorporated animals into their belief systems, myths, rituals, and art...Their findings offer profound insights into humans' relationships with animals and a deeper understanding of the social and ecological web in which we all live....They explore issues such as animal consciousness, suffering, sacrifice, and stewardship in innovative methodological ways. They also address contemporary challenges relating to law, biotechnology, social justice, and the environment."

For more information on this book, check it out here:

A Communion of Subjects: Animals in Religion, Science, and Ethics

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Saint Francis of Assisi

Saint Francis of Assisi is an inspiration to the love of all animals. He had love for the creatures and respect of all life.

October is the month of his Feast Day (October 4). For more information about Saint Francis and his love for animals check out: Saint Francis of Assisi--Patron Saint of Animals

Monday, October 22, 2012

Animal Emotions

Many animals display emotional and moral intelligences. An essay on animal emotions gives more detail here, at:

Morality in Tooth and Claw

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Magpies Grieve for Their Dead

With its aggressive behaviour and appetite for young chicks, the magpie doesn't have a particularly good image when it comes to compassion.

But according to some experts, the predator may have a tender side, feeling grief and routinely holding 'funerals' for fallen friends.

Dr. Marc Bekoff claims the rituals-- which involve birds laying 'wreaths' of grass alongside roadside corpses--are proof animals feel complex emotions.

Read more about the story here:

Magpies grieve for their dead (and even turn up for funerals) |

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Cold Noses At The Pearly Gates

The death of your beloved pet can be one of the most heartbreaking losses you’ll ever endure. But recovery isn’t only about closure. You also want to know where your best friend has gone.

After the intense, unexpected grief he experienced following the loss of his own companions, animal lover and biblical scholar Gary Kurz set out to prove that there are indeed pets in Paradise. After devoting countless hours of research, he now shares his inspiring insights to bring you a richer understanding of animals and their souls. You’ll find answers to common questions about animals and the afterlife—and you’ll also get a 30-day devotional to help you work through your grief.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Animals and the Spirit World

Animals have detected earthquake and disasters hours or even days before they occurred and some species have travelled impressive distances to be reunited with lost family members. If they have these incredible abilities, it seems quite possible that they could potentially be able to interact with the spirit world. Animals are intelligent and often demonstrate intuitions and instincts that humans don’t always appear to have.

Rupert Sheldrake, author of Dogs That Know When Their Owners Are Coming Home (Three Rivers Press, 1999), believes that animals have abilities that humans may have possessed at one time, but somehow most of us lost. Through his extensive research, he has concluded that there are at least three major categories of unexplained perceptiveness by animals:

Telepathy - a psychic connection that some pets may have with their owners through connections Sheldrake calls "morphic fields." It is this ability that enables pets to "know" when their owners are on their way home. In the section of Sheldrake's book focusing on telepathy, he asserts that this ability arises from the strong bond that develops between human and family animal companion. He relates several anecdotes from animal guardians who believe their animals are psychically picking up their intentions.

The Sense of Direction - this ability accounts for the "incredible travels" some animals make to be with their owners, including homing pigeons. There are many stories told...animals that have made long, sometime arduous journeys to be reunited with their owners are some of the most incredible and compelling cases for unexplained animal powers.

Premonitions - this may explain why some animals seem to know when earthquakes and other events are about to occur. In this section of the book, Sheldrake explores the possibility that some animals can forewarn us of events that are about to occur. Some animal companions seem to know when their owners are about to have epileptic seizures.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

The Blessing of the Animals at The Grotto

The National Sanctuary of our Sorrowful Mother, popularly known as The Grotto is a beautiful 62-acre Catholic sanctuary on Sandy Boulevard at Northeast 85th Avenue, Portland, Oregon. The sanctuary sets both at the foot of and on top of a cliff. It is a non-profit organization supported solely by the proceeds of its gift shop and by donations. It is administered by the Order of Friars Servants of Mary, USA Province.

A large meditation hall whose main chamber is at clifftop level extends down to the foot of the cliff; a cross on the hall is visible many miles away. In addition to a church, there are several thousand feet of trails, including a trail of the Stations of the Cross, along which the faithful may pass in contemplation.

The Grotto is open daily throughout the year. (Closed on Thanksgiving and Christmas following the celebration of Mass.).

The Grotto had their 29th annual Blessing of the Animals in the Grotto Plaza this year. The annual event is always held on the third Sunday of July (rain or shine) and offers individuals with companion animals an opportunity to reflect upon the positive impact animals have on our emotional and physical well-being. This annual event attracts a wide variety of animals and their human friends. Individuals of all faiths are invited to bring their companion animals, properly restrained, to The Grotto for the Blessing of the Animals.
All are welcome.

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Let Us Now Bark: Book teaches pet ministry

Marti Healy believes God gave man dominion over the creatures of the earth with strings attached: Rule with kindness, love unconditionally and listen for lessons of the heart.

A lifelong animal lover, Healy has discovered a deep spirituality in her relationships with dogs and cats, lessons she explores in her book, "The God-Dog Connection: Things I've Learned About God and Faith from the Dogs and Cats in My Life" (January 1, 2010 newer edition but reprint--same as the 2007 version book)

The Aiken, S.C., writer, who self-published the volume in 2003, is preparing a companion workbook that will help Christian churches develop small-group pet ministry programs.

Read more about Marti's ministry at: Book Teaches Pet Ministry

Companion books by Marti Healy:

The God Dog Connection Pet Ministry

The God Dog Connection Study Guide

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Animal Rites

Andrew Linzey is an Anglican priest, theologian, author, and prominent figure in the Christian vegetarian movement. He has authored and co-wrote many books on the subject of animal reverence.

Linzey has often been quoted as saying "Animals are God's creatures, not human property, nor utilities, nor resources, nor commodities, but precious beings in God's sight. ... Christians whose eyes are fixed on the awfulness of crucifixion are in a special position to understand the awfulness of innocent suffering. The Cross of Christ is God's absolute identification with the weak, the powerless, and the vulnerable, but most of all with unprotected, undefended, innocent suffering.

In 1990, he was awarded the Peaceable Kingdom Medal for outstanding work in the field of theology and animals. In June, 2001, he was awarded a DD (Doctor of Divinity) degree by George Carey, Archbishop of Canterbury, in recognition of his “unique and massive pioneering work in the area of the theology of creation with particular reference to the rights and welfare of God’s sentient creatures”. This is the highest award that the Archbishop can bestow on a theologian and the first time it has been awarded for work involving animals. In 2006, in recognition of his role in the creation of the Oxford Centre for Animal Ethics, Linzey was named the Henry Bergh Professor of Animal Ethics at the Graduate Theological Foundation in the U.S., the first such professorship of its kind in the world.

Some of Andrew Linzey's works:

Animal Rights: A Christian Perspective (London: SCM Press, 1976)

Christianity and the Rights of Animals (London: SPCK and New York: Crossroad, 1987 and 1989)

Animal Theology (London: SCM Press and Chicago: University of Illinois Press, 1994 and 1996)

Animal Gospel: The Christian Defense of Animals (Hodder & Stoughton Religious, 1998)

Animal Gospel: Christian Faith as If Animals Mattered (London: Hodder and Stougton, and Louisville, Kentucky: Westminster/John Knox Press, 1999 and 2000)

Animal Rites: Liturgies of Animal Care (London: SCM Press and Cleveland: Ohio: The Pilgrim Press, 1999 and 2001)

Creatures of the Same God: Explorations in Animal Theology (New York: Lantern Books, 2009).

Why Animal Suffering Matters: Philosophy, Theology, and Practical Ethics (Oxford University Press, 2009).