The Souls of Animals

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New World Library, 2007 - Nature - 160 pages
9 Reviews
In this revised edition of his celebrated book, Gary Kowalski grapples with the big spiritual questions around our relationship with animals — whether they have souls, self-consciousness, awareness of death, a capacity for recognizing beauty and creating art. Ultimately, he asks, what do we lose in a world without animals, and what does that mean for our ongoing relationships with the creatures with whom we share our world? Souls of Animals addresses these and a variety of related topics in beautifully written vignettes. Kowalski explores how animals play, their sense of altruism, their selfless ability to love. By "de-sacrilizing" animals, he argues, we make ourselves less human. The book contains thoughtful ideas for rituals and ceremonies, spiritual guidance, and readings and poems to use for solace in case a pet dies. “If we are to keep our family homestead — Earth — safe for coming generations,” writes Kowalski, “we must awaken to a new respect for the family of life."

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Review: The Souls of Animals

User Review  - Dave Courtney - Goodreads

It has some nice stories, and I am sure more than a few of us will find the stories touching. And maybe that's how this needs to be approached rather than as an academic read, in fairness. It doesn't ... Read full review

Review: The Souls of Animals

User Review  - Regan - Goodreads

A sweet read. Nothing really memorable. Read full review

Selected pages


Do Animals Have Souls? What is the Question?
Mortals All Are Animals Aware of Death?
Ghosties Goblins and FourLegged Beasties Do Animals Have a Sense of the Mysterious?
Hearts of Song Why Do Birds Sing?
Art for Arts Sake Why Do Animals Draw?
Evolutionary Ethics Do Animals Know Right from Wrong?
Partners for Life Do Animals Experience Love?
The Plays the Thing Why Do Whooping Cranes Dance?
The Eyes of Hope Are Animals Conscious of Themselves?
The Reflecting Self Would We Lose Our Own Souls in a World without Animals?
Do Animals Have Souls? What Is the Answer?
One Earth One Spirit Where Do We Go from Here?

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About the author (2007)

The Reverend Gary Kowalski is the author of bestselling books on animals, spirituality, and nature. His first book, The Souls of Animals, which explores other species’ capacities for love, creativity, and self-awareness, has been translated into Chinese, Czech, German, French, and Spanish and has sold over 80,000 copies worldwide. His second book, Goodbye, Friend, was featured by both One Spirit and the Quality Paperback Book Clubs and remains a valued resource for those grieving their animal companions. A graduate of Harvard College and the Harvard Divinity School, Reverend Kowalski is an ordained minister who has served churches in Tennessee, Washington State, Vermont, New Mexico, and Massachusetts. He is active in the Green Mountain Animal Defenders, an advocacy group working for better treatment of animals in entertainment, research, and agriculture. A committed vegan, he is past president of the Unitarian Universalist Animal Ministry. His website is

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