Vegan Grandma

Thursday, October 05, 2006

The Souls of Animals

The Souls of Animals, by Gary Kowalski, published by Stillpoint, is a Wonderful little book. The author writes about ways in which animals are "our soul mates and fellow travelers, sharing in the things that make us most deeply human" The words are like poetry, and the photographs by Art Wolf are haunting.

Here are some of Gary Kowalski’s words.

"...are we the only animals who grieve? Do other creatures have thoughts and feelings about the end of life or wonder what lies beyond?"-page 8

" of the [elephant] family groups that moss [director of the Amboseli Elephant Research Project in Kenya] studied was attacked by hunters. An animal that Moss named Tina, a young female about 15 years old, was shot in the chest, the bullet penetrating her right lung...................The elephants refused to leave the body..They began to dig in the rocky dirt and, with their trunks, sprinkled soil over Tina’s lifeless form. Some went into the brush and broke branches which they brought back and placed on the carcass. By nightfall the body was nearly covered with branches and earth. Throughout the night members of the family stood in vigil over their fallen friend. Only as dawn began to break did they leave, heading back to the safety of the Amboseli reserve. Tina’s mother was the last to go."-pages 14 and 15

"How can we heedlessly take the life of another animal? How can we kill without wondering what agony that creature feels, or what heartbreak besets its offspring and mate?"-page 17
"Do animals also experience love? Do they know the meaning of devotion and fidelity to their mates?"-page 64

"Like wild geese, jackdaws are one of the species of birds that mate for life.........after many years,...the male still feeds his wife with the same solicitous care, and finds for her the same low tones of love, tremulous with inward emotion, that he whispered in his first spring of betrothal and of life."-page 66

"The things that make life most precious and blessed-----courage and daring, conscience and compassion, imagination and originality, fantasy and play-do not belong to our kind alone."
Animals, like us are living souls. They are not things. They are not objects. Neither are they human. Yet they mourn. They love. They dance. They suffer. They know the peaks and chasms of being."-page 111


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