Skip to Main Content

‘But Animals Don’t Have Souls. . .’

Written by PETA | July 10, 2007

Funny-Cats/Creative Commons
Soul_Kitty.jpg

There was a really interesting article in The International Herald Tribune last week, which indirectly addressed a comment that I’ve heard surprisingly often since I started working in animal protection: “Animals don’t have souls.” I’ve never personally considered the question relevant to my work, since the only thing that matters to me is whether or not they’re capable of suffering, which it should be obvious to anyone who’s actually seen an animal that they are.

Anyway, the gist of the article was that as brain science becomes more advanced, scientists are discovering more and more evidence of actual physical processes that relate to feelings like empathy, disgust, or joy:

“That is, they are discovering physical bases for the feelings from which moral sense emerges – not just in people but in other animals as well… As biologists turn up evidence that animals can exhibit emotions and patterns of cognition once thought of as strictly human, Descartes’s dictum, ‘I think, therefore I am,’ loses its force.”

The article centers around the argument that it’s simply false reasoning to attempt to distinguish humans from animals based on who has a soul and who doesn’t. I’m still trying to wrap my head round the whole concept, honestly, but it’s definitely worth a read if you have time—or if, like me you have people giving you weird jive about souls when you try to talk to them about animals. You can read the full article here.

Related Posts

Respond

Comments

Post a Comment

If your comment doesn't appear right away, please be patient as it may take some time to publish or may require moderation.

By submitting this form, you are agreeing to our collection, storage, use, and disclosure of your personal info in accordance with our privacy policy as well as to receiving e-mails from us.

  • skeptic says:

    Just because a creature shows signs of design and acts in accordance to principles of its design doesn’t prove that it has ‘emotions’ or ‘feelings’ etc. I’m seeing alot of wishful thinking and very little concrete evidence.

  • Sylvie says:

    Maybe you can say animals don’t have souls but you HAVE to know that they have hearts and feelings if anyone shot a mother bear the cub would cry animals have feeling they have pains joys and sorrows I believe God created the animals I often say to people that try to tease me about not eating meat eating meat I think is wrong I say to then in heaven there is no meat and in heaven there is no sin if you are a christen you know that before adam and eve sinned no one ate meat so do I think animals are things with no hearts no feelngs and are soemthing we can eat and take advantage of the answer is NO I see alot of people eating meat all the time and they never give a thought about that what they are eating what they are eating once moved and breathed and that is wrong they eat the heart of the animal its sad and no one even gives it a thought they have hearts and they live we should give them rect

  • KATERS says:

    if i had a nickel 4 every time someone said 2 me quote GOD put animals here 4 us to eat.so my being vegatarian is totally ridiculous to egotistical human beings who think this way.i am happy to live knowing that my body is not haunted by the tortured ghosts of once living creaturesnow deceased for my own selfindulgence.it is notnor ever has beena question 2 me whether or not animals have a soul.it is humans who do not acknowledge this fact who i fear.

  • Catherine Hopkins says:

    I would like to read the article when I have more time which I don’t today. But I only have to look into my dogs’ and cat’s eyes to know they have a soul. More later!

  • KATIE SQUIRES says:

    PEOPLE CALL THEMSELVES ANIMAL LOVERSTHEN SIT DOWN TO A BURGER FRIES.ALL MY LIFE I HAVE HEARD FROM MORE PEOPLE THAT ANIMALS “WERE PUT HERE FOR US TO USE EAT”PUT HERE 4 THIS REASON BY GOD AT THAT.IGORANCE IS OBVIOUSLY BLISS.MEI PREFER TO HAVE OPEN EYES.WHEN I AM MADE FUN OF FOR BEING VEGANNOW I JUST SMILE.FOR I KNOW THAT IT IS NOT MY BODY HAUNTED BY GHOSTS OF THE DEADTORTUREDAND CRUSIFIED.DO ANIMALS HAVE A SOUL?I BELEIVE THE ACTUAL QUESTION SHOULD BE DOES THE PERSON WHO WONDERS?

  • Brenda says:

    Thank you all for the heartfelt postings. It is a blessing to me since our beloved bulldog Bearsky passed only hours ago. He was 12 14 years old. He has been such a child of mine and such a special gift to all our family and our houseful of other pets. I do know that he will be in Heaven to greet us when we get there. The Scriptures shared have helped me very much on this sad day. When my Father died God sent me a vision while I slept which awoke me and calmed me so I could get through his funeral. The same thing happened last night when a slight sound was at my window similar to the sound that my son has done so many times before when he misplaced his keys at night and threw a small pebble at my window when he was home. I looked out of my window and saw nothing but a warm relaxing feeling came over me. I knew at that minute that he was home with God.

  • Anonymous says:

    When you go to heaven you are supposed to be happy how can I be happy in heaven when Silver and Akey are not there waiting for me? Animals do have souls.

  • Audrey says:

    While undergoing surgery my grandfather’s heart stopped 11 times and he claims he had a “neardeath” experience three of these times. He had the classic NDE the tunnel the bright light and interesting enough he said that not only were his parents and grandparents there to greet him he said his dog “Tippy” who’s been hit and killed by a car years before had been there waiting for him. My Grandfather was convinced without a shadow of a doubt that not only is there a heaven but that animals DO have souls and go to the same place as we do. A little food for thought. Audrey