View Full Version : "I'm just not sure if I believe animals have souls"

Apr 8th, 2009, 07:35 AM
"I'm just not sure if I believe animals have souls."

She's a pescatarian for environmental/political reasons, but has a real problem being "soft" and "sentimental" about animals. I can't help but think that her Christian upbringing and fishing/hunting father contribute to this view of animals not having souls.

But I can't help but think, if you aren't SURE if animals have souls, that means that maybe they do. Is it worth the risk? And also, is it relevant? It's still a life that doesn't need to be taken for us to survive.

Basically, it broke my heart. I don't know why my non-vegan friends say things like that to me. I'm having an increasingly difficult time getting along in this world with mostly non-vegan friends and a meat-eating family. Sometimes it just really gets me down, ya know?:(

Ruby Rose
Apr 8th, 2009, 09:43 AM
I suppose it depends what your friend means by "soul". If they mean that an animal's personality continues intact in another place after death, I'm afraid I agree. I don't believe that (much as I would love to be reunited with my darling doggies at Rainbow Bridge) - but then, I don't believe that humans' personalities continue intact in another place after death. For me, death is the final curtain.

But if your friend means that having no "soul" means that animals are not entitled to live, or to be treated with the respect and humanity due to any other conscious being who can feel pain, fear, panic, contentment and security... then she's talking nonsense, IMO. It sounds like she's trying (and failing) to reconcile all the inconsistencies and hypocrisy in her views - and we know that can't be done. I feel sorry for her, though - it's a hard step to pull back from the security of the received wisdom of your culture, community and upbringing and think "Actually, they're wrong".

Apr 8th, 2009, 05:05 PM
Do you have the problem with them being non-vegan or with them saying those "non-vegan things" to you?
Would it be easier if they (your non-vegan friends and family) just stopped mentioning certain topics in front of you?

Apr 8th, 2009, 08:37 PM
I'm pretty much an atheist myself so I don't really believe in "souls" but rather consciousnesses [I can't believe the spell checker says I got that right on my first try :)] It's wrong to beat or kill a dog or cat with a bat so it is wrong to do the same to a cow, a horse, or a fish. I don't need to know if they have "souls", personally, that's not what keeps me from murdering/harming them. They all feel pain, suffer, become emotionally distraught when their babies are in peril, and fight to stay alive. That's what counts in my book.

[my tag line below says it all]

Apr 9th, 2009, 03:51 AM
A soul by essence is immortal and if something immortal it never ends and therefore would have to have the quality of perfection and be without limits. You can not have two things which are perfect in existence and without limits there can only be ever be one as infinity does not divide into anything but itself. So there can only ever be one soul and that is me and you and my cat and your cat and everything that has ever been or will ever be. We either all count or nothing does.

Spud Addict
Apr 9th, 2009, 10:49 AM
I'm not really sure what I believe, but I do think that if human animals have a soul, then so must all other animals, human or otherwise.

But aside from that, yes I know what you mean about friends and relatives saying things like that, sometimes it feels like they do it just for an argument or to upset you. I bet you anything you like that they wouldn't ever think of starting such a discussion with someone who ate meat. Veganism inspires some really stupid/hurtful/weird things from people who don't understand our viewpoints. Sometimes they can come out with interesting or thought provoking things too though. I always find it hard to take typical omni comments from close friends too, veganmuffin :) It should be like "they're my best friends, they should instinctively understand my way of thinking"