Animal Consciousness and Religions I
Throughout Greek literature, we see a manifested noble sentiment regarding animal care. A good example is the episode of Argo, Ulysses’ dog, which is attended by his master at the time of his death.
Animal Wellness and Kindness
The philosopher Aristotle distinguishes three different types of souls: vegetative or nutritive, sensitive, and rational. Correspond to the first are plants, the second and third animal’s men. The animal incarnations in the ancient religions always had a value in themself, and they became conceived as having an immortal soul. Pythagoras and Anaxagoras, unlike the Stoics, attached to the animal life a divine emanation and thought that the soul was always immortal in both animals and men. The same was thought of by Plato and the philosophers of Alexandria.
Nowadays in Roma, we can still verify the existence of many altars dedicated to Mithras. The Obelisk and the Temple of Mithras coexist with the Olympus symbols; the Pythagorean Basilica and the palace of the nobles all display, in a row, the symbolic animals that make up a polymorphic glorification of the cosmos and all its energy and consciousness.
In Iran, Zarathustra (the prophet Zoroaster)’s said “… whoever takes care of animals, without nourishing from their meat “shattered or massacred” shall receive the vision of the Holy Spirit and The Truth.” He also said that “whoever kills an animal, would kill his own soul”.
Buddhist Point of View
Buddha asks for unconditional compassion for animals, and as Zarathustra, prohibits the slaughter: “instead of sacrificing animals, let them free. Let them seek grass, water, and wind caress. Animals killed had given you the tribute of their milk and wool. They had put their trust in the hands that now slaughter them (…)”.
Buddhists in India built, in the time of Emperor Asoka, the first animal hostel. This initiative was revived in the nineteenth century by Vivekananda.
Gandhi claimed that respect for animals is the Hindu gift to mankind. The Hindu religion always emphasized animal’s rights and had protected them against cruelty. The Oneness of Souls but a Plurality of Physical bodies have been a system of Belief for eastern traditions, and their Animal Evolutionary Consciousness accepted and emphasized.
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