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Souls of Animals Paperback – 30 Apr 2007

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Product details

  • Paperback: 160 pages
  • Publisher: New World Library; 3rd Revised edition edition (30 April 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1577315901
  • ISBN-13: 978-1577315902
  • Product Dimensions: 1.3 x 13.3 x 21 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 964,036 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


In a revised edition of this celebrated book, Unitarian Universalist minister Gary Kowalski grapples with the big spiritual questions around our relationship with animals: Do animals have souls? Are they aware of death and are they conscious of themselves? Do animals have an inherent capacity to recognize beauty and can they create art? Do animals experience love? Do they know right from wrong? Why do birds sing? And ultimately what do we lose in a world without animals and what does that mean for our ongoing relationship with the creatures with which we share the world? Kowalski offers beautifully written vignettes that shed light on these questions and much more. He explores how animals play, their sense of altruism and their capacity for love. By "de-sacralizing" animals, Kowalski argues, we make ourselves less human. "If we are to keep our family homestead - Earth - safe for coming generations," he writes, "we must awaken to a new respect for the family of life."

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

By Mr. R. Tyler on 7 Feb. 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
a number of people had told me about this book or referrred me to it and when I saw it here I bought it read it twice and have enjoyed every moment of it
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 26 reviews
107 of 110 people found the following review helpful
For the first time in a long time, I wept as I read. 10 May 2000
By Sara - Published on
Format: Paperback
I stumbled upon this book on accident. As an animal lover, it looked appealing to me though I expected it to be a generic, feel-good read. I was quite surprised! When I read the information that Kowalski had compiled, I cried. The chapters explore our questions on just how perceptive and emotional animals are. Do they feel a sense of love? Are they aware of death? Why do they play? When I read the stories that the author relates, such as the family of elephants who buried the dead and Koko the female lowland gorilla who learned American Sign Language, I was deeply moved. I had not purchased this book planning a lifestyle change but that is precisely what happened. Knowing what I do now about the intelligence and passion of animals, I am a vegetarian, living a happier, healthier life.
45 of 45 people found the following review helpful
Must Read 21 Sept. 1999
By - Published on
Format: Paperback
A very caring look at the the world we live in. A classic book on animal spirituality Gary regales us with tales of the lives of some of the creatures with which we share the planet. He ponders and causes us to stop and give thought as well on various qualities of animals. He details and presents instances of playfulness, capacity for love, altruism, and awareness of death, in our animal brethren. Gary is a Unitarian minister and in his book, he teaches us to be more open to the possibility of our biological, cerebral, and ethereal connection with animals
Leslie Blanchard
Editor A Writer's Choice Literary Journal
36 of 37 people found the following review helpful
serious and sensitive reflections on animals' inner lives 5 Feb. 1999
By A Customer - Published on
Format: Paperback
Gary Kowalski is a Unitarian minister in Burlington, Vermont whose thinking and writing about animals and their spiritual lives is clear and powerful. To questions such as "Do Animals Experience Love?, "Are Animals Aware of Death?", Are Animals Conscious of Themselves?", "Do Animals Know Right From Wrong?" and "Do Animals Have Souls" Kowalski brings a rare blend of careful observation, personal insights, scientific understanding, and moral sensitivity. The Souls of Animals is a book that, chapter by chapter, teaches us to be more open to the possibility of our biological, psychological, and spiritual kinship with animals. In a university course that I teach on animal ethics students and I found this book provided a perspective and a "voice" that, too often, is discounted or neglected in ethical analyses and debates about humans' relationships and uses of animals. This book is pleasure to read and to think about.
24 of 24 people found the following review helpful
A humane and thought-provoking approach to our earthly kin 6 Aug. 1999
By A Customer - Published on
Format: Paperback
Gary Kowalski wrote a succint book about a subject that is verydear to me (being as I am a vegan and an ecologist). I appreciate thepondered yet caring way in which he writes. It will give you food for thought concerning our animal brothers and sisters under the sky. This book reminded me a lot of the absolutely fantastic 'When Elephants Weep',by Masson and McCarhy (I think) which I actually never got to finish reading because it depressed me too much (but I must finish it soon as the book is a masterpiece). I advise you to read 'The Souls of Animals' and to think about it (and to act accordingly).
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
Highly recomended 16 Feb. 2003
By "chrismcowan" - Published on
Format: Paperback
Mr. Kowalski's book is excellent. If your're an animal lover or simply want a great read, you will enjoy this book. It's not just another man's opinion, but a well cited and researched work. Kowalski shows humans are not the only sentient beings on this planet.
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