Is There an Afterlife for Animals?
I'm sure we all wanted to believe that when Simba's dad died or when Bambi's mom got shot, those cuddly bastards were going to a better place—somewhere where they could hang with their beastly brethren and roam free through endless trees and shit. But according to some religous bummer-lovers, when animals die animals they don't get to go to heaven because they don't have souls. Meaning when Lassie bit the big one she didn't go to some Beggin' Strips-laden paradise where there's always a willing leg to hump and the toilet lid is never down. Instead, she just got all maggoty in the dirt behind the wooden tool shed. Is heaven not only a place where nothing ever happens, but also a place without pooches or pussies? We asked some random ding-dongs on the street.
Do your pets go to heaven?
Christian: No. I believe they don’t have souls.
That’s what some Christians think.
Word. ‘Cause dogs, like, they don’t have feelings, right?
Yes they do.
Maybe there is then. Or maybe they just die. I don’t know. Maybe they go to heaven.
Even shitty animals like cockroaches and jellyfish?
Yeah. Except there’s no water up there and shit. They’re just floating, not swimming.
Is there an afterlife for your pets?
Colleen: I’d say no. I don’t believe there’s an afterlife for people.
What happens after death?
Evan: Worm food. It’s like The Lion King.
Colleen: We turn into worm food and then other people live off our carcasses. Personally, I want to get cremated and turned into a pencil. There’s a website where they use your ashes to make pencils. I’m going to do that and then I will send the pencils to my sister.
That’s insanely creepy.
Evan: I think it’s a cop-out for people to believe in an afterlife. People think they’re a lot more precious than they actually are. It’s easier for me to believe in turning into worm food than having some magical being that created it all welcome me into his mystical kingdom. I find the Bible really immature.
Would you say your pets will go to heaven?
Larissa: Yeah. Well, I guess because everything is composed of sort of different molecules and particles and that sort of thing. So the energy that they have is going to get carried into the other lifeforms that springs up from them.
Some people think that animals don’t go to heaven.
Aww, but there’s that movie All Dogs Go To Heaven. Really, though, that’s kind of bullshit. Someone probably just wanted to kill a dog and wanted to justify it. I feel like there is a spirit though. It’s what life is for, figuring it all out.
Ben: I don’t have an answer for you off the top of my head. I don’t think there is an afterlife for anybody.
So what happens after death?
Nothingness. Gray matter.
It must be a bit more complicated than that.
Decomposition. You just go back, you recede to what once was. What we were before. What we become. Nothingness. What is the meaning of life? I believe in the Earth, in the stars, in the sky, in the seasons. yin and yang. Negative and positive. To each their own. Everybody prays. I just be. I am. I strive to be there.
Maximus: Absolutely. I feel like animals, human beings, whatever, are energy and energy never dies. It just transmutes, changes, shifts into other forms of consciousness or being.
So animals have a conscience?
Charlie: Everything does. Plants, and everything else that’s living.
Then what differentiates us from the beast?
Charlie: We have self-awareness and logic. I think that after death things transmute and reincarnate in different dream-states. We’re in a dream as human beings; animals are in a dream as animals.
Maximus: Consciousness is connected to feeling, to seeing, to being, to experiencing. There were tests done in the 60s where they connected electrodes to plants to see if they felt anything. If a leaf was cut, the other leaves felt it. The second part of the test was putting the person who did the cutting into a room with the plants, and those plants were already aware that that person cut the other plant.
Some religious people preach that animals have no souls, which means no heaven for them.
Maximus: Let me be blunt: That’s the same kind of mentality that said Africans have no souls when they were brought over as slaves.
That’s kind of a leap.
Maximus: From a spiritual perspective everything is one, be it human or animal. The reality is that the DNA of a fruit fly is almost the same as the DNA of a human being. We’re all just subatomic particles.
Charlie: It’s all perspective. Those who think they know something about the external world that isn’t part of their subjective experience as one with it, are living in an illusion where they’re projecting their fears onto this false reality. So when they come up with these blanket statements about others, they’re really talking about themselves and their fear that they don’t have a soul.
You guys are, like, real hippies, huh? So what happens when humans and animals die?
Charlie: They wake up. Just like when you wake up out of a dream, the animal wakes up into another reality.
Daniel: I never really thought about that. For people maybe there is. I don’t know if animals would have an afterlife, because I don’t think they have the same feelings that we do.
Daniel: I feel like if people in the afterlife really loved their animals and wished to have them there, they could have them.
What about wild animals though?
Daniel: It’s hard for me to imagine all the animals that ever existed being in the afterlife. I guess they could, but I don’t really have a clear image of what the afterlife looks like.
Daniel: I believe if you go to the afterlife and an animal makes you happy, why would you not have that animal?
Some churches preach that animals can’t go to heaven.
Daniel: It’s church versus religion. I believe in religion, not the church.
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