Are animals that different from human beings?

A few years ago I found myself standing outside of a restaurant in Florida. The outside of the restaurant was lined with cages holding parrots and other exotic birds. One of them was just stunning. It was a pale cream color with rose pink edging. I told my husband that I really wanted to reach my fingers inside the cage and pet it but I was worried because the bird also had a very large and powerful looking beak. Just then, the bird pressed it’s body against the cage and turned it’s head away so that I could easily pet it without fear of the beak. And I did pet it and it was wonderful, but the most amazing thing was how the bird could either understand English or sense what I wanted so intuitively. I was stunned by it’s intelligence and reasoning skills. Obviously I hated that it was in a cage.

I recently watched this video on youtube:

If you watch the whole thing, there is some undeniable proof that animals know who we are, what we are capable of (both good & bad), and will make decisions specifically to come to us for help. Some of these animals even stayed for a few moments after being helped and did a little dance as if to say thanks. They know that we enjoy watching them, so they put on a little show for us.

When I lived in Massachusetts, one of my favorite things to do was to go on a Whale Watch at some point in the summer. Once the boat gets out into whale territory, the whales become aware of the boat and start putting on little shows. I cannot even tell you how many times I have seen a giant finback whale swim right up to the boat and present it’s baby to the crowds of tourists. The whale could easily flip over the boat, but instead it wants to introduce itself and it’s family. It’s really something you have to see to believe.

It starts to beg the question, are animals that different from people? I believe that animals can feel all the same feelings we can: sadness, joy, loneliness, boredom, friendship, fear, anticipation, and love. My experiences with animals have also shown me that animals can think through decisions and use logic. Animals build little homes and form cooperative societies. Some will even collect shiny objects to decorate their homes just like humans do. Some people feel that animals are just machines running on automatic. I’ve met a lot of humans like that too.

In Buddhism it is believed that when souls are first born they first reincarnate as animals and eventually work their way up to being human. Before my grandmother died, she said that next time she would be a house cat. She said it so many times and with such conviction, that I have to believe it to be true. It also makes me think of the people who choose to return to the woods and live a more natural life. Do they too have an animal spirit?

During one of my meditation sessions a couple years back I received a pretty powerful download from my guides. It was explained to me that animals are very pure spirits. They are the children of the Earth, souls that do not wish to deal with the drama of human lives. They choose to live a simple and pure life serving nature. Pets especially come here to be our teachers and to help us understand things like love, loyalty, connection, and also grief and loss. They prepare us so that we can experience those things with other humans.

It made me wonder if humans are the souls that still need so much help and so much guidance and that is why we were born into these human bodies, not because we are superior. With animals, we are given the choice: kindness or cruelty. We are given that choice with people as well, but animals give us a place to “practice” until we choose a path. These choices begin and end with animals by our side.

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