We live in an ever-changing world, where we are active spectators to the progress of technology in our Digital Age which is changing our society one kilobyte at a time. At the same time, we are also witnessing the quick transformation of our environment and an accelerated pace of mass extinction to many of the animal species we share this planet with.
All education should be directed toward the refinement of the individual's sensibilities in relation not only to one's fellow humans everywhere, but to all living things whatsoever.
It is very sad to see that while the technological progresses, the globalized world does not translate into a more ethical society, where the lessening of suffering should have been actively pursued and morally prioritized.
Maybe the idea of Animal and Ecological Ministry could have been a source of disbelief and disregard a couple of decades ago, but in our current society, the relationship with animals has shifted dramatically, not only at the personal level but also at the global level. This ministry is a doorway to a bigger understanding about the interconnection and interdependency of life, and the quest for more meaningful, mindful, and ethical relationships with all the sentient beings.
Animal Ministry and Chaplains
Many religions have precepts and recommendations on how to deal with our animal companions. The Bible is filled with references about the service and love for our animal brothers. The Bible tells us, “A righteous man care for the needs of animals” (Proverbs 12:10).
Our Animal Chaplain curriculum is a comprehensive education outreach which encompasses Human Living and Ethics of Life. In many religious traditions, we are taught that our spirituality is closely knitted and, in many cases, intersecting the spiritual world of our animals.
We believe that is the Animal Chaplain’s duty to facilitate the integration and bond between all the sentient beings, i.e., Human beings and non-human beings.
Why Ethics for Non-Humans Matter
“By ethical conduct toward all creatures, we enter into a spiritual relationship with the universe.”
We believe that education and understanding are essential to build a compassionate, integral, holistic society of the future, where the interdependency between all beings on the web of life are regarded as important, honored, and acknowledged as they are vital for the survival of the planet as a living organism.
The interfaith outreach of Animal Chaplains can provide essential services to communities on many levels; not only at the level of council, support during life passages, grief and bereavement support, prayer for animals, but animal blessings, consecrations, anointing of the sick, end of life proceedings, all of them inclusive in nature and encompassing as all matters of the heart.
The work of an Animal Chaplain is paramount when dealing with community services, churches, animal shelters, animal rescues, veterinarian practices, congregations, Non-Profit Animal Rights organizations, and fundraising events. Animals are much more than our planetary companions, they are also our teachers of unconditional love, interdependency, and compassionate living. Animal Ministry is also involved inside hospitals, prisons, nursing homes, and rehabilitation centers; bringing the curative characteristic of animals to those that need unconditional healing. We believe that Animal Ministry can provide, through spiritual education, guidance and awareness: the catalysts of integration of interspecies relationships deepening our human experience within our world.
How to Become an Animal Chaplain?
There are many paths to become an Animal Chaplain and start your Animal Ministry, especially if you are already an ordained minister. If you are involved as an animal activist, or somewhat involved with animal care in your community or congregation, you may want to take the course work to become an Animal Ministry Leader. We invite you to visit our Animal and Ecological Ministry curriculum at our Cathedral of the Soul website.
“The assumption that animals are without rights, and the illusion that our treatment of them has no moral significance, is a positively outrageous example of Western crudity and barbarity. Universal compassion is the only guarantee of morality.”