Animals

Authored by: Barbara R. Ambros , Laura Hobgood

The Routledge Companion to Death and Dying

Print publication date:  May  2017
Online publication date:  May  2017

Print ISBN: 9781138852075
eBook ISBN: 9781315723747
Adobe ISBN:

10.4324/9781315723747.ch35

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Abstract

For thousands of generations, humans have ritually buried various animals, imagined them as companions in the afterlife, grieved for them, and sacrificed them, whether to appease the divine or to somehow harness the power of the animal. In all of these interactions, humans have engaged animals and death from various religious perspectives. Of course, simultaneously humans kill many animals with little or no intentional thought to the process as well – simply killing them for food or clothing, experimenting on them for scientific progress, or destroying them through elimination of habitat. Regardless, myriad examples from human history of meaningfully considering animals and death in a religious context exist and are worth examining.

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