Animal Writes
From 18 July 2004 Issue

Regarding The Question: Is There An Afterlife For Pets?
Stephanie Weiss, Ph.D. - [email protected] 

Why wouldn't there be? It actually puzzles me that the question would be asked. What differentiates us from other species, besides a few genetic variations is a well developed cerebral cortex. Assuming that the ability to conceptualize an afterlife, and discuss and write about it (cortex functions) gives one a greater opportunity to continue in some spiritual form does not really make sense to me. I understand that Christianity sees humankind as divine, and therefore superior to all other life forms. With all due respect, one must recognize that although Christianity is the most powerful and visible religion in our nation, it's teachings should not be assumed to be the ultimate truth due to its large influence on our culture. Many other religions consider non-human beings to possess a spirit.

From a purely scientific perspective, the only empirical research exploring the topic of the afterlife is Near-Death Experience literature. Modern medicine has created a monumental increase in people being brought back to life after being pronounced dead. This phenomenon has inspired a huge body of research offering detailed reports of over 10 million people who have been resuscitated after having been pronounced clinically dead. It is very common for these survivors to report interactions with deceased relatives and friends, including beloved pets. Atheists report these events as often as the devoutly religious. Interestingly, almost all reporters return to their bodies believing in a spiritual world, despite their prior beliefs and convictions. One remarkable finding is that many near-death experiencers report seeing relatives that they thought were alive, and were puzzled to see them "on the other side." Upon inquiry, survivors were shocked to learn that these relatives were in fact recently deceased. Anyone interested in looking into this subject further can log onto

IANDS - Near-Death Experiences Home Page 

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