The Fellowship of Life
a Christian-based vegetarian group founded in 1973


'Catholic Herald' Debate (1980)Letters

Heavenly menagerie

Why do you take such a stand against animals going to heaven?

At least five faithful animals went to heaven; Al Adha the camel; Borak; Balaam's Ass; Tobias's dog and the dog of the Seven Sleepers.

Al Adha was Mohammed's swiftest camel and took him from Jerusalem to Mecca in four bounds. When the angel Gabriel sent for Mohammed to fetch him to Heaven he chose an animal to carry him, whose name was Borak.

Borak had the face of a man, the cheeks of a horse, eyes like jacinth, the wings of an eagle and glowed with a brilliant light.

Balaam's Ass was given to see things invisible to his master. Tobias's dog kept him safe, with Raphael's help on his journey and wagged his tail when young Tobias brought healing to his father.

During the persecution of Diocletian, seven young men were walled up in a cave. Their names were: Constantius, Dionysius, Joannes, Maximianmis, Malchus, Martiniamus and Serapior. Two hundred years later they awoke and were martyred in Ephesus.

All this time the good dog had stood stock still neither eating nor sleeping. So he accompanied them to Heaven.

With evidence like this how can anyone doubt that pets, do not go to heaven?

Doris Bainbridge


Let us stop this nonsense. It is no insult to a pet to say it does not go to heaven, but an insult to God to say it does.

Even in his natural state, man has no right to heaven. That before the fall he should escape death was a pre-ternatural gift. All flesh is grass.

Right, then, once death comes, how can there be survival? The only natural explanation is through an immaterial soul. A creature with intellect and will has such a soul. As it contains no matter, it cannot decay; it must live for ever.

Animals, while alive, have souls, but not immaterial ones. When they die, that's that, no more animal. That's what we mean by death.

We know by faith that men's bodies will rise again. Of course, God, by his own good pleasure, might rise up replicas of earthly animals in heaven. But they can in no sense be the same animals. For them death is such a radical discontinuity that there is no bridging it.

Tim Smithies

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