As an atheist I believe there is no after life, when you die that is the end. But I also believe that all animals have the same thing that religious people call souls.
Over the years I have shared my life with several companion animals. When I was young and lived in the country, when a pet died we would bury our animal friend’s remains, maybe planting a tree or leaving a uniquely shaped stone on the spot.
In more recent years Tina and I have had two of our animal companions bodies cremated and we have their ashes in containers that will eventually be intermixed with our own remains and scattered.
When we helped them to an easier death and had them cremated we were given cards that spoke of a Rainbow Bridge where we will be reunited when we too die.
Today I observed that perhaps we should hope there is no Rainbow Bridge because if there is then we might not just be reunited with our friends but have to face all those animals we murdered and ate.
Imagine all those cows, chickens, pigs, sheep and other animals waiting for us and angrily demanding to know why we so arrogantly killed them, ate them and wore their skins….
Ahhh… there stands a major contradiction, the guilt of the omnivore who also loves animals and nature. Good thing I don’t have to think too much about there being an afterlife.