Animals are God's creations - Bird uses body as dam to stop drainpipe soaking chicks

But desperate to protect her young, she puffed herself up to twice her size and sat in the drainpipe to stop the tide of rain water swamping the nest.She was so occupied with her task that her mate was left to feed her and their young.
The images were captured by amateur wildlife photographer Dennis Bright at a house in Fareham, Hampshire.
Mr Bright said he was astounded by the female bird’s behaviour.
"The nest was tucked away from the weather in the shade of the roof but it was so close to the downpipe the gutter flooded when it rained.
"It was only a matter of seconds before the pipe flooded, and water cascaded over the sides."
Mr Bright said he was amazed by the bird’s ingenuity.
"She had to come up with a solution so she puffed herself up so she was twice the size of her mate and used her body as a cork to stop the water - it was absolutely amazing.
"She was very dedicated, sitting there even when the rain was hammering down. Then every half an hour she would get out, dry herself off and come back.
"The male was doing most of the work - feeding her and the chicks when she was sitting in the pipe. I feel so lucky to have witnessed something so rare and unique."
Hester Phillips, from the RSPB, said she had never seen such a situation.
"We’ve heard of them nesting in some unusual sites before, namely on the top of traffic light, but we’ve certainly not come across anything like this before.
“Birds can be amazingly hardy creatures, their endurance is incredible - especially when protecting their young.”

The Mistle Thrush had built her nest on top of a downpipe, blocking the water’s passage and causing the gutter to flood.

In a world where humans kill one another - sometimes even their own family members, ignoring the cries of the destitute and committing genocide…We call animals “beasts”, but even these “beasts” have hearts and minds that put most humans to shame. I know this article has nothing to do with the fora concerned, but i thought it lovely to share and reflect on God’s wonderful creations.

“Obedience makes us submissive to all persons on earth, nor just to humankind but to all animals and wild beasts, too, that they may do as they please with us as far as God so permits them.” - Praise of the Virtues - St Francis of Assisi

“Heavenly Father, you created all things for your glory and made us stewards of this creature. If it is your will, restore it to health and strength.
Blessed are you, Lord God, and holy is your name for ever and ever.
Amen” - St Francis of Assisi

This article also got me thinking…How do other religions view animal spirituality? Do animals deserve a place in heaven as much as humans do? Or are animals bound by the natural law of the universe - that animals should be preyed on and eaten by others?

Animals have mortal souls, which means once they die they cease to exist. A dog may get a place in the new world if that is what is required for its owner to be happy, but not in heaven i think, since heaven is a spiritual place and animals don’t have spirits.

Interesting thing about animals. Animals glorify God in whatever they do. Not by choice, but by just…doing things. Have you seen a lion yawn? Majestic! Glorifies the power of the creator just by yawning.

Hmm…if that is true, how would you explain this:

Well of course they still ARE animals hahahahahaha. Besides, i find it quite funny.

It is not Catholic teaching that animals don’t have souls. Good grief. >_<

Heaven is also not just a spiritual place. We say in the Creed that we believe our bodies will be resurrected. Besides, Jesus and Mary are in Heaven and MOST CERTAINLY have their resurrected bodies with them. :stuck_out_tongue:

‘Animal’ comes from the Latin anima, soul.

God loves all His Creation, including animals. I can’t think of the exact verse right now, but I know in the Bible there is a verse describing how God knows (and cares) even when the littlest sparrow dies, or something like that.

God cares DEEPLY about His animals. So, so many examples…

Jesus not only is God Incarnate, He is the “Lamb of God,” the “Lion of Judah.” Animals and creatures (supposedly soul-less, ha.) have always been used to represent Christ, etc.
Dove for the Holy Spirit.

I am really trying not to lose my temper over this. arghness.

I can’t find it, but I know I read a short piece by a priest in OSV a while back (in answer to a reader’s question) that animals are most certainly included in the redemption of Creation, etc.

St. Francis of Assisi preached to the little birds, reminding them to not be ungrateful for all their Creator gives them.

Animals are victims of our sin. Before the Fall, all Creation was in harmony. After the Fall, that was when we had to eat meat. That was when animal turned on animal. When the weather got foul and Nature no longer as hospitable, shall we say. Our God is not a God who wants His beloved creatures preying on each other for all eternity. (the Lion and the Lamb…)

I am amazed I have managed to be so calm about this. I think it’s because I am SICK of hearing CATHOLICS say animals have no souls. :mad:

Our Lord, after all, is the Good Shepherd.

Many other religions have great respect for animals, most of them being indigenous and pagan religions. Native Americans, the Celts, for examples. :slight_smile:

^READ, please.

I quote the beginning: (emphasis mine)

*When the noted U.S. naturalist John Muir came across a dead bear in Yosemite, he wrote in his journal a biting criticism of religious people who make no room in heaven for such noble creatures: “Not content with taking all of earth, they also claim the celestial country as the only ones who possess the kinds of souls for which that imponderable empire was planned.” To the contrary, he believed, God’s “charity is broad enough for bears.”
Few in Muir’s day agreed. The rise of ecological awareness in our day, however, provides a pressing context for new reflection on this question. Does the creative love of God embrace bears, the salmon and berries they eat, the rivers where they fish and their hibernation dens with compassion for their mortality and the promise of redemption? If not, then ruining their habitat and driving them toward extinction has little religious significance. But if so, then the value of their lives and of all of nature should become explicit in the church’s teaching and practice.

Without ignoring the human dilemma, recent theology is broadening its attention to include the natural world from which human beings emerged, in which they live embedded and for which they are responsible. This wider scope puts theology back in tune with major themes of biblical, patristic and medieval theology, allowing it to play melodies about the cosmos that have not been heard for centuries. To date, the lion’s share of attention has rightly focused on the doctrine of creation. Since God created the world, judging it to be “very good” (Gn 1:31), nature is more than a mere backdrop for the human drama of sin and redemption, more than simply an instrument to supply human needs. **It is God’s beloved handiwork, indwelt by the Spirit of life, with an intrinsic value all its own. *This faith perspective flows into an ethic of care that honors the integrity of creation at every scale. When, after discussing Scripture and doctrine, Pope John Paul II wrote in 1990 that “respect for life and for the dignity of the human person extends to the rest of creation,” it signaled a new chapter in the link between faith in God and ecological ethics.

How big is your God? My God loves all in His Embrace, including the tiniest creature. I like how Madeleine L’Engle, in A Wind in the Door, describes how God knows each thing by Name, every tiny microscopic creature, every flower, every tree, every animal, every person, every star, every planet. He knows each one by Name.


You have some issues to work out, and I pray you work them out. You also appear to be mixing up Catholic dogma and personal opinion.

Here is a list of Catholic dogmas:

I never said animals don’t have souls, i said they have MORTAL souls. Yes they may think, breath and maybe even love, but their souls are mortal. Once they die, they die. Heaven is a spiritual place though you are right, the physical may exist there. Still, that is why i said animals may be present in the ‘new world’ (the world after the resurrection). Although in light of what you said it does sound possible that an animal could be in heaven, but at the will of God, and maybe that it is the only way to make a person happy.

I’m sorry, but there is no doggy heaven.

I’m sorry you disagree, but those Catholics reflect a Catholic belief, that the souls of animals are mortal. They live and they die, and then they are no more. That is why a human life and soul is infinitely more important than that of any dog, even all the dogs in the world. Once you conceive a human you along with God create something that was never there before and will never go away. Still, as they can still feel animals should still be treated with respect, even before we use them for food.

Once an animal dies, like a human being, no other comes along that is exactly like it. Each creature is unique. Anyone who has had multiple pets can attest to this fact. They are utterly unique, each one – like people.

In 1990, Pope John Paul II proclaimed [in a general audience] that ‘the animals possess a soul and men must love and feel solidarity with our smaller brethren’. He added that all animals are ‘fruit of the creative action of the Holy Spirit and merit respect’ and that they are ‘as near to God as men are’. The Pope emphasized that ‘animals possess the divine spark of life – the living quality that is the soul’.

(from here: )

and (emphasis mine)

*Before Pope John Paul II spoke about the souls of animals, he went to Assisi, the birthplace of Francis. In his March 12, 1982 message on ‘Reconciliation’ he compared the saint’s love for animals to an anticipation of the Peaceable Kingdom, envisioned by the Prophet Isaiah, a world in which all God’s creatures will live in peace with each other. The Pontiff also discussed Francis’s ‘solicitous care, not only toward [people] but also toward animals and nature in general’. He added that Francis demonstrated a ‘faithful echo of the love with which God in the beginning pronounced his “fiat”, which brought them into existence’. Concluding his message, the Pope asked, ‘Do we perhaps not have here the explanation for the sweet name of “brother” and “sister” with which [Francis] addressed every created being? We, too, are called to a similar attitude.’ *

God loves each creature. It makes no sense that He would not want them with Him for eternity. If God is Love, as we believe, there is room enough in His Heart and Home for all created beings.

From a Question-and-answer column by Monsignor M. Francis Mannion (as found in the Our Sunday Visitor) (emphasis mine)

*Question: Sometimes I think that heaven might not be as interesting as earth. There are so many beautiful things on earth that I will hate to miss. Is my faith weak, or do I have a faulty view of this matter?

– Name and address withheld

Answer: You probably share with many people the notion that heaven and earth are disconnected and that at the end of time the earth will be no more.

But the authentic Catholic view is that God will save not only our souls, but also our bodies and, indeed, the whole created order within which the human person exists.

The Dogmatic Constitution on the Church of Second Vatican Council states: “The Church . . . will receive her perfection only in the glory of heaven, when will come the time of the renewal of all things. At that time, together with the human race, the universe itself, which is so closely related to man and which attains its destiny through him, will be perfectly re-established in Christ” (No. 48).

The Bible speaks of this renewal of the universe as the coming about of a “new heavens and a new earth” (2 Pt 3:13). This will be the complete realization of the glorious end for which humanity and the whole created order are destined.

In his Letter to the Romans, **St. Paul **speaks of a **profound unity of all things **in heaven:

“For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the sons of God … in hope because the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to decay. … We know that the whole creation has been groaning in travail together until now; and not only the creation but we ourselves, who have the first fruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies” (8:19-23).

The whole created order is, then, destined to be transformed so that the world will be restored to the original state it had in the Garden of Eden and will therefore be a place without pain, suffering and loss.

In this light, then heaven will not at all involve the loss of the good things of earth (our families, friends, good works and arts), but these will be found in a new way in heaven.

The Pastoral Constitution on the Church in the Modern World of Vatican II declares: “When we have spread on earth the fruits of our nature and our enterprise . . . according to the command of the Lord and in his Spirit, we will find them once again, cleansed this time from the stain of sin, illuminated and transfigured, when Christ presents to his Father and eternal and universal kingdom” (No.39).

Christian life is a not a preparation that is detached from earth. Rather it is precisely through the way we shape our lives, build up our relationships, create the human heritage and beautify and conserve the earth – in this way we prepare for heaven.*

“whole created order,” “universe” and “creation” of course include animals. :slight_smile:

I must respectfully disagree with you both. I am not saying animal souls = human souls. Just that they have souls that will not perish when they die. And the Church has many doctrines and beliefs that are not necessarily dogmas. :stuck_out_tongue:

It would seem neither of you read the article I linked. :rolleyes:

Animal and vegetable souls are dependent entirely on matter for their operation and being. They cease to exist at death. (There’s no “doggie heaven.”)

Human souls, by contrast, aren’t material. They’re spiritual. Only a spirit can know and love, a spirit’s two chief faculties being the intellect (which knows) and the will (which loves). We know human souls are spiritual since humans can know and love.

We also know human souls are immortal because spirits can’t decompose. They have no parts: Only a thing with parts can fall apart. A spirit is a unit. It has no top or bottom, no left or right, no inside or outside.

Every bit of matter, even the smallest, has parts. The human body can decompose–it’s made of matter, after all–but the human soul can’t. That’s why we say it’s immortal.

A good discussion of the differences between human beings and animals is available in Mortimer Adler’s The Difference of Man and the Difference it Makes.


Though there may be animals in the new earth, there is no guarantee that they will be the same individual animals on earth now, nor will every single animal from creation and on be there.

Animals have what are called sensitive souls, which allow them to feel. Humans have what are called rational souls, which allow us to engage in thought. Only the latter kind of soul survives death.

Animals are part of the natural creation and are given by God to mankind for stewardship. They may be raised and used for food and other purposes (cf. CCC 2417). Because it would be contrary to human dignity to treat an animal cruelly, the Church states that animals should be treated with kindness (CCC 2416). But if an animal is threatening a person’s safety, killing it would be a legitimate act of self-defense (cf. CCC 2264–5).

Will Fido Be in Heaven?

				 I was really disappointed in your answer to the question "Do animals have souls?" ("Quick Questions," November 2000). Not only was it cruel—suppose a child was asking because his beloved pet dog had just died—it was erroneous. Where in Scripture, tradition, or from what early Church Fathers did you get your information on the three types of souls found in vegetables, animals, and humans?

On the subject of heaven, Irenaeus says, “Neither the structure nor the substance of creation is destroyed. It is only the ‘outward form of this world’ (1 Cor. 7:31) that passes away—that is to say, the conditions produced by the fall.”

In his book *The Orthodox Church, * Fr. Timothy Ware writes, “Not only man’s body but the whole of material creation will eventually be transfigured: ‘Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away’ (Rev. 21:1). . . . ‘The created universe waits with eager expectation for God’s sons to be revealed . . . [ellipses in the original] for the universe itself will be free from its bondage to corruption and will enter into the liberty and splendor of the children of God. We know that until now the whole created universe has been groaning in the pangs of childbirth’ (Rom. 8:19–12).”

“‘A new heaven and a new earth’: Man is not saved from his body but* in* it; not saved* from* the material world but *with *it,” says Archimandrite Kallistos Ware in The Orthodox Way. “. . . In the ‘new earth’ of the Age to come there is surely a place not only for man but for animals: In and through man, they too will share in immorality, and so will rocks, trees and plants, fire and water.”

You only need a heart and an awareness of God’s all-embracing love to know that animals do have souls that survive death. Anyone who has loved a pet and been loved by that pet in return knows the truth of this. But the best proof is that God is love, and animals are capable of great love—a love so deep that they have been known to sacrifice their lives for the objects of their love.

Kate Prescott
Altoona, Pennsylvania
Editor’s reply: The answer we gave reflects received Catholic teaching and may be supported from any number of sources (e.g., Thomas Aquinas). Regarding the sources you cite, we of course honor Irenaeus as an important Church Father. And though we reject nothing of the much that is good in the Eastern Orthodox theological tradition, we should note that Kallistos Ware (formerly Timothy Ware), while a highly valuable writer, does not represent the Catholic theological tradition.

In point of fact, however, neither Irenaeus nor Ware says that individual animals from this age will be present in the next. The most that could be concluded (and this would be a stretch in the case of Irenaeus) is that animals in general will be present in the new earth but not that specific animals from this earth will be.

While many animals express natural affection that we regard as love, it is at most a natural love, not the supernatural love that unites one to God. The Catechism explains that while “one can love animals, one should not direct to them the affection due only to persons” (CCC 2418).

It may be pointed out to a small child grieving the loss of a pet that if he really needs a pet to be happy in heaven, he will have it—a principle that applies also to other things one will not need to be happy in heaven.


I*I can quote mine too:D

I did not know that, I thought only God knows!

I have found these two videos for you to laugh::smiley:

LOL Thanks for sharing roselily!

Does he bird’s behavior show understanding and compassion, or is really instinct?

We had a nest at our window this year. The mother took very good care of the eggs and chicks. They chicks died, and the mother continued to care for them.

IMO, this wasn’t about caring and grief, it was instinct at work. The bird couldn’t not continue to behave in the way she was programmed to behave. We had to remove the birds ourselves, or else have rotting birds on our sill. The mother and father continue to come back to the window as if to feed the chicks.

It’s really not about grief and not wanting to accept the death. It’s about instinct. They’re doing this because they can’t not do it. They can’t reason that the birds are dead and so they don’t need to keep sitting on the nest.

Instinct would have told them that their babies were dead–make some more babies. When a clutch fails birds will often re-nest. I can’t speak for these birds but I have witnessed grief/sadness in animals. I had a cat that died. His companion became sullen immediately afterward which lasted for several weeks.The cat left behind had some very obvious behavior changes. I was not sure what to do to help him through this, and was becoming concerned. He was no longer cheerful and withdrew from interacting with the household–the humans and other pets. After the older cat had died, in my own grief I took a pillow that he had always lied on and hid it out of sight, because I could not look at it without crying. After several weeks of dealing with my sad cat–I don’t know why I did this–I brought out the pillow for my sullen cat to sniff. I’m sure it still smelled like the cat that had died. Sullen cat was ecstatic! I let him spend some time with this pillow. He was so happy! He missed his friend. Then he started to transition back to his happy self, and became the cat he had been before losing his friend.

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