Do Animals Have Consciousness? What a Clairvoyant, Stephen Hawking, and Your Good Heart Knows

My Spirit Care, 25 Years of Psychic and Spiritual Advice for Thousands of PeopleAs a professional clairvoyant and spiritual minister, people have often asked me if animals have souls. They are asking if animals have a spiritual source and a lasting spiritual essence. They ask if their pets will go to heaven.

Why Do We Wonder If Animals Have Souls?

The people who ask these questions have invariably loved an animal in their lives. They seek an answer because the vast majority of human beings have been taught that animals, as well as their pets, are lesser beings than humans. Official religion–which has been the Belief-Maker and Taskmaster over spiritually subservient humans across the planet–has indoctrinated people that human beings are above animals on creation’s ladder. They’ve been told that humans are God the Father’s “children” but that animals are not. People have been taught that animals were made by God for us to herd and dominate…to name, to tame, and to kill…at whim or will.

They have likely been taught that animals will not go to heaven because, they say, “dumb” animals do not have souls and are not conscious beings.

Now, before I address this question about animal souls on a spiritual level, I need to point out that for many people, a spiritual answer to the question about animals having souls won’t be enough.  For them, it just becomes just another heated argument for which there is no “tangible proof.” (Please read, Spiritual Reality: Why Millions of People Deny its Existence for further insight into our collective fixation on materialism.)  Enough argument: our arguments over God and questions about spiritual “facts” have caused untold suffering and death on this planet, for human and non-human life forms. There has been more destruction in the name of God (and associated imperialistic pursuits) than for any other reason, and before humankind destroys itself and the entirety of Earth, it’s time we all recognize that divisive religious beliefs have been the primary causation of unrelenting, diabolical torment on this planet. Even more than what we do to each other, animals have gotten the hardest kick of the human boot, far and wide.

Considering where society’s entrenched beliefs have taken us, we might want to put the blame where it belongs: we’ve been blinded by our profound ignorance. We all want the world to change for the better and to have that happen, we have to see where our ideas have taken us; we have to systematically discard all those dogmatic beliefs that cause us harm, layer, after layer…after layer of them.

People who are spiritual, not just religious, will likely tell you they feel deeply connected to animals and that they recognize all life on this planet is Conscious, including the Earth itself. But, for a moment, let’s suspend the spiritual viewpoint about animal souls and take a look at what our loving experiences tell us about animals. Then, let’s take a good, hard look at recent scientific findings about animal consciousness.

Evidence is Everywhere

Very recently, there was a story about a man who was walking his dog along the beach, when the two of them came upon a dead dog in the sand. The man was astonished when his own dog went over to the dead dog and began to bury its corpse. Using its nose, the living dog proceeded to cover the dead dog with sand.

This behavioral display should give humans who claim animals have no consciousness or feelings some pause.  On the other hand, people who have deeply loved “pets” won’t be too surprised by this, having experienced the
love and devotion their animals have extended to them. Many of you reading this could share your own stories of your mystical and loving connections to the animals in your life.

The Cambridge Declaration of Consciousness in Non-Human Animals

For the scientific-minded who are left-brained skeptical about the presence of animal awareness, you need to know that an international team of scientists has come together to proclaim that all animals are conscious and aware to the extent that humans are. The Cambridge Declaration of Consciousness in Non-Human Animals, signed by such notables as Stephen Hawking, reads in part as follows:

The Cambridge Declaration on Consciousness

On …July 7, 2012,  a prominent international  group  of  cognitive  neuroscientists,neuropharmacologists, neurophysiologists, neuroanatomists and computational neuroscientists gathered at The University of  Cambridge to  reassess the neurobiological substrates of  conscious experience and related behaviors in human and non-human animals…the following observations  can be stated unequivocally:

  • The field of Consciousness research is rapidly evolving. Abundant new techniques and strategies for human and non-human animal research have been developed. ..
  • … subcortical neural networks aroused during affective states in humans are also  critically important for generating emotional behaviors in animals. Artificial arousal of the same brain regions generates corresponding behavior and feeling states in both humans and non-human animals.  Wherever in the brain one evokes instinctual emotional behaviors in non-human animals, many of the ensuing behaviors are consistent with experienced feeling states, including those internal states that are rewarding and punishing. Deep brain stimulation of these systems in humans can  also  generate similar affective states….Young human and nonhuman animals without neocortices retain these brain-mind functions…
  • Birds appear to offer, in their behavior, neurophysiology, and neuroanatomy a striking case of parallel evolution of consciousness. (Emphasis mine.) Evidence of near human-like levels of consciousness has been most dramatically observed in African grey parrots. Mammalian and avian emotional networks and cognitive microcircuitries appear to be far more homologous than previously thought. Moreover, certain species of birds have been found to exhibit neural sleep patterns similar to those of mammals, including REM sleep and, as was demonstrated in zebra finches,  neurophysiological patterns, previously thought to require a mammalian neocortex. Magpies in particular have been shown to exhibit striking similarities to humans, great apes, dolphins, and elephants in studies of mirror self-recognition.
  • In humans, the effect of certain hallucinogens appears to be associated with a disruption in cortical feedforward and feedback processing.  Pharmacological interventions in non-humananimals with compounds known to affect conscious behavior in humans can lead to similar perturbations in behavior in non-human animals…

We declare the following: “The absence of a neocortex does not appear to preclude an organism from experiencing affective states. Convergent evidence indicates that  non-human  animals have the neuroanatomical,  neurochemical, and neurophysiological substrates of conscious states along with the capacity to exhibit intentional behaviors. Consequently, the weight of evidence  indicates that humans are not unique in possessing the neurological substrates that generate consciousness. Nonhuman animals, including all mammals and birds, and many other creatures, including octopuses, also possess these neurological substrates.”

Evolution Through Living Ancient Knowledge

As so often the case, new science is barely beginning to acknowledge what the ancient peoples knew in their everyday life: animals have awareness that parallels the awareness in humans. To the ancients, to the aboriginals who gave thanks to an animal before needing to slay it for food…animals were fully worthy of respect and reverence. Further, they saw the human relationship with animals as a sacred spiritual balance and a cooperative Soul contract between variant physical forms of One Divine Consciousness.

And that’s really the way it is. Yes, animals have a spiritual essence, a soul if you will, and they have a path of Divine purpose and growth, not one whit less than the human animal on this planet. They reincarnate, they evolve, they learn, they love, they feel, they speak, they know. And their energy/consciousness lives on after their passing, same as we.

When we learn to love and reverence animals unconditionally, we will learn to treat each other with love and respect.  As seen by the Native Americans and other aboriginal cultures, we are all children of the great Earth Mother, made of her elements, and we are all brief travelers here for but a short time. In the lost traditions and knowledge of the ancient ones, let us also begin to walk in the ways of wisdom and peace.

As always, if you require clairvoyant help, even with an animal, schedule a session with me and we’ll get the answers you need. In the meantime, remember that “dog” spelled another way, spells “god” and give the animals of this world your love; and every day, give them the tremendous respect they deserve.


  1. J.M.KING


    Animals are beings, just as important in value as you or I. I’ve had many a connection with the ones that I’ve had in my life. and to me, their friendship was as honored and respected as if they were human. The telepathy I’ve had with them, the knowing of how they felt, and to their thoughts of dying, (my cat feared dying alone, but I was there for her and she rested easy) have convinced me that though they are animals, they are just as important and sacred as the rest of us. Look into their eyes, and you can see their souls. Having seen them, I eat no meat, ever.

    • Diana


      Thanks for sharing with us. To see and know the Divine in other beings is to manifest the Divine in ourselves. May you always feel the peace that you so willingly impart to others. Thanks for being here.

  2. bb


    Thank you for commenting and for your support of this blog. I’m deeply grateful to be connected with you and all the others who are giving so much of themselves to make the planet and all her beings whole again. Namaste and Aho!

  3. Pingback: Do Animals Have Consciousness and Souls? | | Neuro Physiology Blog

  4. Bobbi


    You are really perceptive and wonderfully observant, Diana. I applaud your ever present humor, as well as the testy irreverance you hold for the tired, old, worn-out beliefs that we should all discard. I recall reading a wonderful quote by Jacques Cousteau, which I believe you may have mentioned in an earlier post too: “Don’t be a slave to your own beliefs.” Yes!

    You are one of the most refreshing voices on the Internet! Thank you for your candor, and particularly for your love and respect of all of life.

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