Life is not a commodity, but a community. Animals are not our possessions, but our elder siblings, guides and teachers in the larger family of which Homo sapiens is merely a junior member. Reverend Gary Kowalski shares the journey that led him to appreciate nature as the primordial sacrament and to rediscover the ancient knowledge evident to indigenous people (reconfirmed by the findings of modern biology) that other species are not so different from ourselves, but share in the emotional depths and psychic capacities that make us most fully human. He states, “It is an article of faith for me that we human beings are animals, not separate or superior to other forms of life, but branches off an old and wondrous family tree. And this, in my mind, is reason for celebration, reminding us of our true identity, sharing in the depths of mind and spirit that are the depths of nature itself.” A new respect for our four-footed, flying and finny kin is not only essential to healing our planet’s environmental crisis, he suggests. Compassion for all creatures is the key to our own inner peace.
Reverend Kowalski is a graduate of Harvard College and the Harvard Divinity School, He is past president of the Unitarian Universalist Animal Ministry. An award-winning speaker, he is known as an activist and educator on behalf of justice for the earth’s voiceless.
Gary’s written work has been translated into six languages. His bestselling books on spirituality and animals include The Souls of Animals, Goodbye Friend: Healing Wisdom For Anyone Who Has Ever Lost A Pet, The Bible According To Noah: Theology As If Animals Mattered , Blessings of the Animals: Celebrating Our Kinship With All Creation, and Earth Day: An Alphabet Book.