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In Praise of Animals

A Treasury of Poems, Quotations and Readings

Collected by Edward Searl 

This imaginative tribute to the richness and complexity of life on this earth is a perfect resource for animal blessing ceremonies and other rituals honoring our brothers and sisters.

Passages from In Praise of Animals:

The great pleasure of a dog is that you may make a fool of yourself with him and not only will he not scold you, but he will make a fool of himself too.
─Samuel Butler

I love cats because I enjoy my home; and little by little, they become its visible soul.
─Jean Cocteau

In wisdom you have made them all; the earth is full of your creatures. Yonder is the sea, great and wide, creeping things innumerable are there, living things both small and great.
─Psalms 104:25, 30

My friend, I am going to tell you the story of my life. It is the story of all life that is holy and is good to tell, and of us two-leggeds sharing in it with the four-leggeds and the wings of the air and all green things; for these are children of one mother and their father is one Spirit.
─Black Elk

And in looking through God’s great stone books made up of records reaching back millions and millions of years, it is a great comfort to learn that vast multitudes of creatures, great and small and infinite in number, lived and had a good time in God’s love before man was created.
─John Muir

Edward Searl, a minister for more than 25 years, is author of In Memoriam: A Guide to Modern Funeral and Memorial Services. He is the editor of a series of quotation collections that includes Bless This Child, Coming of Age, We Pledge Our Hearts and Beyond Absence, published by Skinner House Books.

For more information contact skinnerhouse @

This work is made possible by the generosity of individual donors and congregations. Please consider making a donation today.

Last updated on Tuesday, March 30, 2010.

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