We loved this article by Domestic Beast so much, that we decided to reprint it here
Good question! God wouldn’t return our emails, so the answer is: Nobody really knows. But we did find out that different religions have very different attitudes toward dogs…
Christianity: According to the Bible, God cares quite a bit about animals. (Hello, Noah’s Ark?) It also mentions that there is a “spirit” in animals, but this doesn’t necessarily mean an eternal spirit, if you catch our drift. Christians believe that animals exist in Heaven, but whether or not they are resurrections of our beloved pets – well, you probably won’t know until you get there.
Hinduism: For Hindus, dogs have a major religious significance. In fact, it’s believed that dogs guard the doors of Heaven and Hell and that caring for dogs can pave the way to Heaven. However, it’s not known if dogs actually get to enter Heaven with you, or if they’re just along for the walk.
Islam: Many Muslims consider dogs to be ritually unclean. While Muhammad advocated kindness to dogs and other animals, he said that the company of dogs, except as helpers in hunting, herding and home protection, voided a portion of a Muslim’s good deeds. (We’re assuming that’s kind of a deal-breaker for getting into Heaven.)
Zoroastrianism: This ancient Iranian religion regards the dog as an especially clean and righteous creature who must be fed and taken care of. The dog is praised for the useful work it performs in the household and its gaze is considered to be purifying, able to drive away demons. Dogs are also seen as having special spiritual values, with a special connection to the afterlife. The bridge to Heaven is said to be guarded by dogs, and the killing of a dog is pretty much considered your ticket to Hell.
Other fascinating Zoroastrian beliefs*:
*We do have to note that in modern times, many of these beliefs and practices are toned down a bit, even by the most devout Zoroastrians.
Thank you so much Domestic Beast for such a wonderful article
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