I think I could turn and live with animals, they are so placid and self-contained. … They do not sweat and whine about their condition, they do not lie awake in the dark and weep for their sins, they do not make me sick discussing their duty to God, not one is dissatisfied, not one is demented with the mania of owning things, not one kneels to another nor to his kind that lived thousands of years ago, not one is respectable or unhappy over the whole earth.
My mother thought it would make us feel better to know that animals had no souls, and thus their deaths were not to be taken seriously. But it didn't help, and when I think of some of the animals I have known, I wonder. The only really "soulful" eyes in the world belong to the dog or cat who sits on your lap or at your feet, commiserating when you cry.