What Is the Purpose of Animal Suffering and Death? by John Cali


We received quite a few comments on two of our recent articles, The Power of Animals and The Power of Animals, Part 2.

Pat, one of our readers, left the following comments and questions. With her permission I’m including them here:

John – first of all I wanted to say I just watched and enjoyed your participation in the May 2012 YouTube version of the documentary Spirit Channelers in America. The information is truly enlightening and sychronistic with my personal growth right now.

With regard to this post on The Power of Animals, I have a question. You mentioned that animals find joy, passion and pleasure in their lives even when they appear to us to be suffering. Can you expand on this a little more?

About a year and a half ago we lost a beloved horse. We had had her over 30 years since she was 2. She was an easy keeper with virtually no physical problems throughout her life bordering her on our property in our backyard. Our daughters grew up with her and we all learned through 4-H how to ride and take care of horses. Our children grew up and have families of their own now and we continued loving and tending to our horses like they were a part of our family. This mare had had a half brother we also bordered almost 30 years since he was 1 we lost a few years earlier. Both with virtually no physical problems throughout their lives.

One morning my husband went out to feed and found our mare curled up in her stall emaciated with colic and obviously in a lot of pain probably most of the night. I can still feel and see her pain. We were able to call our vets and they came quickly to put her to sleep.

There is much I don’t understand about death and still have a lot of conditioning I’m releasing and sorting out and hope you can help with explaining about suffering. Do animals sign up for things like we do to be a part of our lives and play out certain things we need to experience and learn? What can possibly be learned from innocent animals suffering when they’re not a source of food for predators.

Somewhere in me I already know what you’re going to say but I still have a hard time with innocence in suffering and death.

Thank you John.

Here is Spirit’s reply to Pat’s questions:

Animals, unlike humans, are always aligned with their spirit selves. Therefore they do not view physical suffering the same way humans do.

They certainly feel physical pain. But they do not feel the mental and emotional pain humans do. They know, even in the midst of physical pain, they are safe, they are loved. They know who they are—which is God. They are always connected. They know all is well.

They are a great role model for humans. For they teach you to be joyful always, even in the midst of pain and suffering. They know this too shall pass. And they know they are eternal. They know they live forever.

If you could be more like the animals you would feel that joy they feel. You too would know all is well, always and in all ways.

Related links:
Pets: Our Teachers and Healers
Heart To Heart
Dogs and God
Dogs: Heartwarming, Soul-Stirring Stories of Our Canine Companions


What are your thoughts about animal suffering and death? Is this difficult for you? Have you found ways to make peace with it? Please share your thoughts and comments with us below.

We welcome your comments and thoughtful opinions, whether you agree or disagree with us. Please keep your comments polite and relevant to the topic of this post. If needed, we’ll edit for clarity. Also, we’ll delete anything we consider inappropriate.



22 Responses

  1. Chuck

    i feel thats the hardest part.. to reconcile why innocent animals or people are victim.
    Why a great mom with a great child sometimes loses child to death and has to go through the pain when it looks straight up unfair. Or why any person needs to lose their most important love and suffer that pain. That one and only thing thats dearest.

    I feel that is addressed with Re-incarnation and/or an overall purpose that the Universe is at work. But for common people this only is a theory. And until you really meditate and experience and know for sure, till then you can only have faith based on some other knowledgeable and trustworthy people saying its re-incarnation and there is overall purpose.
    Like once you follow what Spirit says, or other Masters preach and you see other things work in your life, things like follow your joy and life gets better, or let Source guide your life and you see the results. Pondering over things that we cant know but know as a fact that Sun is 98 million miles and still we cant figure its that far, or that Earth we know moves at 300,000 miles per hr and we know but still cant feel it. etc etc. Then you could get a sense that this re-incarnation or overall Universe working might be true too.
    Other way is for ourselves to meditate and reach spiritual level where we can directly experience it.
    I have been grateful for john cali and other experts, and i have followed their advise when i hit a low and it definitely works. In the beginning it felt like 180 degree shift in what i knew and could not believe the opposite of what i was doing is the answer …lol to take it easy and relax and let go and be silent and that the silence can give answers and nudges to do right things. Wow already my vibration has shifted!!

  2. Chad

    Hi John

    I’ve really enjoyed reading all your recent animal posts. In this last one, Spirit says that animals do not feel the mental and emotional pain that humans do, however, the books on Animal Communication I have read seem to imply that animals can and do have emotional traumas they need to heal. Is there something I am missing here?


    • John Cali

      Hi Chad,

      Thanks very much for your kind words.

      I was not saying animmals do not have feelings or emotions — only that, in my opinion, they do not suffer the intense mental and emotional trauma that humans often do. They do not have human egos; they do not question why they are suffering, etc. Though they certainly do need healing when they’re sick or distressed, just as we do.

      I hope that helps,

  3. Natalie

    Beautiful article. I learnt this a few weeks ago when our elderly collie was stuck on the floor of the car wedged in between the driving seat and back seat and couldn’t move with arthritic hind legs. I was panicking and feeling sick as I knew he was in pain when trying to move or when we were trying to help him – and he just looked at me with the sweetest look in his eyes and wagged his tail as if to say. ” I’m ok, I’m just going to chill out here even though it may be a bit awkward and uncomfortable, I know it is going to be alright” and just put his head down in the way he does when hes relaxing and going to go to sleep! (We managed to get him out and the solution was easier than I had imagined).
    Afterwards I thought about what I had just been taught by our beautiful dog. Reading it here has just reminded me again 🙂

  4. Pat

    Thank you John for including my comment in this post on our beloved horse, for Spirit’s warm, kind response and for opening it up for further discussion.

    I was wondering in reading DJ’s comment if animals have egos like we do? Is that why they’re able to stay more in tune and connected than we are?

    • John Cali

      You’re most welcome, Pat.

      I personally do not believe animals have egos. And, yes, that certainly is one reason they are able to stay aligned with Spirit more than humans. They don’t get in their own way, as we do. 🙂

  5. Christine

    Thank you John! I am sure I will beable to find answer’s from within sooner or later.. I always do…Your story is comforting. It actually felt good to put this all in words.. Much love to you!

  6. Ken

    That is very powerful information and something we can all learn from .. Thanks for sharing.

  7. Veronica

    What about animals who are raised to be eaten? Who are mistreated in the process? Why do they come forth to this world to experiment that?

  8. DJ

    Can’t remember where I got this from but:

    A small bird will drop frozen dead
    from a branch without ever having felt
    sorry for itself.

    The capacity for self-pity
    is something unique to human beings
    and is a way of turning our inner world of sunshine
    to one of constant drizzle and grey skies.

    If you feel sorry for yourself
    and spend your whole life complaining,
    sooner or later people will stop trying to cheer you up
    and will start commiserating.

    • Pat

      Thank you DJ – I like this. This little poem sheds a different light on what seems to only be another human characteristic we have with ego.

  9. vera

    hi John,

    yes the suffering of children never ceases to bother me, specially the (physical/psychological/sexual) abuse, fear, unsafety, poverty and/or torture they often have to deal with. I can deal with a lot but not that.
    I asked many people about this but no-one seems to really have an answer, unless “don’t let it bother you because you only add to th suffering” is an answer.

    please let me know what you feel about this.

    kind regards,

    • John Cali

      Thank you, Vera.

      As I mentioned to someone else on this forum, there is a soul purpose for every being who comes into physical form. It’s not always for us to know why certain souls choose to incarnate (or reincarnate) into circumstances that cause suffering. But there is a reason for everything.

      I agree with the people who’re saying you will add to the suffering if you take on that suffering yourself. As my spirit guides often say, you cannot help anyone by bringing yourself to their level of suffering and pain. You can help them best by remaining at a higher vibration, one of love, peace, and joy. This does not mean you don’t care about those who are suffering — but you cannot help them by taking on their pain.

      I hope that helps.


  10. Christine

    Hi John,
    This post caught my attention because I wondered the same thing. I recently lost my beloved dog Meadow the 1st of January. She went through alot at the end, it was so hard. More than hard, it felt hideous to me. Her brother’s passed in a difficult ways too, years earlier. (I had 3 siblings) She was 13 and 1/2. Meadow has been with me a long time so many pet owner’s can relate to the connection we shared. Our pets give us unconditional love all their little lives and then to watch them suffer in such ways at their end of life, it just does not seem right. I have had three dogs I loved and lost, but the last part of them making the transition is burnt in my memory.I do not want to remember that especially for fear of sending my thoughts of this memory to them.
    So many questions I have about animals and death, I mean where is she now? I know happy and in heaven but literally what is she doing? To have her be apart of me for so many years, protecting her and taking care of her and learning from her and now I have no idea where she is or what she is doing, it bothers me. She has not come to me in dreams or in my meditations.
    It also bothers me that I do not understand why they would go back to the “group soul” or do they become “individualized,” do they evolve to humans in the next life when they act so wise and almost human like when they are here? My dogs were my master’s and my greatest teachers, I feel so grateful to them for my own evolution.
    I should know better, I guess I still am coping with her loss? Fear absolutely overwhelms me with the thought of going through this again with my dog now, Wakanda, she is six. It seems she is even depressed a bit since she experienced two of our dogs passing at home. I do not really understand quite yet what this lesson really is with dealing with a difficult passing of these God/doG creatures? I wish I could feel comfort in this experience as Spirit has said they are teaching us.
    Thank you for listening..(i hope this makes sense)

    • John Cali

      Thanks very much, Christine, for sharing your touching dog stories. You’re making perfect sense.

      I’m not sure I have any good answers for your questions. But I will share my own experience, in the hope it will help you.

      I’ve been a dog lover all my life. My last dog, a miniature schnauzer we named Schnapsi, died very young after a debilitating brain disease. It was tough to let him go. That was over 20 years ago. But not long after he “left,” he came back to me in spirit, and has been with me ever since. We have regular conversations as we did when he was physical. The love and the closeness are still there.

      As my spirt guides say, we never lose those we love.

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