What Is Your Relationship with Animals? by John Cali


I’ve loved animals all my life. When I was growing up in a rural area of New York State we were surrounded by animals—wild creatures, farm animals, household pets. Although we loved our pets, we saw wild and farm animals differently, more as resources to serve us. They were not part of the family, as pets were.

A friend, Barbara Clark from Scotland, visited me in Wyoming this past summer. She’s also an animal lover and a talented animal communicator. In the years I’ve known her, she’s helped me gain a new appreciation for all animals—for all creatures great and small, to borrow words from the title of James Herriot’s best-selling book.

I no longer see any animals as “less than” humans. As far as I’m concerned we are all equal. Dr. Albert Schweitzer said,If a man loses his reverence for any part of life, he will lose his reverence for all of life.That’s why I’m now a vegetarian.

While I realize many disagree with me, this is the way I choose to live out the rest of my days—with reverence for all life.

Animals are often among our greatest teachers. Here’s a very short, delightful video that illustrates that beautifully.

Related posts:
Talking To Animals
Pets: Our Teachers and Healers
Heart to Heart


What is your relationship with animals? Please share your thoughts 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 blog post. If needed, we’ll edit for clarity. Also, we’ll delete anything we consider inappropriate.


30 Responses

  1. Max M. Lund

    As a vegetarian have you read “The Secret Life of Plants (1973) – a book by Peter Tompkins and Christopher Bird. When I read the book many years ago I thought “What are vegetarians going to do now?” I have no problem with vegetarians or omnivores myself as I believe all consciousness continues forever and ever. IMO. the universe is a living smorgasbord so take your pick according to your outlook and perspective. Live and let live. Sounds contradictory unless you believe all have eternal life and only skip from one existence to another when they appear to die. Thanks for your many wonderful messages, but just felt like adding this thought.

    • John Cali

      Thanks very much, Max, for your comments. I have not read that book, though I know of it. Now that you’re reminded me, I’ll put it on my “to-do” list.

      I appreciate your kind words.


  2. Robin Becker

    I just love all animals. I have a really strong bond with my little Rat Terrier, Trey..I know he played a big role in my finding my way out of darkness. His unconditional love has taught me so much. I now also have a little second dog, she is part fox terrier. She had a rough beginning so my goal has been to put all good memories in her so her fears could fade and they have. These two dogs make each and every day new and exciting..They are great teachers.
    My biggest dream is owning a Wellness center set in nature..a place for people and animals to come, release resistance and know their oneness. It would include a place for rescued animals. I believe the animals will be the best teachers to those learning to let go, alignment with Source , live in the now as well as unconditional love.
    A soul is a soul..so I know animals are no less than humans..just different bodies to house the soul.

  3. Dan

    Hi John et al – I was not originally planning on commenting – didn’t think I had anything to add – nice discussion on how we each need to consult our inner guidance. I must say I was touched by the story of the buffalo. I too don’t feel a conflict with loving and respecting all life and being an omnivore – I love it all – including the living vegetables and fruits.

    What I really wanted to share is my experience with playing music outdoors – the birds always participate – and there is no doubt that we are in conversation – even the non singers often come to check it out. A little more obscure but also true is the world participates – noises on the street – a siren – a bell – a horn – it almost always aligns with the music.

    Dogs dig music as well. The discussion prompted me to upload a video because the participation of our four dogs is so evident. All the percussive sounds are from the dogs – they are not remotely random – they were having fun along with me.

    The song probably relates too – but not why I chose to upload it. Thanks again – a better topic than I expected.

    • Justin

      Yes, music is as important to animals as it is to humans. My mother has a pet Cockatoo (Parrot) which absolutely loves when I play guitar next to him. He raises his crest at the very sight of the instrument, and sings along as I play. He watches my fingers intently as they move and twist around the neck of the guitar. He seems fascinated. After a few minutes of singing he’ll just sit, eat and watch. He always eats with music!

      He responds to touch. He’ll accept my touch, but not that of other people. Which reminds me of our late pet dog. She had become old and her body was giving in to time; one night she couldn’t see and couldn’t balance, she was distressed. I went to her and lay my hands on her, and she instantly calmed and slept. Eventually, her condition got the point where we knew she would pass at any time. On her last day, we all knew. I had to go to school that day, so I made a silent wish that I see her once more before she passed. I returned from school that afternoon and went to her. Her breath was slow. I put my hand on her, she took one more breath and that was it. I feel that she was just waiting for a final touch to say goodbye.

      She taught me so much about humility and unconditional love.

      We buried her in the garden, and our unspoken instinct was to put some of her favourite things in the ground with her. I’ve always found that interesting because it’s not a custom that our family would observe when burying people, but it was so natural for us to give her some things to take on her journey.

      I love you Lacey.

      • Barbara

        What a beautiful and touching story, Justin.
        Love to you and Lacey,

  4. Seqkat


    Vegetarian diets are often used to heal, and cure diseases within the human body. And it’s actually been discovered the “normal” diet is the cause of such diseases.

    My son turned to the diet because he went into severe pain when using the bathroom that became chronic. He researched for a cure, help, and found the vegan diet to be offering relief in his research. He tried it, and it definitely relieved him. He is no longer in any pain. He is on no medications for pain. And his blood counts are absolutely perfect.

    I’ve always been an animal lover myself, having grown up a small “pet” farm. Not raising to kill the animals, and had a wide variety of pets. I was also raised to eat meat, and I always said I felt like a hypocrite, and never could kill an animal myself for food consumption.
    My son started sharing his foods with me, and I noticed this cleaner, healthier, more vital feel inside me, right after eating his foods, and when I’d return to my foods, it felt heavy, and lethargic.

    I was suffering with hypoglycemia. It’s preached to those suffering as thus, go heavy on protein, and I would eat chicken for breakfast. The last time I ate chicken, I couldn’t finish it. I had to throw it out. It tasted like death. I went full vegetarian and a beautiful thing occurred – my hypoglycemia was cured. And I feel great and full of energy now. And I also am in tune with my soul self, authentic in that I’m no longer the cause of how badly the animals are being treated to be raised for meat and/or dairy products.

    Just sharing to perhaps give you a little more insight on the health benefits of going vegetarian.

    One other little thing I’ve found in several sources. When ingesting meat, we take on some of the energy the animal that was killed felt at that moment of death. I can see how the Native Americans seemed to be in agreement with the buffalo in the above comment and there was no fear. As for the majority of the animals slaughtered for meat, they know it’s coming. There is fear. Something else to consider.

    Love & Light,
    Seqkat >^..^<

    • beachdrifter

      It’s not the diet that makes you sick or healthy – it’s the thoughts you think about it, and all other things in your life.

      For example, from your post: “One other little thing I’ve found in several sources. When ingesting meat, we take on some of the energy the animal that was killed felt at that moment of death.”

      Of course that is not accurate – unless you choose to believe it. And then something like this:

      “The last time I ate chicken, I couldn’t finish it. I had to throw it out. It tasted like death. ”

      has to become your experience. It’s just the way this vibrational universe works. But it’s not about the chicken, it’s about YOU, and the thoughts you think! So if a vegetarian diet gives you an excuse to think more positively about the food you eat, and thus about yourself, then it benefits you. But it’s not the diet, it’s your change of focus that is the reason for the improvement.

      That’s one reason why there are vegetarians and vegans with terrible health, and fast food enthusiasts with amazing health. If you’re a vegan, and then use your newfound preference as an excuse to pester your fellow men about their eating habits, it won’t benefit them, and it will deprive you of the benefit that could be there for you otherwise.

      Make a decision – any decision – and line up with it. But don’t make a decision, and then constantly contradict and second-guess yourself. It’s the contradiction in the energy that is the culprit of anything unwanted that enters your life experience.

    • Sarah

      Thank you, Seqkat 🙂 You are spot on and these points are what cause the disagreements within me!

  5. Sharon spring

    Recently I too, have realized that ‘animals’ are every bit as consious as ‘humans’. I now prefer to call a living beings, “conscious beings”… instead of making a separation. There are 2 dozen ‘wild’ mallard ducks that visit our yard every day. They all have unique personalities. One of the females who was just born this year – she is 4 months old now – started communicating directly with me at about 2 months old. I would toss them all bird seed and this female, i named “Tickle” would peck lightly at my foot, or leg, or back when she wanted some more food. She still does it now. She will look up at me, i look at her, then she will tap lightly on my leg and i toss her some seed. She is conscious of her actions and is definately communicating with me. Just because we dont speak the same vocal language, doesn’t mean we can’t communicate. These ducks bring the most joy to my life!

    • John Cali

      Thanks very much, Sharon, for sharing your wonderful duck story. Animals certainly do bring much joy into our lives.

  6. Jeannie

    I love animals! I can sit out on my patio and watch the play of birds, squirrels, and cats play out in front of me. When I open my patio blinds in the morning, I have little visitors, just gazing at me and I talk to them. Especially the squirrels, I swear they see me coming home and run to be there when I get there, sitting patiently for me. I give them peanuts and they are so cute the way they pick and choose which one is for them (or two) and off they go. The blue jays are particularly interesting as they swoop down on the patio, look in the door with that sideways look and down they flutter pecking at the peanuts till they find what they want and off they go. The peanuts by the way are not salted, I buy them just to feed the squirrels, which reminds me I need to pick up some bird seed too! We can learn so much from nature, the joy, the playfulness, the love of life. I love every bit of it.

    love and hugs

    • John Cali

      Thank you, Jeannie for sharing your beautiful animal experiences.

      Love & hugs,

  7. Barbara

    The animals of Wyoming gave me such a huge gift, it was absolutely magical.

    I had an opportunity to ask Spirit why John and I had been so blessed, loved, and surrounded by animals and birds. This was their beautiful answer:-

    “As you know, we have always said, animals are often, almost always in fact, your best teachers, because they are so aligned with their higher selves, with their souls, their spirits, with God, Goddess. And the animals, here where John lives, in Wyoming, are not used to people like you or like him. People who can communicate with them. Everybody can communicate with them, but few do, especially in a place like this and so, they recognised a kindred spirit in you.

    And it doesn’t matter what animals we’re talking about, the deer that visited you in the back yard in the mornings, the crows, the eagles, the rabbits. They were clustering around you because they loved your energy. They knew they were safe, they were loved, there was no danger there, they just simply wanted to be in your energy.

    Even the wolves that you talked to telepathically, they picked up on that too. And we can tell you, with certainty, that some of those wolves who would have been shot and killed when Wyoming opened the season on them on October 1st did move in to a safe place. Perhaps it was Yellowstone, it probably was Yellowstone for some of them at least, because they’re safe there..….

    That’s why they were drawn to you, because they know who you are and you know who they are.”

    Deepest gratitude to those beautiful creatures, that incredible land, Spirit and of course John Cali. x

    • John Cali

      Thanks very much, Barbara, for sharing that. I hadn’t seen what Spirit said before now, but I love it!

      Love & hugs,

  8. Mikala

    I was invited to join a very sacred Native American ceremony where a part of the ceremony included the ending of life for a buffalo, to be used as food. There was no hunting. Rather, there was a herd of buffalo near, but those people on the hill prayed all day, they sang, they danced, all in a sacred way. At the middle of the afternoon, one buffalo left the herd and walked to the people. It stopped very near and waited. The one assigned, left the group of people and went to the buffalo. They stood face to face for a long while. The buffalo eventually put its head on the shoulder of the man, and at that point its life was forfeit. This was when the people gave thanks and honored the animal, asked to receive that spirit into themselves as the meat was eaten. It was clear that the animal and man were one.

    There are many things we do not necessarily see in our Unity with All That Is until it is pointed out to us. In this case, I totally agree with Beachdrifter. We each must find what is right for us by going within and being true to ourselves and in alignment with our Source.

    I live with and revere animals. I believe them to be my brothers and sisters, and that bond is reciprocated. Each has their special gifts for us whether that is peace, love, healing or great humor.

    I see no argument between vegan and carnivore. We each have our own path, and each one must understand and follow that path for themselves.

    • Sarah

      Wow! I love that story. What an absolute honour to be a part of that ceremony.

  9. Becc

    Hi guys,

    I have been practising my Animal Communication (telepathy with animals to intuitively receive messages in pictures, thoughts, feelings and knowing from them). Speaking with animals can teach you to have a better understanding if you are ever confused about this kind of thing. I have read that some wild animals say that a lot of animals have come here to serve humanity as food but they definitely do not like the way that humans are going about it. Also, as we come into the new age of awakening (2012 shift etc.) and move more into our heart spaces, it will become an innate kind of knowing and action within people where they will come to dislike the concept of eating another being who has the same life force and feeling as themselves.
    I have read a lot on all topics spiritual in the last 3 years and have heard this said by non-physical entities that are channelled by spiritual people, animals and spiritual leaders such as shamans and simple ‘normal-people’ teachers…
    I have also been taught from some teachers (Abraham Hicks, Teal Scott) that the feeling of guilt (or any negative feeling) is a sign that you are not in alignment with your inner, all-knowing and all-loving higher self. So if you are a meat eater who feels bad about eating meat, your life mission here probably encompasses moving to a vegetarian diet. If you don’t, then that means you’re in alignment with yourself and the universe and so you can continue to do so…

    Love and light to all!

    • beachdrifter

      “Also, as we come into the new age of awakening (2012 shift etc.) and move more into our heart spaces, it will become an innate kind of knowing and action within people where they will come to dislike the concept of eating another being who has the same life force and feeling as themselves.”

      The animals of this planet have been enlightened, or awake, forever, and it has been one of the main aspects of their lives, and one that gives them so much pleasure. You can see it even with our pets. They thrive doing just what you suggest humans will stop doing once THEY awaken.

  10. Sarah

    I am torn on this issue. I will walk like a lunatic to avoid stepping on ants, I rescue moths and had a funeral for a snail I accidently killed while working one day yet I still eat meat because I am not convinced yet that I can get all the nutrition I need from plants. I only choose organic, grass-fed and free range animals, never anything else, but I still often see the animals in my mind, alive and conscious and able to emote and love and that’s when I feel the pull.

    • John Cali

      Thank you, Sarah. I realize this is tough, contentious, and emotional issue for many. The American Indians gave thanks to the spirits of the animals they used for food. So if you can do nothing more than that, it is enough for now.

    • beachdrifter

      Sarah, the pull that you feel is the larger part of you, Source, not agreeing with your thoughts in that very moment.

      But you don’t feel the pull when you see them as wonderful beings, conscious and loving (because that’s what they are).

      You feel it when thoughts like “this is so wrong, who can we kill them for food”, enter your mind.

      Source doesn’t agree with that thought, because while animals have many intentions coming into this world, like improving the energy-balance of this planet, being food for one another (including for humans) is of course among those intentions, as well.

      You will never stop animals from eating each other, and you will never teach them to be more “humane” in killing each other, either. They are much more conscious of who they are than we are, they do not fear death because they understand there isn’t any. They reach their physical maturity so much quicker than we are, and they just come and go and come and go and come and go.

      Of course it’s fine if people decide that they won’t eat animals any more – where it goes wrong is when they try to force their preference upon others, which I’ve seen quite a bit in “spiritual circles”, especially trying to encourage feelings of guilt and “wrongness” on the part of those preferring a different diet.

      I revere animals, but contrary to John, that doesn’t mean, that I’ll stop eating meat. In fact, considering the joy I feel when I eat it…it just proves to me that the whole of me, Source, is flowing through me in those moments. And that is the same energy that flows through all of the animals on this planet, also. If that isn’t agreement, I don’t know what is.

      It’s all good, no matter what choice you make. Whatever feels best to you is the best choice there is, for you, right here, right now.

      • John Cali

        Thanks very much for your comments and insights.

        I agree with you. I do not agree with those vegetarian folks who try to force their choices on others. As you said, that’s not unheard of in “spiritual circles.” If we all followed our inner guidance, we wouldn’t even need to have these discussions.

        Indeed it is all good.

      • Sarah

        Those are perfect words for me right now. Thank you, beachdrifter!

    • Madhulika Varma

      Dear Sarah,

      I went through exactly the same process as you did. I’ve been a non vegetarian all my life, and loved the taste of meat, chicken and ham, yet have always felt terrible because of my great love for animals. However, some years ago, I just decided that I didn’t want to be responsible any more for causing the killing of animals, and I just stopped eating meat. I thought it would be terribly difficult, but it wasn’t; however, if I ever felt tempted to eat meat, I did, without guilt. Gradually, as I got used to not having meat / chicken regularly, and as I researched and started using tasty vegetarian dishes and sources of nutrients, the desire to eat meat became weaker and weaker, and now I am not tempted at all – and I’m healthier now than I was before!

      I think it’s a question of becoming vegetarian when the time is right for you, and not before. And also not being rigid about it – if we feel we are “not allowed” (even by ourselves) to do something, we start longing to do it. Whereas, if we allow ourselves the freedom to fall off the wagon sometimes, the wagon becomes something we WANT to stay on !! 🙂

      • Sarah

        That is where I am at, Madhulika! I stopped eating pigs and lamb about a year ago, I just eat chicken and cows now and I still really enjoy it so am going to continue until I just don’t do it anymore 🙂 Like you said, it wasn’t really a big decision like ‘I am going to stop eating pigs and lamb forever!’ kind of thing, it was just something that happened easily. Thanks for your reply x

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