Marc Bekoff

Do Animals Have a Soul?


Do animals have souls? Tucked inside this question's simple syntax is a whole herd of very big, very intriguing and quite elusive questions. Such as, Is there a soul? And if so, how do we define it? What is it made of, and what is its purpose? Do all sentient beings have one—humans and animals alike?

Ontological questions such as these pose particularly fascinating challenges, and to tackle this one, WIE's Ross Robertson interviewed Marc Bekoff, biology professor, fellow of the Animal Behavior Society, and regional coordinator for Jane Goodall's Roots & Shoots program. Bekoff, the author of books with titles like, How Animals Talk, Animal Passions and Beastly Virtues, and the three-volume, Encyclopedia of Animal Behavior, is a dedicated scientist as well as a passionate advocate, an animal biologist, and an ardent believer in the rich inner life of our fellow creatures.

Bekoff's ability to blend scientific knowledge with intuitive understanding helps to shed light on the mysterious nature of animals' inner lives. Having closely observed elephants, coyotes, wolves, and primates, both in captivity and in the wild, Bekoff believes he has witnessed distinct expressions of altruism, telepathy, empathy, sympathy, and the full range of emotional and social experience usually considered to be found only in members of our own species. If animals truly possess many—or all—of the fundamental traits and capacities we do, the implications for our own identity and for the way we relate to all of life's creation are profound indeed.

more about:

Marc Bekoff
bio & resources

Interviewed by:


Recorded on: 10/3/2005

Do Animals Have a Soul?

FREE Sample Clip  (1 min)
Full-length content (40 min)

Members only. More info

To download this audio, right click here and select "Save Target As." You can then save the MP3 file anywhere on your local hard disk.
read the article
Do Animals Have Souls?