The United States of America is a country filled with millions of people who have strong beliefs — that should be more than obvious considering the venom and fire we’ve seen in this current presidential contest. But what do people believe regarding their animal friends? Many Americans believe in an afterlife. Most of us are religious. But do those beliefs hold true for our pets? Do pet owners believe their cats and dogs go to heaven?
According to Live Science, “heaven” for pets is a notion that’s been around for quite a while — but it’s grown in popularity over the last century or two. True, our pets have become closer and closer to us over the years. It shouldn’t be so surprising that those of us who believe in the afterlife want to bring them with us.
And we don’t just know this because of oddball surveys, either. We know this because archaeologists have studied the graves of humans all the way back to the Paleolithic Era. Human graves that held the remains of dogs became increasingly common then and throughout the Stone Age.
But in Hyde Park, London there was a pet cemetery established in 1881. That may have been the very first one, but since then there have been thousands commemorated all over the world. Perhaps that’s the real reason why the concept of a “pet afterlife” has become more widespread. A savvy businessman simply discovered that there was a demand for this strange service. That could have led to more people actually considering the possibility that religious beliefs could extend to our animals.
During the 20th century, gravestone inscriptions have been found to include snippets describing the relationship to the family pet — and many even use religious icons that could show their beliefs in the “souls” of those animals. A new study showed us much.