Talk:Animal loss

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Newcomer in need of help[edit]

I'm new to editing pages on Wikipedia, but I would like to help revive this page and make it better. I've already tried deleting an external link that was linked to a GoDaddy page, so it seemed appropriate delete since it has nothing to do with this page. I want to make huge changes, but I'm a little afraid to make them. Kuzain suggested to deleted this page since there is a lot to change. If this page does need to be deleted then perhaps it can be moved to Wikiversity since there is a lot of instructional content on this page? For now I will try to clean up the external links as best as possible. -- Loera1 00:17, 28 October 2013 (UTC)


This article is in need of serious attention but I am afraid I am not quite sure what to do with it. I was tempted to simply request that it be deleted but ultimately decided that I was not familiar enough with the deletion policy to do so. As it stands now, the article is incomplete with many headers for areas that don't exist yet and is generally poorly formatted. This article also discusses a "rainbow bridge" which is not a belief held by any majority or significant minority. While many people do have systems for discussing the passing of an animal ("went to live on a farm," "ran away," ect) and these do deserve mention, the article does not need to be anywhere near as focused on this "rainbow bridge" as it is. I realize this is probably not a frequently visited article (I myself found it via the article on Death), but if anyone thinks they can clean this up please do so. I myself will try if no one else takes it on in the next few days. If anyone who happens upon this article and does feel competent enough to request deletion that would be an option as well. - Kuzain 19:00, 23 May 2006 (UTC)

Grief and pet loss FAQ[edit]

I have just added a couple of observations on how grief for a pet can differ from grief for a human, from the Grief and Pet Loss FAQ which used to be posted to rec.pets.cats. I would also have added a link to this FAQ, were it not that it disappeared one day with a note that it was "suspended due to a legal problem over the manner in which some references were sited" and never reappeared. --Ekaterin 12:40, 3 August 2006 (UTC)

Pet loss support[edit]

I've been in the pet loss community for over 10 years, the article title is ok...should be pet loss, as this is what most people search. do not delete this article please, i will revise when i have time. thanks.--Copydoc 03:00, 25 September 2006 (UTC)

The pet loss community is an important subsect of the animal loss community (as not all animals are pets). Tyciol (talk) 02:38, 11 June 2008 (UTC)

Sections needed?[edit]

Following sections might be valuable:

  • Effect of animal loss upon humans
  • Types of loss
  • Coping with loss
  • Resources for people who have lost animals
  • The decision to replace a lost pet
  • Animals' responses to loss (of human, home, or other animals)

FT2 (Talk | email) 04:08, 9 December 2006 (UTC) I started re-ordering existing content to get closer to this structure, but didn't want to rewrite content at same time so end result is not quite there. I notice you didn't have a section on belief systems. I'd probably prefer to see that content moved to another page somewhere.--PaulVonPaul (talk) 14:37, 14 November 2011 (UTC)

Rainbow bridge[edit]

Any reference on the rainbow bridge stuff? That looks sooooooooo silly! —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 02:38, 15 April 2008 (UTC)

I think this is a metaphor rather than a true belief system. It has some relevance in the context of beliefs relating to pets and the afterlife. I'm leaning to the view that the whole section on beliefs about non-human death might go better somewhere else. Leaving this page primarily about the differences between pet loss and human loss and resources to help those dealing with the loss of a pet.--PaulVonPaul (talk) 14:29, 14 November 2011 (UTC)

Link from Loss[edit]

"Animal loss, grief over the loss of an animal"

Is this a correct summary? If this were the definition, I would think you would just call it 'animal grief'. Animal loss should probably refer to the subject of losing an animal, of which animal grief would be an aspect of since that is how grief is how many people react to loss. Tyciol (talk) 02:38, 11 June 2008 (UTC)

Animal grief would appear to designate grief on the part of animals, which certainly seems to exist (in elephants, for example). The current title therefore seems to me more appropriate. Paul Magnussen (talk) 17:28, 13 July 2012 (UTC)

Most pets lost through euthanasia?[edit]

This sounds improbable. Plenty of pets die on their own. The reference links don't support this claim. I am addign a citation needed tag. Ace of Sevens (talk) 09:23, 16 August 2011 (UTC)

POV and perspective issues[edit]

This article has major POV issues, and is written from a modern, urban setting - farmers kill their own animals when sick, and don't need so-called "grief counselling" to do so.

The part on religion/belief about pets is problematic - it appears to gloss over historical cultures that venerated dead animals.

Animal mummy says that Ancient Egyptians believed pets would accompany families in the afterlife.

Note that the articles Horse sacrifice and Horse burial include details of ritualistic killing of animals after their owner has died - this touches on religious claims about animals.

This seems like it needs attention from an expert in religion or anthropology.

-- Callinus (talk) 04:56, 2 June 2016 (UTC)

I see it two ways, it IS titled "Pet loss," not "animal loss." So I think that's an adequate distinction, we aren't talking about grief counseling for shipping cattle to slaughter or something. That said, having lived on a ranch as a child, I can assure you that farmers and ranchers do sometimes find it difficult to dispatch livestock; the difference is that it happens often enough that they just know they gotta do what they gotta do and move on. (Also, not as much fondness of the psychotherapy thing in rural areas) But I do like your idea of bringing in more stuff on religion; the material you added on Egypt is helpful. I agree that there is a modern, urban slant, but it is what it is, and probably what we also need are some studies that just acknowledge it's more of a modern, urban thing -- sourcing. (All that said, this article isn't super-high on my priority list, so I'm mostly just here to share thoughts and cheer on anyone who wants to improve the article!) Montanabw(talk) 04:07, 3 June 2016 (UTC)
The article is currently titled "Animal loss", maybe it should be "Pet loss"?
Personally, I eat chicken meat, but my family has kept chickens as pets. Most cultures that assign certain animals as "meat animals" probably have less grief for those animals because the human interactions are different and humans have less attachment - some families give names to female chicks but not male chicks, because the roosters will be eaten for meat but hens kept for eggs.
The level of grief Western people feel for dead cats or dogs may be different to cultures with cat meat or dog meat, and similarly Cattle in religion means that Hindus see cattle differently to Western farmers. The dog meat article mentions that Swizerland has no law against families eating their dead pet dogs and cats, and some families say "meat is meat". (
It seems to me like the moral worth humans assign to animals depends on the culture and the animal. I'll think about how to get sources for some of this. -- Callinus (talk) 12:13, 4 June 2016 (UTC)
Ah, you are right about the title. The horse slaughter issue really shows precisely where the line is, as most horse owners tend to view them as companion animals (i.e. pets, of a sort), yet the big money -- and breeders -- fight tooth and nail to be sure they remain legally classified as "livestock". Perhaps looking at the worldwide perspective first before looking at an article name move... not sure. Good discussion, let's continue. Montanabw(talk) 00:30, 6 June 2016 (UTC)
I agree that it needs more sources on worldwide beliefs and feelings (people in the US tend to be extremely attached to their "furbabies", and therefore will be more grieved when the animal dies than a person from a Third World country who sees animals as a food source only). Actually, the strong feelings may stem more from close proximity to the animal. I grew up on a farm, and my family hunted and fished. We had all kinds of animals, thousands over the years, and I saw hundreds die from one reason or another. We ate a few, but many more were sold for meat, died of disease, died from freak accidents or old age, or were killed by predators. It never bothered me much, because I was taught that death was just another part of life. Everything has to die sometime, no matter how well you care for it.
The only time I have ever been very upset over an animal's death was when a little dog somebody had given me, which lived indoors, had a heart attack. I was upset for a week. That dog was the only dog I've ever kept indoors, and she was one of my favorite dogs ever (and I've had over 20 dogs). She was also the only one that didn't serve a purpose like guarding livestock or hunting.
I guess the amount of grief is dictated by the temperament and worldview of the human, the closeness of the animal to them, and the length of time they've owned the animal. (I'd bet that a single person with no close family would be more likely to feel strong grief than somebody with a lot of human relationships.) Personally, I see my horse as livestock. He bites and has an extremely cold personality, and his only purpose is to be ridden. If he died I probably wouldn't be that upset, but I know that if I had a loving horse like most people seem to have, I would probably have a much stronger reaction. Fascinating discussion, but if it csme down to a move discussion I'd vote for "pet loss". White Arabian Filly Neigh 20:53, 6 June 2016 (UTC)
I think there is a rural/urban divide, and probably the number of animals people have is a factor. But that said, I know a lot of ranchers out here who might not blink at ordinary slaughter jobs or putting down a sick animal, but still can "get attached" to a few particular animals. An examination of the psychology of attachment to animals may be a part of this -- there was a rescue place that actually took in a couple of cows that some little old lady had "gotten attached" to -- can't recall the details, just that they were "rescued." Yet, to take a "pet" type animal, some sled dog owners get a lot of heat because some can have pretty unemotional approach to their dogs in general and periodically are criticized by the animal rights types. Montanabw(talk) 07:26, 8 June 2016 (UTC)
In my part of the world there are still some people who coon hunt (hunt raccoons, at night, with coonhounds) and they also get blasted by the AR people for not treating their dogs like children. (Never mind that every couple of years we have a huge rabies outbreak that is spread by raccoons. The last one was about 2 years ago and involved a couple of people getting bitten, as well as several pets that hadn't been vaccinated. One of the issues is that rabid animals don't look like they do in the movies, so people get near the cute little thing and...chomp.) However, a lot of these hunters do think a lot of their dogs, and will keep a dog they like until it dies of old age, and then bury it. (In fact, there's a coon dog graveyard in Alabama!) I think part of the division is that some pet owners resort to putting down others to make themselves feel better: "I don't make Fluffy hunt/herd sheep/pull sleds, so I love him more than a person who makes their dog do those things." White Arabian Filly Neigh 15:02, 8 June 2016 (UTC)

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