I am one who appreciates nature and the beautiful things our creator offers us. I am an animal lover and rescuer. In researching some background information for some ethnic stories I found the commonality of religious belief founded in the various tribes located throughout the world.
From Micronesia, the Far East, Laos and Cambodia, China and India to Alaska to the American Indian, a belief in the soul of animals and objects shares amongst them in some cases in lieu of organize religion.
One of the oldest religions in the world has a name. Animism from Latin anima, “breath, spirit, life” is the religious belief that various objects, places and creatures with whom humans engage possess idiosyncratic spiritual qualities. Animism is the oldest known type of belief system in the world.
It is still practiced in a variety of forms in many traditional societies. Animism is used in the anthropology of religion as a term for the belief system of many indigenous tribal peoples, especially in contrast to the relatively more recent development of organized religions.
Although each culture has its own different mythologies and rituals, "animism" is said to describe the most common, foundational thread of indigenous peoples' "spiritual" or "supernatural" perspectives. The animistic perspective is so widely held and inherent to most animistic indigenous peoples that they often do not even have a word in their languages that corresponds to "animism" or even "religion" the term is an anthropological construct.
Largely due to such ethnolinguistic and cultural discrepancies, opinion has differed on whether animism refers to a broad religious belief or to a full-fledged religion in its own right. The currently accepted definition of animism was only developed in the late 19th century by Sir Edward Tylor, who created it as "one of anthropology's earliest concepts, if not the first".
Animism encompasses the beliefs that there is no separation between the spiritual and physical material world, and that souls or spirits exist, not only in humans, but also in some other animals, plants, rocks, geographic features such as mountains or rivers, or other entities of the natural environment, including thunder, wind, and shadows. Animism thus rejects Cartesian dualism.
What can we learn from this... its simple, we have to respect, and protect the other creatures we exist with on this planet. They are as much a part of us as we are. Without the other creatures we might not exist. We are the top of the food chain and you can’t be the top without the supporting elements.