Animals are such a huge part of my life. I grew up in the country, and at one time we had almost twenty cats, four dogs and four gold fish. All conventional animals, but still. My mom likes to tell this story about me picking up a just-born kitten and swinging him around and around in circles saying, “I love you! I love you!” I love animals. And they’re such a big part of my practice. Respect is my creed, and animals, who cannot voice their pains and sorrows, who cannot stand up when they are attacked, are very much deserving of our love and respect.

To be Wiccan is to love nature. All nature, from the tiniest blade of grass to every animal you encounter on your path. If you choose to eat meat, you should thank the animal that gave its life to provide that food. If you find a bug in your home, you should catch it carefully and set it free outside. And if you have pets, you should love them unconditionally. A pet is a child, in every way that counts.

Respect is something that you don’t lose anything to give. And it makes you a better person, to be able to respect every living creature around you.