If you've
ever loved & lost
an animal...

Sacred Sendoffs

An Animal Chaplain’s Advice For Surviving Animal Loss, Making Life Meaningful, & Healing The Planet


(learn more about Sarah and her other available books here)



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Combining humorous anecdotes and thought-provoking research, Sacred Sendoffs explores human relationships with beloved pets, wild creatures, animal astronauts, marine life, farmed animals, and other sentient beings. Along the way, animal chaplain Sarah Bowen shares insights for sustaining lives, honoring deaths, and managing the emotions that arise when we lose an animal we love. While many books focus exclusively on pet loss, environmental issues, or animal welfare, Sacred Sendoffs takes on all three, revealing their unavoidable entanglement. Bowen’s ever curious and playful style tackles tough topics―recovering from personal grief, deconstructing human biases, and acknowledging planetary challenges. Sacred Sendoffs helps animal lovers uncover practical actions and everyday opportunities for helping the more-than-human world not only survive but thrive.


“In Sacred Sendoffs, Sarah Bowen guides us gently through the loss of our companion animals, while also nudging us to examine our conceptions about other-than-human beings in general. After reading it, I find myself living in a more amazing world, populated by a diverse array of unique individuals, each deserving of respect and care.”
Victoria Moran, author of Creating a Charmed Life and The Good Karma Diet

“Sarah Bowen’s magnificent manifesto Sacred Sendoffs is a call to acknowledge the divine Aliveness manifesting as our animal companions. If you befriend animals, read this book. If you don’t, read this book anyway and you will.”
Rabbi Rami Shapiro, author of Perennial Wisdom for the Spiritually Independent


 "Our respect for a being's life is intimately tied to our capacity to grieve that being's death. Sacred Sendoffs is an ardent invitation to multispecies mourning for our more-than-human companions, from our beloved pets, to the deer on the side of the road, to the rapidly increasing extinction of species on our shared planet. Bowen helps us explore our relationships with more-than-human animals, unveils multiple layers of animal death all around us that often escapes our notice, and guides us in recognizing and ritualizing our grief when animals die. Within this sacred grief work is bound up a respect, a reverence, a love for all life on earth. This book is a gift to all human animals seeking to live more reverently and lovingly within the larger web of life." 

― Cody J. Sanders, Chaplain at Harvard University & Advisor in the Office of Religious, Spiritual, & Ethical Life, MIT

“Gandhi once said that ‘the greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.’ He called us to practice total nonviolence―nonviolence to ourselves, all people, all creatures and Mother Earth. We all need to deepen our practice of nonviolence and help build the global grassroots movement for a new culture of nonviolence. Sarah Bowen's beautiful book focuses that call of nonviolence toward animals. If we heed her teachings, perhaps animals will help us become more nonviolent toward one another―and teach us how to be human.”
Rev. John Dear, author of The Nonviolent Life, Living Peace, and other books,
and executive director of www.beatitudescenter.org

“Sarah Bowen is back, and with the characteristic humor and intelligence that marked Spiritual Rebel, she asks us to consider the “more-than-human” world. In crisp, clever language, she presents an elegant manifesto for improving life―and death―for all beings on sacred Mother Earth. You can almost hear her cheering, We can do this, people! Indeed, we can.” 
Barbara Becker, author of Heartwood: The Art of Living with the End in Mind

“Sacred Sendoffs articulates the case for extending to all living beings―at all stages of life and beyond―the compassion, empathy, and reverence that resides at the core of all religions and wisdom traditions. Bowen achieves balance between the need for compassion, for understanding, and for justice―from the perspectives of both human and other-than-human animals. Her approach is not to preach, scold, or admonish, but instead to pose questions that inspire thoughtful and honest answers. The many internal reflections and practices offer readers an opportunity to search deeply within their souls and examine their own beliefs and practices as relating to the ‘nonhuman’ world. I am certain that the reader, and the world, will be in a better place from these inquiries.”
William Melton, Co-Founder of the Compassion Consortium