"If there is one book you choose to read about how to enjoy and improve your relationships with animals and fully appreciate who they truly are, this is the one."
― MARC BEKOFF, author of The Emotional Lives of Animals and other books; professor emeritus of ecology and evolutionary biology at the University of Colorado, Boulder
About the Book
An elegant manifesto for improving life and death for all beings on sacred Mother Earth
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.
"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."
― Cody J. Sanders, Chaplain at Harvard University & Advisor in the Office of Religious, Spiritual, & Ethical Life, MIT
Study animal & nature spirituality with Sarah
Animal Chaplaincy Training:
September 2022 - February 2023
A 6-month program which builds on the deep dive workshop to a broader curriculum including interfaith religious perspectives on animals, supporting animal spirituality through the human-animal bond, environmental intersections & planetary ethics and, of course, practical professional skills for animal ministry. This program meets monthly on Zoom and features curated reading & reflection, peer-supported discussion groups, interview-based guest lectures with experts in the field, and community-based experiential learning for developing sacred rituals for animal loss, practicing grief support techniques, and supporting living animals spiritually. Includes 1-on-1 mentorship with Sarah Bowen.
More Advance Praise for Sacred Sendoffs
“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.”
― Victoria Moran, author of Creating a Charmed Life and The Good Karma Diet
“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.”
― John Dear, author of The Nonviolent Life, Living Peace, and other books, and executive director of www.beatitudescenter.org
“In crisp, clever language, Sarah 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
“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