Sarah A. Bowen
ANIMAL CHAPLAIN & ADVOCATE FOR ALL CREATURES
Sarah offers workshops on interspecies mindfulness practices, works with humans around animal grief/loss, and advocates for exploited and endangered species within both religious and secular contexts. You can often find her huddled over wildlife struck by cars, giving them a sacred sendoff.
Sarah Bowen is an animal chaplain and a co-founder of Compassion Consortium, the first interfaith, interspiritual, and interspecies community for people who care about and advocate for animals and the planet. She also companions animals through death, creates sacred memorial rituals, counsels humans grieving animal loss, and advocates for exploited and endangered species in both religious and secular contexts.
Sarah is also an academic dean at One Spirit Interfaith Seminary, where she encourages emerging clergy to align their spiritual values with animal and planetary welfare. In addition, she has presented on animal death and interspecies spirituality in a wide range of venues, including United Nations World Interfaith Harmony Week, Parliament of the World’s Religions, Compassion Arts Festival, Pace E Bene’s Campaign Nonviolence Action Week, The Spiritual Forum, and numerous podcasts.
An award-winning author, she authored two books on modern spirituality, including Spiritual Rebel: A Positively Addictive Guide to Finding Deeper Perspective and Higher Purpose. Her latest book is Sacred Sendoffs: An Animal Chaplain’s Advice for Surviving Animal Loss, Making Life Meaningful, & Trying to Heal the Planet (Monkfish Publishing, April 2022). She is a columnist on animal/human relationships for Spirituality & Health magazine, and her work has appeared in Tricycle: The Buddhist Review, Elephant Journal, mindbodygreen, and a wide range of spirituality media.
She holds a BA in Human Ecology from Michigan State University, MA in Religious Studies from Chicago Theological Seminary, was ordained through One Spirit Interfaith Seminary, and is joyfully engaged in postgraduate research in Humane Religious Studies and Anthrozoology. Instagram @modernreverend
"If we heed Bowen's teachings, perhaps animals will help us become more nonviolent toward one another―and teach us how to be human.”
―John Dear, author of The Nonviolent Life, Living Peace and other books; executive director of www.beatitudescenter.org
Learn how to help the
more-than-human world thrive
Campaign Nonviolence Action Week
Sept 19, 2021
2 pm ET
Sarah joins a diverse interfaith panel to talk about creating a culture of nonviolence that tackles war, poverty, racism, and environmental destruction.
Animal Divina: Interspecies Spiritual Practices & Rituals
Live, in-person Workshop
October 1-3, 2021
Join Sarah at Unity Village, Missouri for this live, in-person workshop, part of the "A World That Works for All" VS Forum & Retreat
Parliament of the
October 17-18, 2021
Join Sarah and members of the Compassion Consortium as we share how to help spiritual communities go beyond dominion & stewardship to embrace truly inclusive compassion
Compassion Arts Festival
Part Presentation / Part Interactive Workshop
November 16, 2021
Sarah joins forces with In Defense of Animals’ Lisa Levinson, animal studies behaviorist Marc Bekoff, filmmaker Allison Argo, and Luvin’ Arms Sanctuary co-founder Shaleen Shah at the Compassionate Arts Festival roundtable
"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
Favorite Recent Pod Interviews
Spirituality & Health's Essential Conversations with Rabbi Rami Shapiro
JaneUnchained with Jane Velez Mitchell
Main Street Vegan with Victoria Moran
Vegan Spirituality with In Defense of Animals
I'm Awake! Now What? with Krista Xiomara
FOR SPIRITUALITY & HEALTH
Mindful Decisions for Critically Ill Pets
Schedule Sarah for your event
Need a vibrant workshop? Riveting keynote speaker? Sassy animal meditation retreat leader?
Paws PR is currently booking Sarah's 2022-2024 escapades. Let's talk.
More Advance Praise
“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
“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.”
― 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