13 Jun Buddhists Funerals For Pets
Buddhist pet cremations and funerals for pets have become common in Asia. The service starts with short prayers, followed by a two-hour cremation and the spreading of the ashes. These rites and lavish funerals have been practiced in Japan for many years, where there are funeral parlors specifically designed for cremating pets. Thailand began catching up about 15 years ago with the temple cremating stray dogs and cats. Monks, wearing orange, perform the service, asking grievers to repeat the chant after them: “This life cycle is completed. We pray that (name of animal) be born in the next life blessed with prosperity and good health, in a better form, like one of a human.”
Pet Funeral Thailand has been performing about 200 animal cremations monthly, mostly cats and dogs, but also lizards, snakes, baboons, and even cocks who’d been champion fighters. The scattering of ashes is most common, but some keep them (or perhaps a portion of them) in a cremation urn that remains in their home, sometimes just a portion of them.
The belief is that after numerous reincarnation cycles, merit gained in every life because of visiting temples and performing good deeds can eventually lead one to attain the state of nirvana. They subscribe to the theory that cremation sends you forward into the next life.
A simple Buddhist funeral for a pet can be had for less than $100 in Thailand while a more elaborate one can cost several thousand dollars. These ceremonies provide emotional and spiritual support to pet owners who are grieving, providing hope for a potential reunion in a future life.