You may think of yoga, prayer, even walking as part of your spiritualpractice. After reading "Animal Grace," you may add "barn chores" or"emptying the litter box" to that list.

Psychologist and animal rights activist Randour says that animals can bean integral part of our spiritual journeys. Animals teach us how to love and howto receive love; they show us how to live joyfully and gratefully. Randour learned animportant lesson about death from her dog Toshi: death, she says, isnot something that happens in a single moment, but a process oftransformation.

If animals teach us about spirituality, spirituality also teaches usabout animals. Drawing on Christianity, Judaism, Jainism, Hinduism, andBuddhism, Randour urges her readers to treat animals ethically and withkindness. Leaders of the Jewish Renewal movement have moved beyond thetraditional dietary laws to embrace vegetarianism, and Christian writerStephen Webb has emphasized that in the Eucharist, "a vegetarianmeal..suffering is commemorated but no pain is inflicted."

You may not decide to swear off hamburgers after reading this book. Butyou will, undoubtedly, look at your dog-and your spiritual journey-anew.