Karma & Reincarnation in the Animal Kingdom: The Spiritual Origin of Species, by David Barreto
Destiny Books, 9781644118139, 180 pages, September 2023

Karma & Reincarnation in the Animal Kingdom: The Spiritual Origin of Species, David Barreto presents scientific information, as well as the results of his investigations into ancient civilizations, histories, myths, and scriptures to learn more about animals’ spiritual journey. He also shares that some of the information came from channeled information:

“While writing this book I personally received telepathically transmitted knowledge from a place I cannot describe. I did not notice the presence of any spirit in the process, or at least I was not made deliberately aware of any. Overall, my extra sensory perception complements and aligns the discoveries in this book…. In other words, it came to me telepathically through one form or another.”1

His goal was to “altruistically investigate and present the souls of animals through the lens of modern-day and ancient spiritualist outlooks.”2 Barreto has studied astrophysics at the Australian National University and religion at Harvard University. He also published The Supernatural Science, a book that presents information on psychic abilities, mediumship, spells, and spirits from the standpoint of scientific study. He currently lives in London, England.

“My interest in animal spirituality began in my early teens when I discovered veganism, which resonated with me on a soulful level. I devoted much of my time to studying occultism, nutrition, and animal behavior, which eventually led me to a professional focus. The compensation and royalties I receive from my “animal spirituality” books and other sources are donated to animal shelters and other charitable organizations.”3

Barreto looked at the ways animals have been viewed, honored, and revered in many different cultures and religions. Sacrificial offerings, animal worship, and the eating of animals are explored, as well as a comprehensive review of animal consciousness. He reviews Egyptian, Indian, and Chinese spiritual practices.

One of the most interesting aspects of Barreto’s work is the similarities between the subtle bodies of humans and animals.

“There are several layers within each of the six subtle bodies of spirits that animate humans. However the variation in the number of subtle bodies in animals may fluctuate, since there is a colossal range of microscopic, single cell, and brainless beings, as well as some animals the size of or larger than cars, not to mention the hominids, bearers of amplified intellect.”4

Barreto shows a graphic of a dog and the seven chakras, most of which point down to the earth. This allows a dog to be both energized and grounded. He goes on to share how a dog’s aura can help nourish those around them, while a cat’s aura has an ability to filter its etheric body while asleep.

In the discussion on reincarnation, Barreto discusses this concept for both humans and animals. He shares his belief that an animal can move into a life as a human after many, many lives as an animal. But he goes on to say, “it is not possible for the human to reincarnate as an animal on this planet.”5

Barreto presents a wide range of information about different religions and cultures and their customs regarding animals. He also discusses the use of totems, which are sacred objects or symbols. This discussion includes references to shape-shifting, elementals, astral beings, familiars, archetypes and alchemy. His review of animal worship in ancient religions is extensive and includes photographs and drawings and a recap of customs for seven different religions.

Lastly, Barreto presents information on a shift in the Age of Aquarius that allows for more “inner peace and altruism.”6 In this section, Barreto presents his views against animal slaughter for meat consumption by humans.

At the end of the book, Barreto includes a list of recommended books, an extensive bibliography of references, and an index, which is very helpful to review specific references to religions, cultures, or animals. For example, there are ten references to dogs in the book, as well as four references to Hinduism.

I was drawn to this book because of the subject matter of reincarnation. Due to the scientific nature of the research and presentation of the findings, this book was intricate in detail, which at times made it a challenge to understand. Although there were passages that I did not fully comprehend, Barreto’s style is conversational and engaging. I enjoyed reading it, despite some passages that were hard to read emotionally, specifically those regarding animal slaughter, numbers of animals slaughtered, etc.

The information about dogs was especially interesting to me as a lover of dogs and one who has enjoyed deep bonds with a few dogs over my lifetime. I particularly enjoyed seeing the confirmation of a dog’s unconditional love, as well as “nourishing the etheric bodies of humans.”7 The way Barreto shows the interconnectedness of all living beings will help the reader to see slightly different roles for the animals in our lives.

Anyone who is a student of world religions or spiritual practices would enjoy this book, as would anyone who wants to learn more about animals and how animals are and have been linked to humans throughout time. Karma & Reincarnation in the Animal Kingdom: The Spiritual Origin of Species will take you on an interesting spiritual journey.