I found myself beginning to explore the differences between the two creation stories in Genesis that have shaped the consciousness of the Judeo-Christian world for thousands of years. I suddenly realized that there is something quite spiritually profound in the question of what it means to be entrusted with nature, to live with a pet.
Scholars tell us that [the] second creation story, which gives us the naming of the animals, is actually older than the so-called first creation story. It was, in other words, written earlier than the domination story.
Naming is an act of relationship, not dominance. Naming gives our relationships character and recognition and respect. The biblical story of naming the animals has both personal and spiritual implications for the way we deal with all creatures of the earth.
This excerpt from the book Two Dogs and a Parrot by Joan Chittister is reprinted by permission of BlueBridge/United Tribes Media Inc.