Sacred Stories of Animals, Faith and Compassion

Sacred Stories of Animals, Faith and Compassion

The best way to view this video is to fast forward to the 30-minute mark (on the left counter) and start with the section where Jan Creamer and Tim Phillips reveal a fresh (and yet ancient) way to think of animals as being creatures as complex and sentient as we are.

Their perspective is the same one held by ancient people in telling long, involved sacred stories. In these, animals played vital roles in the lives of deities and mortals alike. These are the stories we’ve lost touch with – of animals being part of a Web of Life that is bigger than any one of us and that binds us inseparably to one another.

Then, looking though the lens of these animal rescuers, return to the beginning of the video and reclaim the ancient tales. Pravrajika Vidyaprana shares a tiny piece of the long and rambling story of the magical superhero winged monkey Hanuman, from the ancient epic Ramayana. Nirinjan Singh Khalsa follows with short but lovely stories of animals as seen by Sikhs. Sura Das wraps up with his own retelling of an ancient tale, and a personal one about how the tenderness he experienced towards animals in a small village in India changed his life.

Sacred Stories of Animals, Faith and Compassion: Our Storytellers

Jan Creamer and Tim Phillips, Founders, Animal Defenders International (ADI)
ADI is located in Los Angeles, London and Bogota, with a wildlife sanctuary in South Africa. Jan and Tim have secured laws protecting wild animals in over 180 countries, including 45 that ban animal circuses. They have enforced bans in Bolivia, Peru, Colombia and Guatemala, raiding circuses and rescuing hundreds of animals.
Pravrajika Vidyaprana
Hollywood Vedanta Society
Pravrajika Vidyaprana joined the Hollywood Vedanta Convent in 1990 under Swami Swahananda. Currently, she leads daily worship in the temple on a rotating basis. She also helps maintain the garden, which provides flowers for pujas (prayer rituals). An animal lover, she is very knowledgeable about them, both in Hindu scripture and in their unfolding stories in today’s world.


Nirinjan Singh Khalsa
Executive Director, California Sikh Council
Nirinjan Singh Khalsa has publicly represented the Sikh community for over 30 years. Executive director of the California Sikh Council, he serves as a cultural intelligence educator and advisor to the Department of Justice, Department of Homeland Security, Los Angeles and Orange County Sheriffs Departments, and other organizations.


Sura Das
International Society for Krishna Consciousness
Sura Das is a head priest and longtime member of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON). He also is active in many interfaith groups, including as vice president of Culver City Interfaith and the Interreligious Council of Southern California.