In Greece, Orpheus, the prophet of Thrace, like all great spirits, enchanted people and animals (even the wild beasts) with the lovely tone of his voice, and the sound of his flute. The thoughts and feelings of this vegetarian priest of Apollo-Sol, has been preserved in the hearts of his disciples by millennium, finally reaching the code of conduct preached by Pythagoras and Plutarch.
Orpheus was a Greek historical character, who gave lectures in his mother tongue, in Rome. It is said that he had been initiated in the Egyptian religion of Isis and Osiris, and his precepts on the treatment of animals was respected: Just like you, they have a soul … Refrain from eating a meat offering!
Throughout Greek literature we see a manifested noble sentiment regarding animal care. A good example is the episode of Argo, Ulysses’ dog, which is attended by his master at the time of his death.
The philosopher Aristotle distinguishes three different types of souls: vegetative or nutritive, sensitive, and rational. Correspond to the first are plants, the second and third animal’s men. The animal incarnations in the ancient religions always had a value in themself, and they became conceived as having immortal soul. Pythagoras and Anaxagoras, unlike the Stoics, attached to the animal life a divine emanation, and thought that the soul was always immortal in both animals and men. The same was thought by Plato and the philosophers of Alexandria.