There are some that will defend to the death the idea that humans are the only animals with soul. They even go as far as to say that humans are not animals at all, they (that is to say "we") ware just humans, separated totally from animals. Usually the only people who really care at all if animals have or do not have souls are those with religious backgrounds. Western religions seem to have decided that animals are soulless, while eastern-based religions take the idea of animals with souls for granted. But putting religion aside (as much as we can) this idea must be looked at logically.
The argument that is commonly used against the view of animals having no souls is the advancement argument. The advancement argument states: "Animals are not as advance and are not as intelligent as humans, so therefore we have a soul and the do not, so therefore we are allowed to eat them (except, for some reason, the ones we keep as pets)." How can so many people subscribe to this weak and merciless excuse for an argument? In a word, "justification."
Since humans first tasted blood and saw the animal writhing in crucifixion and felt their own guilt cut into them like knives, they have tried by every means possible to justify the entire situation. They even go as far as to convince themselves that it was sanctioned personally by God. It was guilt.
But today there is not even guilt; there is not even a second thought. It is simply believed that animals are soulless. Often we think we have a higher intelligence that animals are due to that they have no soul. We feel that because we have cars and airplanes and high technology, we are more advanced spiritually. How can material advancement be the cause of spiritual superiority? We get around on four wheels. The dog gets around on four legs. Where is this advancement?
Others argue that it is because we can understand God and animals cannot. Therefore, they believe, animals cannot have souls. So simply because animals cannot understand God, they have no soul? But groups of people called functionally disabled (the mentally retarded) usually cannot (in our eyes) even comprehend the idea of God. But are they soulless? Many times monkeys are noted a very high intelligence and seen as extremely advanced, even more so than some humans who are afflicted with mental illnesses.
While all of this may be fact and may seem to at least justify the idea of souls within animals, it is only common sense that the spiritual side of life and the mental side of life are separated. It is not because humans are intelligent that we can understand God. It has little to do with that. There are some who are so in love with God that they appear to be much less intelligent than average. So intelligence has little to do with the soul.
Why, then, do animals have souls? We think ourselves to be so advanced, but what is the difference between animal life and human life? We both are born, we both grow old and suffer diseases, and we both mate, and lastly we both die. Where is evidence of our advancement? What makes humans so special that we have a monopoly on God? But if animals are soulless, why are they then cared for by God? And is God, the Supreme Being, can take care of them his self, isn't that reason enough not to interfere? Many go hunting and trapping, and then justify it by claiming that they are helping nature (God) keep the animal population down. Others who eat meat claim that they must do this to survive.
Has humanity really lost this much faith in God to provide? Can't God control animal population when needed? Can't God provide the basic needs for His first creation, humans?" Of course He can, but to today's society that is not enough. We are full of greed and care only about pleasing our taste buds.
Deep within us though, we truly do care, but we are so far gone and so used to it that we choose to ignore our own compassion.
Then there are those who do not care for the lives of any living thing. This variety of thinking is growing and spreading more and more as time lumbers by. So it must be said that humans are not advancing, we are de-evolving to barbarian, to animals. We claim that animals have no souls, but if we have souls, where is the proof? Our souls are hidden by traditions of increasingly inhumane, animalistic behavior, hidden with our compassion, our mercy, and our faith in God. What more can we afford to lose?