Are You an Animal Empath?

You might be an animal empath if:

1) You swear you and your pets know what the other thinks or feels.

2) You WISH you could know what your pets are thinking.

3) You often encounter unusual animals–especially after seeing them in a magazine or on TV.

4) People notice that you and your animal friend have begun to look and/or act alike.

5) Sometimes you feel trapped, even though you have plenty of room to move around.

6) You catch yourself talking to bugs.

7) You look into an animal’s eyes and think you see a soul.

8) You like animals better than people.

9) You strongly relate to certain types of animals, i.e. butterflies, rabbits, dogs, cheetahs, etc.

10) Pets find YOU, even though you never want another one. (This includes having other family members’ furry friends “adopt” you despite your gruff manner and lack of attention.)

11) You suffer from insomnia and happen to eat chicken.

12) You feel sad, angry or anxious after eating animal products (meat, fish, eggs, dairy, bee products).

"The Scream" by Edvard Munch

Although plenty of books and studies explore connections between mood and food, I’ve noticed a recurring pattern in Medical Intuitive clients: wonderful folks on spiritual paths suffering from “inexplicable” anxiety and depression. They’ve gone to therapists, sometimes tried prescription medications, read self-help books, eliminated gluten, and tried to implement The Law of Attraction, but to no avail. Many follow vegetarian diets, or “at worst eat fish,” but the feelings remain. No matter how positive or calm they try to act, underneath they feel a nagging sense of shame, sadness and fear. The more in-tune the person, the worse the feelings. At first, this fact seemed counter-intuitive until I further explored my intuitive “hits.” These highly sensitive, compassionate clients and students had become animal empaths. Switching their diets in specific ways greatly improved their symptoms.

Because I have followed a vegan diet since 2003, I initially resisted my findings. I did not want to force my own beliefs onto anyone else and thus tended to keep ideas of animals and food quite separate in sessions. But the answer began to present itself so loudly and strongly that I decided to share it with a few clients, and their lives dramatically changed. Because so many people develop digestive issues after taking Reiki, yoga or other healing courses, I began to incorporate dietary discussion in my spiritual classes. Joy and lightness replaced underlying stress for many of those students as well. Over the years, I’ve found these patterns so consistent and so intense among spiritual seekers that I decided to share some information here.

Highly sensitive people perceive the energy of foods. The cleaner your diet and lifestyle, the more you’ll perceive that energy. Thus, ethical vegetarians on a spiritual path will often suffer worse than people less conscious of their food. When a vegetarian presents with inexplicable anxiety and/or depression, I usually need to ask if they know about conditions in dairy farms or egg factories–even organic ones. Regardless of convenience, do they realize the fear and anxiety embedded in their cheese omelets and faux pepperoni pizza? Do they realize that even trace amounts of those feelings can build up over time? For those who eat fish I ask, “Have you ever looked into a fish’s eyes or seen a fish wriggling on a hook? Does that sensation seem familiar to you?” Most of these people admit feeling outraged at animal abuse and long to go vegan but don’t feel they have adequate resources. They believe they’ve found a “happy medium” with a vegetarian diet or free-range meat. Unfortunately, “happiness” continues to elude them.

For some people, nothing short of a strict raw vegan diet will do. Others can get by with a few tweaks to their current diet.

How can you tell where you sit on this continuum? Experiment!

1) Eliminate animal products for two days and then reintroduce them. Pay attention to your immediate reaction as well as to how you feel the following two days. If unsure, ask others to observe your mood and behavior without telling them why you want to know. If neither you, nor anyone else notices a difference in your energy, mood, level of gratitude or happiness or how animals respond to you, then you can stop here or keep experimenting–your choice.

2) If differences become obvious (lighter, clearer, happier, less anxious, etc.), then you can start by blessing and thanking your food. When Native Americans or other indigenous tribes kill for food, they honor the animal’s spirit. If you want to continue eating meat, dairy and eggs, then gently acknowledging the sacrifice can help you do so in peace. Tuning in to animals goes both ways. If you can feel the effects of the animal in the product, then you can also tune in to the animal’s spirit to offer a quick thank you.

3) Look at your current symptoms and notice which animal foods might contribute to that energy.

For example, commercial chickens are very high strung animals. I often find that people who suffer from insomnia and anxiety eat fair amounts of chicken. Yes, other factors come into play, but I’ve noticed this pattern often enough to mention here. After reducing chicken consumption, many people find themselves less anxious. If you work in a cubicle and feel crammed into corporate expectations, avoiding chicken becomes even more liberating.

Another example: if you feel keyed up or ashamed sexually without any real satisfaction, consider avoiding turkey. Without going into graphic details, I’ll just share that factory farmed turkey reproduction involves some odd sexual exchange!

If you have difficulty accepting blessings, you might want to stay away from dairy. Some people pick up on mama cow’s sadness that her milk goes somewhere besides her calf. They then punish themselves for “stealing” by denying legitimate blessings and abundance coming their way.

If you privately condemn yourself as though you were a murderer or someone who committed a terrible, unpunished crime, stop eating all pork products (including bacon), and see what happens. Pigs have the intelligence of three year old children. People whose psyches register that awareness can suffer very low self esteem after eating ham, sausage, bacon, ribs or pork chops.

4) Eat more raw fruits, veggies, nuts and seeds. You will automatically consume fewer animal products and all those enzymes will give you the energy and clarity to deal with other emotional influences. You can enjoy fruit and green smoothies, fresh salads and raw cacao, regardless of what else you eat. Simply ADD these items so you feel abundant rather than deprived.

Do all mental or emotional struggles stem from food? Certainly not! I’ve noticed a wide range of unexpected causes, but for animal empaths, even small shifts can make a huge impact.

Laura Bruno is a Life Coach, Animal Communicator, Medical Intuitive and Reiki Master Teacher. In addition to private coaching and intuitive sessions, she teaches Conscious Eating 101 classes, Intuition workshops and Reiki Certification classes around the US. For more information on classes, raw food coaching, transitional coaching, animal communication, and letting your gifts shine through your career, please see: or call 775-750-9140.

Laura has also written two books, available at and

4 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Kymberli on August 22, 2015 at 5:48 am

    My problem is I feel animals pain. Like I was at a rodeo working in the Concession stand and they were chasing the pigs and the pigs were screaming I could feel it all the way down to my bones and everyone assured me they weren’t hurt but how do they know. I can’t sleep at night cause all I think about is how many animals are hungry and are being abused. I dream of people killing animals IE: dogs and cats. I want to save them all and it keeps getting worse, I can’t eat meat, I’m in a mess. I need help or something.

    Liked by 2 people


    • I hear you! Going vegetarian is a step in the right direction. See if you can channel some of that sensitivity into a field or volunteer work that shows you the positive impact you’re having, so you’re not just being tormented by it. Each gift has two sides — the one that drives you crazy, and the one that allows you to do extraordinarily good things. 🙂



  2. Posted by nu2u on September 6, 2015 at 6:39 pm

    Your experience and advice really resonate on my personal denial plane of convenience and fear. I have trended this veg way for years but have resisted going all in for various reasons, including some ill informed first few months of trying it decades ago that led to me being very unhealthy.

    But as it is said, when you know better you do better. Some of your tips have been accidental coping techniques already, but the concrete relationships between what is eaten and our feelings is hard to deny, as least for a sensitive. Thank you for sharing this info so clearly without judgment and with love. The best and most lasting corrections are made in compassion.

    Liked by 1 person


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