A while ago I was at a pot luck event and was surprised to learn that the hostess’s dog is a vegetarian. This led to a conversation about what dogs could eat and one question that stuck in my mind was “what do dogs eat in heaven?”
Naturally, this question assumes two key claims: dogs can go to heaven and that dogs will need to eat in heaven.
There has been considerable philosophical and theological debate about whether dogs (or animals in general) have souls. While Descartes denied that dogs have souls, I am inclinded to go with David Hume on this point: we seem to have as much evidence that dogs have souls as we do that humans have souls. That is, none, really.
But, let it be granted that dogs have souls. If humans have souls, then I would be willingly to say that dogs have them as well. If dogs do have souls, then, in theory, they could go to heaven (assuming it exists). Dogs are presumably not subject to original sin and hence don’t have to worry about that. Although I have met some bad dogs, it is not clear that dogs are even capable of sin. If so, they could not justly be sent to hell. Then again, they might not be capable of having faith or belief and that might keep them from heaven. However, it would seem unjust of God to seperate humans and their beloved dogs, so presumably dogs would go to heaven as well.
So, let it be assumed that dogs get to go to heaven. What then would they eat there?
My thought would be that since they would not have bodies in heaven (after all, the original body died) then they would not eat anything. After all, the soul does not seem to be the sort of thing that has a stomach and mouth nor does it seem to be the sort of entity that would require food.
But, then again, the soul would presumably need to be sustained so perhaps the souls have to “eat” in heaven. If so, dog souls would need to “eat.” Perhaps they would have a special divine chow on which to munch, or maybe they’d eat what human souls eat as well. After all, maybe there would just be one sort of perfect soul food.
This, of course, leads to the next obvious questions: do dogs poop in heaven?