Everyone remembers the concept of dog or cat heaven from childhood. Toddlers needed to be comforted about the death of Fido or Snickers, and from this the theological concept of separate heavens for each and every animal species was born and passed along by parents. It follows, of course, that if dogs have their own heavenly realm then there must also be an ant heaven and a mosquito heaven — a place in the clouds in which triillions upon trillions of ants and mosquitoes fly around with little insect angel wings.

Not to mention snake heaven, wildbeest heaven, bird heaven, giraffe heaven, grasshopper heaven, pelican heaven, trout heaven, worm heaven…the list is infinite.

Strict conservative constructionists will tell you that God doesn’t love lower animal species as much as he loves homo sapiens and therefore they don’t rate a heaven. When they’re dead, they’re dead as a blackened remnant of a leaf floating up and away from a bonfire. That’s arrogance, of course. The mind of God is so vast and dazzling and exquisitely perfect that if He/She even deigned to consider which life forms deserved to peacefully frolic in some spiritually serene after-life realm, He/She would surely regard all of creation as one unified and equal-opportunity symphony with one species singled out above all the others because of a semi-developed brainpan and the ability to speak and write and make movies like 2012, G.I. Joe and Transformers 2.

Either ants, dogs and giraffes go to heaven along with humans when they die, or we’re all equally mulch with no choir, no clouds, no Robin Williams walking around with his dog, no Joe Pendleton looking to play quarterback for a team that’s going to the Superbowl, and no Jack Dawson waiting at the top of the grand staircase of the Titanic.