11 Animals that Symbolize Freedom (A to Z List)

Some animals that symbolize freedom include Birds, horses, wolves, eagles, cats, butterflies, seagulls, whales, dragonflies, and manta rays.

Animals are more free than humans. Generally, they only care about eating, mating, sleeping, and surviving.

They show us how simple life can be. However, some animals perfectly exemplify the concept of freedom. Here are some of them.

Remember that symbolism is subjective. The below are examples of possible interpretations only, and may not be the correct interpretations for you and your situation.

Animals that Represent Freedom

1. Birds

Birds symbolize many things, such as the connection between life and death. Many birds also symbolize love and peace. In general, birds symbolize freedom because they can fly wherever they want to. 

Also, birds represent freedom because of bird migration. It is the regular seasonal movement that occurs in many species of birds. In other words, many birds are not tied to a specific place. They can fly to another place without attachments. 

Many people get a tattoo of feathers or a flock of birds because they represent freedom. Humans don’t have wings to fly but they get inspired by the freedom that birds have. They are the first animal most people think about when they think about freedom.

Read More: A-Z of Bird Symbolism

2. Butterflies

Butterflies symbolize many things, such as femininity, beauty, life, and rebirth. But butterflies also align well with the concept of freedom.

It occurs because of the butterfly’s irregular flying that allows it to travel in any direction at any moment. While birds generally fly in a straight line, the butterfly constantly alters its route, leaving onlookers guessing what it will do next.

Butterflies have the ability to fly away from any circumstance. Butterflies, unlike humans, are not attached to anything or anybody, thus they never need the effort to fly away.

3. Cats

Cats are famous for being some of the most self-reliant creatures on the planet. They are free to travel anywhere they want, whenever they want, and they are unconcerned with what others think or feel.

Many people associate cats with independence, and freedom is synonymous with independence. You can’t keep a cat in a cage if it doesn’t want to be there. They are always curious, and they have a desire to explore new places.

Cats are creatures that symbolize freedom because they live by their own rules. They only desire what makes them happy. They do what they want when they want to do it. These animals show us how simple happiness can be.

4. Dragonflies

The dragonfly is a carefree bug that represents independence, speed, and activity. The adult dragonfly breaking out from its larval stage (in which it spends most of its life) is a representation of liberation.

The dragonfly is probably one of our planet’s most amazing creatures. They can hover and fly sideways, backward, or even upside down, and they are incredibly fast.

Dragonflies symbolize freedom due to their rapid flight speeds. These animals use their speed to protect themselves from everything on the planet that would try to chase them down.

5. Eagles

The eagle is the personification of freedom. Soaring above the ground with its wings spread wide and majestically in all directions. More than any other symbol, the sight of this bird represents total freedom.

The great American bald eagle represents everything associated with America: power, endurance, intelligence, and freedom.

Since ancient times, humans have used eagles as a symbol of freedom because they have no natural predators and can soar freely over wide-open spaces.

Read More: Bald Eagle Symbolism

6. Horses

People recognize horses for their endurance, strength, and power. These animals represent tenacity, knowledge, independence, wildness, intellect, and loyalty in animal symbolism.

The idea of wild horses rushing across the plains is another vivid depiction of the notion of freedom. 

However, the horse’s association with this concept extends beyond this image, and it has a close connection with human history. For centuries, the horse was the primary method of human transportation.

Having a horse meant the difference between getting around or not, given that there were no other options.

7. Lions

Lions are a symbol of freedom because no one tells them what to do. A lion is the king of his realm.

The lion is the top of the food chain in Africa. He roams his land and hunts his prey with no fear of being hunted himself. His big majestic mane and freedom to walk around, watch over his realm, and do whatever he wants with his days makes many of us envious!

8. Manta Ray

Because of their ability to travel great distances, manta rays are sometimes known as “messengers of the ocean,” delivering news throughout the globe. It is a symbol of both freedom and quiet strength.

In Hawaii, the manta ray is one of the “higher animals,” an enigmatic animal that can go where humans cannot. The Hawaiian creation chant references it as one of the “higher creatures.”

It’s quite unusual to see a manta ray in captivity. And seeing one in its natural habitat shows how at ease they are navigating the oceans and the globe in general.

Manta rays have a natural balance and fluidity that allows them to go through life with minimum friction. They eat in a passive hunting style and have few predators owing to their huge size. They travel purposefully and straightforwardly.

9. Seagull

In Native American culture, seagulls represent new beginnings and freedom, particularly for people who have come to terms with dying. For various reasons, the seagull is a symbol of liberty. 

The first is, of course, their capacity to fly, but it’s also because seagulls regularly move along the shore. That gives them the option of choosing between land, sea, or sky.

The concept of freedom is the power to do what you want at any given time. 

Seagulls are symbols of freedom. They exemplify the idea of keeping things simple without all of the modern world’s distractions. It symbolizes a return to the most essential things in life: one’s ideas, ambitions, and dreams.

10. Whale

Whales are a symbol of freedom because they are creatures that wander freely across vast, wide-open places. They are seen swimming in the large oceans of the world. 

Whales migrate, so they have no attachment to a specific place. Male sperm whales are nomads who, in some cases, may spend their whole 70-year lifetime exploring the world’s oceans.

Whales are emblems of strength and independence since they don’t require anybody else to survive. And for example, killer whales or orcas are apex creatures. They have no natural predators, making them fearless creatures.

Read More: Killer Whale Symbolism Explained

11. Wolf

Wolves are apex predators with nothing above them in the food chain. They exemplify what it means to be free and never be afraid of anything.

The wolf is famous for its sharp intelligence and independence. This mysterious and frightening beast represents endurance, stability, instinct, and success.

Wolves know when to act alone and when to join a pack. This animal is fearless in the face of adversity. It is undaunted by extreme weather and hostile conditions.

In essence, a wolf is the ideal symbol of an animal that lives life on its own terms at all times.

How to Interpret Spiritual Symbolism

Interpreting symbolism and spiritual meanings is subjective and deeply personal. The symbolic meanings listed in this article are examples of potential interpretations, but might not be true for your situation.

Make sure you meditate and journal about your vision. Reflect on what you saw and think about what message you think is relevant to you and your life right now.

This doesn’t mean choosing the message you want to hear, but the one you think you need to hear at this point in your life. Only you can decide which meaning is the right one for your situation.

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Conclusion

When people think of animals that symbolize freedom, they mostly think of animals that have wings: You can see them flying freely across the skies, however, this is not always the case. Many animals show a free lifestyle without having wings to fly.

Read Next: Metaphors for Freedom and Power

Sea animals are also a good representation of freedom because they swim across vast spaces. Also, there are terrestrial animals that symbolize freedom because they exhibit strong independence.

All wild animals represent freedom, in contrast to animals that live in captivity. But in general, animals show us what it means to be free without the societal standards that humans have.

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