Many have told me that these are "merely animal spirits and are not True Deities"
Well I follow a Druidic Heathen path. As the Germanic Gods and Goddesses seem to shape change regularly into animals then it would seem sensible to treat all animals respectfully.
Some have told me that "in order to truly be Pagan, I have to have Gods and Goddesses"
My response to that is always "can you define what is a God / Goddess please?"
A few have said that "I am not a Druid because I do not follow Celtic Deities"
Always a contentious issue this - perhaps why I shy away from the term Druid, except within OBOD specific circles, and prefer follower of Druidic philosophy.
A very few have actually said "why would you pay homage to a mindless animal?"
I guess they've never had pets
Even my goldfish were smart - could recognise me and had their own food preferences (loved the leftover Brussel Sprouts at Yule, didn't like sweetcorn despite what the books said). My sister goes further and (husband, children excepting) prefers animals to people. As she puts it "at least you can trust animals."
Most dear is fire to the sons of men,
most sweet the sight of the sun;
good is health if one can but keep it,
and to live a life without shame. (Havamal 68)http://gewessiman.blogspot.co.uk