Thank you for your thoughtful question.
Animals too are souls going through the spiritual journey in that particular embodiment….thinking of them in this way elevates them and human beings. It’s like a pre-K type of embodiment for that soul’s needs.
All 3 ways you mentioned of thinking of it are fine….the evolution being from 1 to 3 as one evolves spiritually.
From a western perspective, the images of a goose and leg of beef, the latter especially, may evoke feelings of eating animal flesh and animal slaughter…because of life in this culture. In western culture especially, this is the way these animals are thought of in this culture…as food items. And even in African and other cultures various rituals are practiced with live animal sacrifices. Also, in our era, there is little understanding of mythic-mystical symbolism, as this historic period is especially marked by those who practice orthodox religion at the first two levels (myth and ritual), and many times when the 3rd and mystical level is included, it is practiced incorrectly.
Consider that In Christianity, how an issue may arise when a child is told they are eating the “body” of Christ. Eating someone’s body? Pretty yukky! Or drinking the “blood” of Jesus! Again, to a child, it’s pretty yucky! So then they are told, it’s not really flesh or blood, it’s bread and wine or grape juice. Now they can manage to take the items…if they believe they are not being lied to. But yet the higher ideal of those symbols is to partake of the sacrament actually feeling/experiencing (through one’s faith) that one is eating the body of Christ and the drinking the blood of Christ. This is a mental practice of cannibalism, if taken in this literal sense rather than as a mythical-metaphysical understanding of becoming one with the essence of the Divine Self, in the form of the tutelary divinity Jesus Christ. Of course we have in our tradition that Asar as a mummy, and the Asar Eucharist (in the Kemetic Diet book) ritual. One of our sacred text is called the Book of the Dead, but in reality is it The Book of Enlightenment. For some, they may not be able to approach this religion because of what they feel to be a focus on mummies and death. But of course we know this religion is about death of the ego and coming forth in the light (Enlightenment, Nehast) and not an obsession about death and mummies, etc.
And consider if I showed you a picture of someone’s hand…you would not automatically conclude that the person was killed and that is how the photo was able to only capture a hand. It’s just a picture of a hand, a part of a human body. Similarly, if I asked you to draw an image of a goose or a leg of a cow…your drawing these for me does not imply that they represent slaughtered animals. In our culture, an image of a heart may imply love or heart health…not the idea of a slaughtered animal/person whose heart was taken out of their body. We currently even had images of intestines (without a body covering them) parading across the TV screen to advertise for medicines for gastrointestinal upset.
The Chepesh, the leg of the bull that is part of the Hetep, is an image of a leg. It is related to the Apis bull, symbolizing generative power. It is also related to the constellation Ursa Major (Big dipper) representing the “imperishable stars” that do not move (Enlightened consciousness), and one of the shafts in the main chamber of the Great pyramid points to this constellation. And it also relates mythically to the epic myth of the Asarian Resurrection where at one point in the battle Heru tore out Set’s leg and tossed it in the sky. It is also used in the opening of the mouth ceremony to symbolize mystical awakening and spiritual realization (become imperishable).
All this to say, that the Chepesh, the leg of the bull symbol that is used as part of the Hetep Slab has many mythical and mystical correlations, all relating to the attainment of Nehast…utilizing the language of symbolism and myth.
S. Maa will research further about the goose to see if has similar mythical correlations…as we have not come across these in the teachings as with the leg of beef.
Your additional comments and reflections are welcome,