“– Most Westerners are brought up with the idea of a Creator God. So, understanding the intricacies of Buddha Dhamma is not easy. I see that many are struggling with the concept of rebirth. Even worse, the idea of the possibility of rebirth in the animal realm could be disturbing too.”
This is quite common. I had a discussion recently with someone calling himself Buddhist. When I brought up rebirth, this “Buddhist” launched right into a vehement denial of a human being reborn as an animal, claiming how unscientific that was. A cow, for example, can come from only a cow; same as with a human. For realms other than humans and animals, he disregarded them all together, saying there is “proof” for them.
Another common position for secular Buddhists is to not think of rebirth at all. It is critical to just live happily “in the present moment”, then the next moment will be happy, and the one after that, and so on for the next birth (if there is one). I was in this camp.
In my own experience, if we make rebirth the focal point, how precarious it is in the long run, then a lot of things make sense when we learn Buddha Dhamma.