Our Symphony with Animals: On Health, Empathy, and Our Shared Destinies

Our Symphony with Animals: On Health, Empathy, and Our Shared Destinies

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Overview

A leader in the fields of animal ethics and neurology, Dr. Aysha Akhtar examines the rich human-animal connection and how interspecies empathy enriches our well-being.

Deftly combining medicine, social history and personal experience, Our Symphony with Animals is the first book by a physician to show that humans and animals have a shared destiny—our well-being is deeply entwined.

Dr. Akhtar reveals how empathy for animals is the next step in our species’ moral evolution and a vital component of human health. When we include animals in our circle of empathy, we not only liberate animals, we also liberate ourselves. Drawing on the accounts of a varied cast of characters—a former mobster, a pediatrician, an industrial chicken farmer, a serial killer, and a deer hunter—to reveal what happens when we both break and forge bonds with animals.

Interwoven is Dr. Akhtar’s own story, an immigrant who was bullied in school and abused by her uncle. Feeling abandoned by humanity, it was only when she met Sylvester, a dog who had also been abused, that she find the strength to sound the alarm for them both.

Humans are neurologically designed to empathize with animals. Violence against animals goes against our nature. In equal measure, the love we give to animals biologically reverberates back to us. Our Symphony with Animals is the definitive account for why our relationships with animals matter.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781643130705
Publisher: Pegasus Books
Publication date: 05/07/2019
Pages: 336
Sales rank: 780,035
Product dimensions: 6.20(w) x 9.00(h) x 1.40(d)

About the Author

Aysha Akhtar, M.D. is a double Board-Certified in both Neurology and Preventive Medicine and has a Master’s Degree in Public Health. She serves as Medical Officer for the Office of Counterterrorism and Emerging Threats of the Food and Drug Administration, for which she has Top Secret Security Clearance. She is an Officer (Lieutenant Commander) in the U.S. Public Health Services, in which she deploys to assist with national public health emergencies. She is also a Fellow of the Oxford Centre for Animal Ethics and is a Consultant Editor for the Journal of Animal Ethics. She is the author of Animals and Public Health and lives in Maryland.

Carl Safina's work has been recognized with MacArthur, Pew, and Guggenheim Fellowships, and his writing has won Orion, Lannan, and National Academies literary awards and the John Burroughs, James Beard, and George Rabb medals. He has a PhD in ecology from Rutgers University and he hosted the 10-part PBS series Saving the Ocean with Carl Safina. He is the author of seven books, most recently Beyond Words: What Animals Think and Feel.

Table of Contents

Foreword Carl Safina ix

Prologue xv

Part 1 Healing with Animals 1

1 What Is Home? 3

2 Finding Our Voices 35

3 Humanizing Ourselves 67

Part 2 Breaking with Animals 101

4 The Making of a Murderer 103

5 It's Just an Animal 138

6 DO We Hurt with Animals? 172

Part 3 Joining with Animals 209

7 Standing with Animals 211

8 Friends 235

Afterword 267

Notes 269

Acknowledgments 297

Index 299

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