Our Wild Calling: How Connecting with Animals Can Transform Our Lives-and Save Theirs

Our Wild Calling: How Connecting with Animals Can Transform Our Lives-and Save Theirs

by Richard Louv
Our Wild Calling: How Connecting with Animals Can Transform Our Lives-and Save Theirs

Our Wild Calling: How Connecting with Animals Can Transform Our Lives-and Save Theirs

by Richard Louv



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“A book that offers hope.” 
The New York Times Book Review

“Richard Louv has done it again. A remarkable book that will help everyone break away from their fixed gaze at the screens that dominate our lives and remember instead that we are animals in a world of animals.” —Bill McKibben, author of Falter

Richard Louv’s landmark book, Last Child in the Woods, inspired an international movement to connect children and nature. Now Louv redefines the future of human-animal coexistence. Our Wild Calling explores these powerful and mysterious bonds and how they can transform our mental, physical, and spiritual lives, serve as an antidote to the growing epidemic of human loneliness, and help us tap into the empathy required to preserve life on Earth. Louv interviews researchers, theologians, wildlife experts, indigenous healers, psychologists, and others to show how people are communicating with animals in ancient and new ways; how dogs can teach children ethical behavior; how animal-assisted therapy may yet transform the mental health field; and what role the human-animal relationship plays in our spiritual health. He reports on wildlife relocation and on how the growing populations of wild species in urban areas are blurring the lines between domestic and wild animals.
Our Wild Calling makes the case for protecting, promoting, and creating a sustainable and shared habitat for all creatures—not out of fear, but out of love. Transformative and inspiring, this book points us toward what we all long for in the age of technology: real connection.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781643750170
Publisher: Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill
Publication date: 11/05/2019
Sold by: Hachette Digital, Inc.
Format: eBook
Pages: 320
Sales rank: 483,034
File size: 2 MB

About the Author

Richard Louv is a journalist and author of ten books, including Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children from Nature-Deficit Disorder, The Nature Principle, and Vitamin N. Translated into twenty languages, his books have helped launch an international movement to connect children, families, and communities to nature. He is cofounder and chair emeritus of the nonprofit Children & Nature Network, which supports a new nature movement. Louv has written for the New York Times, Outside magazine, Orion Magazine, Parents, and many other publications. He appears regularly on national radio and TV, and lectures throughout the world. In 2008, he was awarded the Audubon Medal. Prior recipients have included Rachel Carson, E. O. Wilson, President Jimmy Carter, and Sir David Attenborough.

Table of Contents

Introduction: A Mystery 1

Part 1 Beautiful Acts: Life-Changing Encounters with Species Not Our Own 5

1 In the Family of Animals 7

2 The Aching Heart 14

Species Loneliness 16

An Altered View of Human Exceptionalism 19

3 The Mind-Altering Power of Deep Animal Connection 23

Habitat of the Heart 24

The Land of Giant Ants, an Unexpected Urchin, and a Moving Protozoan 27

Crossing Over 31

4 The Octopus Who Stopped Time 33

Time Bending 35

Resetting Our Sense of Wonder 38

Part 2 What the Wild Heart Still Knows: The Art and Science of Communicating with Other Animals 43

5 Becoming the Grasshopper 45

Wearing the Shoes of the Snake (Critical Anthropomorphism) 48

6 Intimacy Is All around Us 53

Beyond the Threshold 55

Have You Ever Seen a Box Turtle Drink? 58

7 Earth's Oldest Language 62

Call and Response 63

Hanging Out in the Tatooine Cantina 68

The Song of the Wild 70

8 How to Talk with Birds 74

What the Animals Say 75

Awakening the Seventh Sense 80

Back to the Garden 85

9 Playing Well with the Others 86

The Labrador Retriever of Primates 87

How Elephants Taught Sven Everything He Needed to Know about Business 90

Part 3 How We Co-Become: Wonderdogs and Werecats, Therapy Lizards and Robot Pets 95

10 More Than Human 97

The Wild, the Domestic, and the Distorted 99

11 The Animal Lover 103

Who's Raising Whom? 104

The Dog Who Taught Ethics 109

Homo homini lupus 112

12 Reptiles and Ambivalence 117

Wild Blood Transfusion 119

Herping, USA 122

13 The Boy Who Said Horse 125

Naomi and Koba 128

Animal-Assisted Self-Care 133

Wildlife, Therapy, and the Pet Effect 136

14 The Replacements: Do We Really Need Animals? 142

Digital Dog and the Internet of Cows 144

Escape from Uncanny Valley 150

An Alternative Universe 154

Do They Love Us Back? 156

Part 4 The Age of Connectedness: Creating a Home for All Creatures 159

15 New Ways to Live Together 161

Notes from the Animal Underground 163

Can't We All Live Together? 167

A New Contract for Cohabitation 171

16 The Betweens 174

Arrival of the Neophiles 178

How Coyotes Conquered America 182

That'll Be a Caramel Macchiato for Me and an Espresso for the Bear 186

17 Welcome to Symbiocene City 190

Designing for Peaceful Coexistence 191

Doglandia 195

Texting Pachyderms and the Bats of Bendigo 198

The Raccoons Next Door 202

18 The New Noahs 205

Zealandia 210

Mammoth Thoughts 214

Lost World Found 217

Part 5 Wild Souls: Love, Humility, and the Principle of Reciprocity 223

19 Dreaming Animals 225

Avatars, Symbols, and Messengers 226

The Man with the Crow Tattoo 231

The Spirit of the Brahminy Kite 235

In Fire and Smoke 241

20 The Peaceable Kingdom 244

The Right to Be 248

21 Learning and Teaching in a School of Animals 253

Animal Class 255

Ten Ways to Love the World 258

An Older Way of Learning 261

22 The Bear 265

Beyond the Horizon 268

Our Calling 272

Acknowledgments 274

Notes 275

Suggested Reading 293

Index 297

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