“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.
In this intriguing and poetic treatise, journalist Louv (Vitamin N) argues for a "great reset" in how humans relate to the rest of the animal kingdom. Humans may feel themselves separate from other creatures, he observes, but human history and existence have always been intertwined with them, to the extent that wild animals are now adapting to urban environments. He shares stories about unexpected cross-species interactions there's a wonderful anecdote about an initially tense encounter between a diver and an octopus, who forge a "nonaggression pact" and details about the varied ways animals (and even plants) have of communicating with each other horses, he notes, have 17 facial expressions. After that, Louv turns to subjects that include therapeutic relations between humans and animals, the inability of technology to substitute for these interactions, and how to educate the next generation about having a healthier relationship to nature. Thoughtful and hopeful, Louv's work is a stirring look at "the blurred lines that have always existed between wild and domestic, human and other than human."