SCIENCES

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

Algonquin. Nov. 2019. 320p. photos. bibliog. index. ISBN 9781616205607. $27.95; ebk. ISBN 9781643750170. NAT HIST
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Louv (Last Child in the Woods) advocates for critical anthropomorphism in his latest book. Scientists have typically been wary of attributing human characteristics to animals, but Louv argues that critical anthropomorphism can couple scientific knowledge with curiosity and imagination. This coupling can lead to a richer insight into nonhuman animal behavior and is providing a rich area of research for scientists known as human-animal interactions or anthrozoology. As humans are encountering extreme feelings of loneliness and disconnectedness, reconnecting to animals can counteract the negative repercussions of digital distraction, poor urban design, and economic insecurity, according to Louv. The author discusses animals of all types, from wildlife and urban wildlife to companion animals, and even robotic companion animals as potential anecdotes to feelings of hopelessness.
VERDICT Looking at scientific research from a variety of experts, this is a compelling call to reestablish ties with the animal world. Strongly recommended for anyone feeling overwhelmed or spiritually bereft in today’s society.

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