Rewilding Our Hearts: Building Pathways of Compassion and Coexistence

New World Lib. Nov. 2014. 256p. notes. bibliog. ISBN 9781577319542. pap. $14.95. NAT HIST
Rewilding is a trendy term for the revival of an ancient concept: showing respect for the natural world, including the other animals sharing it. Bekoff (emeritus, ecology and evolutionary biology, Univ. of Colorado, Boulder; The Emotional Lives of Animals) recounts some of his experiences with wildlife and makes an appeal for maturity and compassion toward other creatures. He reminds us that in a sense we remain great apes and cannot operate outside nature and emphasizes that while humanity may be the dominant species, it is not the most important ecologically. While we often treat animals as objects, scientific research shows they display intelligence, have feelings, and even employ ethics. Bekoff advocates the use of nature as a teaching tool and play time outdoors for children. He concludes with supportive words for activists.
VERDICT Bekoff's perspective is far from the North American norm, but his arguments are strong. Readers may find themselves agreeing with some of the author's points and may even do some soul searching about our treatment of animals.
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