Kindred Spirits

One Animal Family

Title Details

Pages: 264

Illustrations: 12 color images

Trim size: 6.000in x 9.000in



Pub Date: 06/01/2021

ISBN: 9-780-8203-5957-1

List Price: $26.95

Kindred Spirits

One Animal Family

How is science helping us understand and reimagine human-animal relationships?

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  • Description
  • Reviews

In Kindred Spirits, Anne Benvenuti visits with individuals and groups working in animal conservation, rescue, and sanctuary programs around the world. We meet not only cats and dogs but also ravens, elephants, cheetahs, whales, farm and circus animals, monkeys, even bees. A psychologist and storyteller, Benvenuti focuses on moments of transformative contact between humans and other animals, portraying vividly the resulting ripples that change the lives of both animals and humans. Noting that we are all biologically members of one animal family, she expertly weaves emergent understandings of animal and human neurobiology, showing that the ways in which other animals feel and think are actually similar to humans. Love, grief, fear, rage, sadness, curiosity, play: these are shared by us all, a key insight of affective neuroscience that informs Benvenuti’s perceptions of human-animal relationships. She effortlessly drops clues to understanding human motivation and behavior into her narratives, and points to ways in which we all—other animals and humans alike—must come up with creative responses to problems such as climate change.

As we travel with her to both backyard and far-flung locations, we experience again and again the surprising fact that other animals reach back to us, with curiosity, interest, even care. Benvenuti writes for the animal-loving public but also for anyone who loves a good story, or is interested in ecology, animal welfare, psychology, or philosophy.

Anne Benvenuti weaves emergent understandings of animal and human neurobiology, showing the similarities in how we all think and feel.

—Marc Bekoff, Psychology Today

Kindred Spirits is an emotional read that helps us better appreciate not only what it means to be an animal but also what it means to be human. In Benvenuti’s quest to understand the motivations of human-animal relationships, she asks the important question of what, if anything, separates the two. For collective members of a planet, on which both the physical space and attitudes about it are changing dramatically, Kindred Spirits is a most welcome addition.

—Walter Szanyi, Journal of American Folklore