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The Soul of All Living Creatures: What Animals Can Teach Us About Being Human Kindle Edition
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|Length: 242 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
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Top Customer Reviews
Then there is the story of a child who overwhelms her favorite kitten with too much affection. Vint Virga has some good ideas about how to calm anxious kitties. Then the stories go on with one about a dog who exhibits obsessive compulsive disorder. Although no hint is given as to how this dog was helped. The chapter does however focus a lot of time on the human brain.
What I noticed most about this lovely book is the creative writing style. Vint Virga really captures every nuance of each experience with various animals including wolves and tigers. He also talks a bit about how zoos prevent animals from going extinct, especially ocelots.
I think if you love animals you will be fascinated by this book. You will get a behind the scenes look at how vets care for animals in zoos, homes and in the wild. The best story in this book is about how a mouse is saved in a rain storm.
~The Rebecca Review
Although this book covers a lot of ground, the author's philosophical musings failed to move. I was hoping for the level of emotion the author evoked in the introduction, with the story of Pongo, a young dog struck by a car. The animal literally seemed to revive and recover due to the power of love. It spoke volumes about the author, a vet willing to give more than medical treatment and to a dog, whose spirit was drawn by the warmth of human contact. I was touched by the sadness of the depressed and stressed leopards but most of the stories were mundane and not especially memorable. Still there are hints of brilliance when the author grapples with shocking violence of predation and the brutality of slaughterhouses and animal experimentation. But it sinks into bittersweet melancholy.
I am not sure I agree with his zen observations and it is really time to retire some of the old stories , ie 3 blind men and the elephant, the last strawberry before you die, etc. At one point the author suggests that due to the many different breeds of dog, animals are no longer able to communicate as a pack. An evening watching Cesar Milan would certainly dispute that. Some of his conclusions are contradictory and confusing. At one point he states that dogs do not feel guilty but respond expressively to their owners cues.Read more ›
Unfortunately the book is not easy reading. Author Virga writes in long, complicated sentences, and digresses too often into well-worn paths of Buddhist philosophy. Many of the parables he quotes are too well-known and told at too great length. This reviewer would have liked to hear more about the animals themselves, and less of Dr. Virga's speculations about their possible feelings and motivations. Still, there's a lot of value in this book and I'm glad I read it. I recommend it, but if you're looking for short colorful anecdotes about cute animals, you may be disappointed. Reviewed by Louis N. Gruber.
Subtitled "What Animals Can Teach Us About Being Human," this book does that but it also teaches us more about animals, how close they are in emotions to humans, how they react to different situations, how their lives are more complex than the casual observer would ever guess.
One of the passages I could most relate to:
"When I watch others eat, I find it curious how absently most people cut at their steak, tear off a chicken wing, or gnaw at a bone, without a thought about their prey, the abattoir, the life that passed. I don't believe it's done with intention. It's just that meat is removed from its source - a fragment of another being."
Don't let me lead you into thinking this is a book about vegetarianism. It is not. But there are so many observations that I felt when I became a vegetarian that I could really connect to the book and the author.
The author is a consultant to zoos, and this leads to a quandary. Do we really have the right to keeps animals in cages, no matter how glorified, in order to protect the species as a whole? The author seems to think so. I'm not so convinced. One of the saddest stories in the book, the one that almost made me cry, was about a snow leopard so out of her element that her spirit had left her body. No one, animal or human, should have to live like that. And then there was the lonely whale.
The allegories in the book were not as appealing to me.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Although it may seem like a simple collection of stories, I've led my university "Tao of Animal" class through numerous deep discussions about the ideas in this text. Read morePublished 5 months ago by Season Ellison
I cannot recommend this work enough.
7. Read more
Good book for animal lovers who want to understand them better.Published 10 months ago by DivaHerHighness
A very interesting book and gives you much to think about....Sometimes a little technical, but that's OK.Published 11 months ago by Marcy K
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