A leader in the fields of animal ethics and neurology, Dr. Aysha Akhtar examines the rich human-animal connection and how interspecies empathy enriches our well-being.
Deftly combining medicine, social history and personal experience, Our Symphony with Animals is the first book by a physician to show that humans and animals have a shared destiny—our well-being is deeply entwined.
Dr. Akhtar reveals how empathy for animals is the next step in our species’ moral evolution and a vital component of human health. When we include animals in our circle of empathy, we not only liberate animals, we also liberate ourselves. Drawing on the accounts of a varied cast of characters—a former mobster, a pediatrician, an industrial chicken farmer, a serial killer, and a deer hunter—to reveal what happens when we both break and forge bonds with animals.
Interwoven is Dr. Akhtar’s own story, an immigrant who was bullied in school and abused by her uncle. Feeling abandoned by humanity, it was only when she met Sylvester, a dog who had also been abused, that she find the strength to sound the alarm for them both.
Humans are neurologically designed to empathize with animals. Violence against animals goes against our nature. In equal measure, the love we give to animals biologically reverberates back to us. Our Symphony with Animals is the definitive account for why our relationships with animals matter.