chapter  9
18 Pages

Being with Animals

WithDavid E. Cooper

This final chapter asks how a person may respond to the truth of misanthropy through relating to animals in appropriate ways. After criticising approaches that regard rationality and consistency in our treatment of animals as the primary aim, the discussion turns to ways of being with animals through which people become more mindful of and attuned to the lives of animals. These include having pets, feeding wild birds and reading works by authors whose own attunement to animals is palpable. A final section argues that appropriate and authentic ways of being with animals militate against various human failings, foster the virtue of spontaneity and cultivate a sense of the mystery of the world as an antidote to the collective hubris of humankind.