Our Wild Calling Book Summary - Our Wild Calling Book explained in key points
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Our Wild Calling summary

Richard Louv

How Connecting with Animals Can Transform Our Lives—and Save Theirs

4.4 (45 ratings)
19 mins

Brief summary

Our Wild Calling by Richard Louv explores the relationship between humans and animals and the importance of reconnecting with nature. The book challenges readers to recognize the emotional and spiritual bond we share with all living things and offers practical ways to embrace it.

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    Our Wild Calling
    Summary of 6 key ideas

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    Appreciating the beauty of wild animals encourages us to protect them

    A brief encounter with a wild animal might change your life forever. The author’s life-changing moment happened when he was on Kodiak Island, Alaska. One night, he was strolling by a lakeside when he noticed a pair of bright eyes staring at him from the darkness. He was face to face with a huge black fox that was as large as a coyote. 

    He and the fox silently considered each other, neither wanting anything from the other, except the electrifying experience of being in each other’s presence. Eventually, the author even spoke to the fox, and asked if it wanted to accompany him to the cabin where he was headed. Incredibly, the fox followed. Just before they got to the cabin, the fox melted away into the long grass.

    This is the key message: Appreciating the beauty of wild animals encourages us to protect them. 

    The author can’t remember many of the people he met that summer on the island, but he’s always remembered his brief moment with the black fox. Over the years, he’s had other meaningful encounters with animals, too. 

    One year at his summer house, he observed a colony of ground squirrels who lived in his garden. He came to appreciate the rhythms of their life; the way their infants played together, how hard the squirrels worked to survive each day. Eventually, he saw these humble ground squirrels as beautiful. 

    Appreciating the beauty of other species can help transform our relationship with the whole of the natural world. 

    How? Well, Norwegian ecophilosopher Arne Naess differentiates between acting morally and acting beautifully. When we act out of a sense of moral obligation, we do so through gritted teeth. We’re going against what we want to do, but we do it because it’s the right thing to do. On the other hand, when we act in a beautiful way, we do something moral because we want to; the moral action is in harmony with our true inclinations. 

    We can appreciate the beauty of other animals by identifying and empathizing with them. This feeling of empathy must replace any sense we have of superiority to animals, and certainly any sense of alienation from them. Only when we identify with other species can we feel a genuine desire to protect them from harm. When this happens, protecting them and the natural world becomes a beautiful act that we want to carry out. In other words, we must act because we care, not just from moral obligation. 

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    What is Our Wild Calling about?

    Our Wild Calling (2020) examines how humans and other animals can enjoy mutually beneficial relationships. It explores stories and philosophy from the ecological movement, and outlines how we can move toward a more hopeful future for all Earthlings. 

    Our Wild Calling Review

    Our Wild Calling (2019) explores the profound connection between humans and animals and why it's important to reconnect with nature. Here's why this book is worth reading:

    • Offers a fresh perspective on the role of animals in our lives, illustrating how they can enrich us emotionally, mentally, and spiritually.
    • Explores scientific research and real-life stories, showcasing the profound impact of animals on our well-being and the importance of conservation.
    • Challenges societal norms and encourages readers to reconnect with nature to improve mental health, foster empathy, and cultivate a sense of belonging.

    Who should read Our Wild Calling?

    • Nature lovers looking for inspiration
    • Office dwellers seeking ways to reconnect with nature
    • Anyone looking for direct ways to respond to global climate change

    About the Author

    Richard Louv is an author and journalist, whose interests center around connecting families and communities to nature. He is also the cofounder of the nonprofit organization Children & Nature Network. Louv’s work has appeared in The New York Times, as well as other publications, and in 2008 he was awarded the Audubon Medal. 

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    Our Wild Calling FAQs 

    What is the main message of Our Wild Calling?

    Our Wild Calling reminds us of the deep connection we share with animals and the importance of reconnecting with nature.

    How long does it take to read Our Wild Calling?

    The reading time for Our Wild Calling varies, but it typically takes a few hours. The Blinkist summary can be read in 15 minutes.

    Is Our Wild Calling a good book? Is it worth reading?

    Our Wild Calling is worth reading for its insightful exploration of our relationship with animals and nature. A must-read for nature enthusiasts!

    Who is the author of Our Wild Calling?

    Richard Louv is the author of Our Wild Calling.

    What to read after Our Wild Calling?

    If you're wondering what to read next after Our Wild Calling, here are some recommendations we suggest:
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    • Getting The Love You Want by Harville Hendrix
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    • The Mental Toughness Handbook by Damon Zahariades