Our Symphony with Animals: On Health, Empathy, and Our Shared Destinies

Our Symphony with Animals: On Health, Empathy, and Our Shared Destinies

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 how deeply the well-being of humans and animals are entwined.

Interwoven throughout is Dr. Akhtar’s own story of being a young girl who was bullied in school and sexually abused by her uncle. Feeling abandoned by humanity, it was only when she met Sylvester, a dog who had also been abused, that she found strength for both of them.

Against the backdrop of her inspiring story, Dr. Akhtar asks, what do we gain when we recognize our kinship with animals? She travels around the country to tell the stories of a varied cast of characters―including a former mobster, an industrial chicken farmer, a Marine veteran―and comes face to face with a serial killer.

Through storytelling that is entertaining, profound, and touching, Dr. Akhtar reveals what happens when we both break and forge bonds with animals. She demonstrates how humans are neurologically designed to empathize with animals, and how violence against them goes against our nature. In equal measure, the love and friendship we give to other species biologically reverberates back to us.

Humanity’s compassion for animals is the next step in our species’ moral evolution and a vital component of our own health. Our Symphony with Animals is the definitive account for why our relationships with animals matter.
8 pages of color photographs

“Our Symphony with Animals is a beautiful, compassionate, and important book. Dr. Akhtar deftly weaves her personal and professional experiences into the scientific story of how humans are designed to bond with animals--and the cost, to us and to the rest of animate creation, of breaking that bond. Her wonderful book is at once intimate and global, and its message is crucial: empathy with our fellow animals is vital for the health of humans and non-humans alike.”
- Sy Montgomery, author of 'How to Be a Good Creature'

Title:Our Symphony with Animals: On Health, Empathy, and Our Shared Destinies
Edition Language:English
Format Type:

    Our Symphony with Animals: On Health, Empathy, and Our Shared Destinies Reviews

  • Jennifer ~ TarHeelReader

    Dr. Aysha Akhtar is a neurologist and leader in the field of animal ethics. This book is her memoir combined with scientific fact and a deep love for animals. Reading this, I felt instantly understood...

  • Michael Howie

    I read a LOT for work. Specifically, I read a LOT about animals: scientific journals, anecdotes, social media posts, daily news briefs, books, manuscripts, and so on. It's part of my job. I got a copy...

  • Nathan

    Emotionally flaying, insightful, disarming, re-affirming. That, to begin, describes what we have here: A magnificent work of how we (that is, humans) connect with animals, how our empathy affects how ...

  • Sian Lile-Pastore

    "By eating animals, experimenting on them, and wearing them, we have embedded the practice of violence into our everyday routines." I loved this! it was so wonderful - incredibly touching and insightf...

  • Suzanne McVicker

    This was the most clearly communicated book about animals we love that I've ever read. She touches our heartstrings, yes, but also our intellect. I laughed, cried, got angry, then was sad. She brings ...

  • emmy

    I am an expert in the field of human-animal bond and a researcher in the area of animals working in therapeutic contexts. This book is reminiscent of many books that have come before it, and in our po...

  • Bobby

    Sometimes you get something in your mind about what a book is going to be like then you have to throw that out as you get into it. Our Symphony with Animals was one of those for me. Knowing that the a...

  • Pasw20878hotmail.com

    This book is gorgeously written. It's a love story for all our animal friends. I read it in two days and then sent it to my mom, who read it (loved it!) and then she gave it to my dad who read it. We ...

  • Sharyn Berg

    “Our Symphony with Animals” is a scholarly, yet interesting, and readable book about our relationships with animals, both good and bad. The author holds nothing back and part of the book is diffic...

  • January Gray

    This is a beautiful book that ALL should read, but animal lovers especially will enjoy this book. The bonds we share, and how our lives are intertwined with both domestic and wild animals....