UserpicThe Kindness of Beasts

Here is a link to an article of mine that came out today in Aeon Magazine - the new digital magazine of ideas and culture.

4 comments 4 comments ( 3102 views )

No Userpicjaya
Dear Mr. Rowlands,
Following is a facebook post i did after reading your book, which really took me beyond myself. Am posting it here as such, because, converting it to a first person letter, might not sound very good. This is my humble tribute to your book.

I have always wondered about the word love. Is it really there? When I analyse the different kinds of love we humans feel at different stages of life, love for parents, love for your romantic partner, love for your children, love for your pets, love for your belongings, your hobbies, your passions. Aren’t all of these loves conditional? Maybe in varying degrees, maybe not always, maybe not reward based. But conditional, it is. However delicate or meagre the conditions are.
Love of the author, Mark Rowlands, for his magnificent wolf, Brenin, also would have been conditional. (pardon me, sir). But true to every word written in the reviews it was (is) profound, extra ordinary and complete. It was not unilinear. It was a full circle. The intensity of the book, the depth of the learnings it gives you, its honesty, candidness and mellowness will astound you. After a sizeable number of books since the time I was six, this is one book that reached to an unfathomable bottom of my heart, and made my eyes well up with a mix of emotions I still am not able to name fully.
True, I am an animal lover, as the author says, maybe I too would have been an animal in my previous birth, who knows. But I guess this book will touch any person with a gentleness of heart and an experience into the pure emotion called love, however subtly conditional it is. This book will make you happy you loved someone, two legged or four legged, and help you get more enriched through that love. It will help you cherish love more, it will lead you to answers to many of the ‘why’s you asked yourself about your own self.
It’s a truly amazing book ( a word I dint see in the reviews, perhaps it was not this fashionable in 2008) and those who have the inclination to read, please read this book.

No UserpicMarty
Hello Mark,
I am reading the Philosopher and the Wolf and I really appreciate it so much. Your book puts into words what I have been feeling and thinking for quite a long time, but I was never able to put order in these feelings, they were somehow too strong but remained without any wording. That is strange, isn\\\'t it?
And now I have read The Kindness of Beasts: I am not familiar with philosophy and philosophical issues, but i understand that you are using your knowledge in a way that also non-philosophers may follow your thoughts - thank you for doing so and thank you for speaking out for animals!

UserpicMark Rowlands
Thank you very much for your generous comments, Boris/Nicky. I hope life is treating you well in the Yorkshire Dales.

No UserpicBoris - my wolf
Hello Mark
I\\\'m new to blogging but feel compelled to write something in response to this excellent article. It seems indisputable that animals not only have compassion and empathy but also that communication is not limited to speech - and that more communication inter species should be possible. Not just commands or threats - but attempts to understand and hopefully not linked to electrocuting rats either!
I live in the Yorkshire Dales and my day this morning started with the sound of screams. A group of teenage pigs heading for the slaughter house in a lorry coming along our narrow lane.There is no doubt that they were terrified and calling for help - of course, no one heard them. But as someone one said \\\'every day is a Holocaust for animals\\\' and I was reminded of that.
I loved the Philosopher and the Wolf. At the time I was an Ethics and Philosophy teacher and recommended it to all of my kids who all went away better people for reading it! Thank you and keep up the good work.