• Title: Animals as Guides for the Soul: Stories of Life-Changing Encounters
  • Author: Susan Chernak McElroy
  • Released: 1998-10-06
  • Language: English
  • Pages: 291
  • ISBN: 0345424034
  • ISBN13: 978-0345424037
  • ASIN: 0345424034
From Publishers Weekly In her Animals as Teachers and Healers (1997), McElroy attributed her recovery from cancer in part to a kitten's grace and to her totem animal (Gaia, a wolf), who helped her visualize healing. Here, she explores spirituality and communication in the human-animal relationship. McElroy describes her family at Brightstar Farm in WyomingAincluding the cats Bear, Evinrude and Mirella; Arrow, the dog; Phaedra, the llama who taught her about love; and Pumpkin, the cockatoo. There are heartwarming stories from readers, chronicling their own interactions with animals. McElroy discusses the death of a pet, grief and guilt over the loss and how to deal with it. A missionary fervor seems to pervade her plea to transform our relationship with animals, as McElroy seeks to formulate a creed that will put humans and animals on an equal footing. Whatever one thinks of that belief, few will deny that McElroy offers bountiful food for thought and meditation. Author tour.
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From School Library Journal YA-Looking at the relationship between humans and the animals in their lives, McElroy asserts that "Nothing that happens between humans and animals is separate from what happens in every other aspect of human life. Who we are with animals mirrors who we are." Through vivid anecdotes of her life on an Oregon farm, and with touching stories shared by readers of her previous book, Animals as Teachers and Healers (Ballantine, 1997), the author writes sensitively about grief and remorse experienced at the loss of pets; euthanasia; emotional pain occasioned by witnessing cruelty to animals (and ways to address these situations); the ethics of using animals in service to humans; the meaning of animals when they appear in dreams; and the joyful lessons animals can teach. Not simply a personal statement, the book relates these concerns to cultural changes, as Western science and spirituality are now outgrowing many old beliefs about the psychology, intelligence, and emotional nature of animals. Recognizing and respecting the complexity of human ethical concerns regarding animals, McElroy does not push a particular agenda but attempts to understand and tolerate the different positions people may take. This is an invaluable resource for teens wishing to understand and explore their feelings about animals, and to make informed and appropriate decisions concerning their relationships with them.
Christine C. Menefee, Fairfax County Public Library, VA
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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