Author(s): Carl Safina
Long before his work as an ocean conservationist, Carl Safina's childhood by the long island shore launched a life-long passion for animals. Since then, his collected work has sought to inspire respect and improved understanding for wildlife. In his wise and passionate new book, Safina delves deeply into the lives of animals, witnessing their profound capacity for perception, thought, and emotion. Weaving observation with new understanding of brain functioning, his narrative erases many previously held distinctions between humans and other animals. Who we are as individuals depends on who we are to others, and on who others are to us. Relationships define us. Certain non-humans, too, live lives focused around rich social relationships. If tragedy befalls key individuals, survivors confront lasting repercussions. Like us, these animals know who they are. In Beyond Words, readers travel from Kenya to visit the Sheldrake elephant orphanage, to Yellowstone National Park to observe free-living wolves sorting out the aftermath of their personal tragedy, to the whales of Hero Strait off of Vancouver. Safina delivers a graceful examination of how animals truly think and feel, which calls to question what really does -and should- make us human.
Hailed conservationist Carl Safina examines animal personhood as told through the inspired narrative portraits of elephants, wolves, and dolphins.
Carl Safina's work has been recognized with MacArthur, Pew, and Guggenheim Fellowships, and his writing has won Orion, Lannan, and National Academies literary awards and the John Burroughs, James Beard, and George Rabb medals. He has a PhD in ecology from Rutgers University. Safina is the inaugural holder of the endowed chair for nature and humanity at Stony Brook University, where he co-chairs the steering committee of the Alan Alda Center for Communicating Science and is founding president of the not-for-profit Safina Center. He hosted the 10-part PBS series "Saving the Ocean" with Carl Safina. His writing appears in "The New York Times," "National Geographic," "Audubon," "Orion," " "and other periodicals and on the Web at National Geographic News and Views, Huffington Post, and CNN.com. "Beyond Words" is his seventh book. He lives on Long Island, New York.