our wild calling by richard louv
Recipes and Reads

Recommended Reading: Our Wild Calling

May 31, 2020
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Now that camping season is getting into gear, it’s time to find some good reads to put aside for once the hiking day is over. 

You’ll want to add Richard Louv’s Our Wild Calling to that stack of books!

(If you haven’t read our first Recommended Reading, Where the Crawdads Sing, add that one, too.)

Our Wild Calling

by Richard Louv

Non-Fiction, 273 pages + 35 pages of acknowledgements, notes, and index 

Camping weekends are often the best time to read non-fiction books that include research because you have time to read and digest the information carefully, without distractions. 

Our Wild Calling is an interesting blend of first-account stories of wild animal encounters, validated research about animal behavior and relationships, and the history of how people have used and communicated with animals. 

Richard Louv blends these elements together to create a narrative of what was, what is, and what may be to come with the relationship between animals (both wild and domestic) and people. He looks at ways we can appreciate their beauty and complexities, while still giving them the space they need to thrive. 

Louv also examines how animals have made a significant health impact on people through assistive therapies, and how wild animals are encroaching into more populated suburban and urban areas as we slowly move into their territory.

What I liked best about this book was Louv’s ability to move from technical research from respected institutions to his personal conversations with everyone from his neighbors to wildlife biologists. He was able to weave all of it into a very hopeful, optimistic view of how our relationship with animals can bring about positive results for both of us. 

My favorite quote from the book comes at the end: 

...Our times call for the adoption of a basic principle that embraces both survival and joy. We might call this the reciprocity principle: For every moment of healing that humans receive from another creature, humans will provide an equal moment of healing for that animal and its kin. For every acre of wildlife habitat that we take, we will preserve or create at least another acre for wildness...

Louv is no stranger to nature and wildlife. He’s written 10 other nature-focused books, penned numerous articles, co-founded a non-profit, and been awarded the prestigious Audubon Medal “in recognition of outstanding achievement in the field of conservation and environmental protection. 

If you’re reading our site, it’s likely you enjoy the outdoors and wildlife. Our Wild Calling is most certainly a Recommended Reading for you this camping season!

Ready to get out and about? We are, too! See how we spent some of our stay-at-home time.
While we were home, we did find a snappy product to take on the road. Here’s what we tested.