Richard Louv

Recipient of the Audubon Medal

Author of the International Bestseller Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children From Nature-Deficit Disorder

Reviews and Endorsements For "Our Wild Calling"

“Through fascinating stories of human-animal interaction, Richard Louv urges us to be open-minded about animals and reposition our species inside the natural world.”

—Frans de Waal, author of Mama's Last Hug: Animal Emotions and What They Tell Us about Ourselves


“Richard Louv has done it again. A remarkable book that will help everyone break away from their fixed gaze at the screens that dominate our lives and remember instead that we are animals in a world of animals.”

—Bill McKibben, author Falter: Has the Human Game Begun to Play Itself Out?


“These pages weave a wondrous tapestry in which we all are crucial threads. It’s a picture of our own creation, about a future we will share, a future we can strive to make worth living for.”

—Carl Safina, author of the New York Times bestseller Beyond Words: What Animals Think and Feel


“I wish I had written this book! In this deep exploration, Louv celebrates our essential connections to animals—in the wild, in the city, in our dreams, in our hearts.”

—Jennifer S. Holland, author of the New York Times bestselling Unlikely Friendships series


“Not just a brilliant, wise, and eloquent book, but a powerful summons to reconnect with the life all around us. Reconnecting with animals is a remedy for much of what ails modern life including loneliness and boredom.”

—David W. Orr, Paul Sears Distinguished Professor Emeritus, Oberlin College


“Powerful. A must-read for everyone who is concerned with the ways in which human animals are becoming increasingly alienated from nonhuman animals, with devastating results for all involved.”

—Marc Bekoff, author of Rewilding Our Hearts


“The timing for Our Wild Calling could not be better. Louv suggests that humans who have strong relationships with animals help their own mental health as well as possibly saving life on earth. This book is incredibly important to our future on this planet.”

—Robert Bateman, artist, naturalist, and author of Robert Bateman’s Canada


“Richard Louv continues to connect all of us to nature through his new book ... A great read for all”

—Fran P. Mainella, 16th Director of the U.S. National Park Service


"In his latest, Louv (Vitamin N: The Essential Guide to a Nature-Rich Life, 2016, etc.) expands on key themes he has addressed in his previous books: specifically, how we must engage more directly and harmoniously with nature. He offers an impassioned and compelling case for establishing a sustainable bond with animals by proactively seeking to protect them. With extensive urbanization and the devastating effects of climate change driving more wild animals outside of their traditional habitats and into the cities, the urgency is greater than ever. “Wild animals, for their solitude or independence, stay a respectable distance from us,” writes Louv. “How do we do the same for them? How do we protect the spaces in which other animals live and still watch them, connect with them, be with them? The point is not just to fulfill our human need for connectedness but to mindfully replace our destructive interactions—as individuals, as a society.” Weaving his personal experiences into accounts of his interviews with wildlife experts, psychologists, teachers, and others, the author recounts spiritual and sometimes mind-altering or life-changing encounters with various types of wild animals. These range from dogs to cattle to birds to snakes to sea creatures (a particularly interesting section involves a diver’s enigmatic meeting with a giant octopus). Louv offers glimpses of how animals can effectively communicate with their own species and remarkable examples of cross-species interactions. He further considers how interactions with animals can be therapeutic, both physically and mentally, including our increasing dependency on support animals and evidence of how animal-assisted therapy can benefit autistic children. By understanding how to effectively connect with the animal world, argues the author, we will not only reduce human and animal loneliness; ideally, we could find the key to our survival on this planet. A thoughtfully researched, poetically inspiring call to action that will resonate with a broad range of readers."

Kirkus Reviews, starred review


As Louv (The Nature Principle, 2011) points out in this fascinating book, the distractions of modern times make it difficult to fully experience life. We live in a state of loneliness, consumed by our digital distractions, unless we connect to the other animals that share our world. As in his landmark book, The Last Child in the Woods (2008), and all that followed, Louv writes of our need for immersion in nature and of how our interactions with animals can help us to save not only ourselves, but also the planet. In lyrical, sometimes mystical prose, he challenges our assumptions about how we relate to other species. A young girl asks "what is that guy saying?" when she hears a bird's alarm calls as a predator approaches the nest, sounds her mother had not distinguished from the background suburban noise. The movement of coyotes, raccoons, bears, and foxes back into human-dominated areas shows the adaptiveness of earthlings both human and otherwise. Louv interviewed scientists, theologians, and indigenous healers as he explored the many levels of communication between animals and humans. The importance of time spent with other species and the mutual acknowledgement and curiosity found in a shared interspecies gaze ultimately leads to an affirming sense of recognition between two beings."

—Nancy Bent YA: Booklist, starred review


“In this intriguing and poetic treatise, journalist Louv (Vitamin N) argues for a 'great reset' in how humans relate to the rest of the animal kingdom. Humans may feel themselves separate from other creatures, he observes, but human history and existence have always been intertwined with them, to the extent that wild animals are now adapting to urban environments. He shares stories about unexpected cross-species interactions - there's a a wonderful anecdote about an initially tense encounter between a diver and an octopus, who forge a 'nonaggression pact' - and details about the varied ways animals (and even plants) have of communicating with each other - horses, he notes, have 17 facial expressions. After that, Louv turns to subjects that include therapeutic relations between humans and animals, the inability of technology to substitute for these interactions, and how to educate the next generation about having a healthier relationship to nature. Thoughtful and hopeful, Louv's work is a stirring look at 'the blurred lines that have always existed between wild and domestic, human and other than human.'”

Publishers Weekly


“Looking at scientific research from a variety of experts, this is a compelling call to reestablish ties with the animal world. Strongly recommended for anyone feeling overwhelmed or spiritually bereft in today's society.”

—Dianna Hartle: Library Journal 


“The author of the classic Last Child in the Woods returns with a howling-good new book about the scientific, moral, ethical and spiritual need for human-animal coexistence. (Hint: It will help the animals, too.)”



“This impassioned book is well-researched and written for a range of readers. In beautiful prose, Louv tells us that we need to love and care for nature and animals in order to save ourselves and our planet. This thoughtful book is packed with new knowledge and fresh perspectives. Louv removes the mystery from the relationship between the nature and human kind if there was any. Our Wild Calling is about all of us. It was never more needed than now. It is strongly recommended for all those who care for the planet and life.”

—The Washington Book Review