Leaving the Wild: The Unnatural History of Dogs, Cats, Cows, and Horses

Gavin Ehringer has been studying animals and writing about them for more than 25 years. He grew up next to a game farm and spent his young adult years working on a ranch; he is also an accomplished dog trainer. In Leaving the Wild, he explores four common animal species--dogs, cats, cows and horses--expressing his admiration and passion for these beautiful creatures who have given up the wild in order to share their lives with humans. "Understanding how once wild animals came to live in barnyards and under our roofs helps us... to better understand our own place in the world." Are people really living up to their end of the bargain in caring for and protecting these animals? Are humans making proper provisions for the well-being and ethical treatment of animals?

Ehringer (100 Best Ranch Vacations in North America) makes a case that "animals who left the wild made a very good choice. Their value to us has ensured their survival." However, he also believes that "human values shape animals." In some instances, those values can be distorted and accountability can fall by the wayside. Thus, this informative, entertaining narrative raises red flags and outlines causes for concern. Animal devotees will be eager to explore Ehringer's interpretative research that blends natural history, human history, personal experience and science. His engrossing study presents ways humans can set and maintain high ethical and moral standards for the breeding and care of our animal partners now and in the future. --Kathleen Gerard, blogger at Reading Between the Lines

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