In the Autumn of 2018, biologist and award-winning author Tiina Raevaara found herself exhausted and anguished, with her mind dark like a Finland November. She did, however, find comfort in the company of her dog, Igor. She started pondering the reasons for her exhaustion and, simultaneously, the evolution of the human species and its relation to other animals.
The current ascendancy of mankind is, according to Raevaara, not a result of humanity’s innate superiority, but, in fact, a result of its connections and relationships to other species. Ours is not a story of a purpose-driven humankind achieving its predominance in grand solitude, but of a humanity which has striven for connections with other animals.
In her new book Me, My Dog, and Humanity, Raevaara compellingly describes the coexistence between humans and animals, both personally and from the perspective of humankind, and seeks answers to a number of questions:
• Why does an exhausted person prefer to spend time with their dog than other people?
• Why do animals arouse such strong empathy in us?
• What does the human-animal connection mean from the perspective of evolution and humanity?
The domesticated dog is a much older creation of humankind than agriculture, religion or even writing. Mapping out the mutual journey between humans and dogs, Raevaara sheds light on the most fundamental essences of humanity and its relationship with nature.