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Our Symphony with Animals
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About the Author

Aysha Akhtar, M.D., M.P.H., is double Board-Certified in both Neurology and Preventive Medicine and has a Master's Degree in Public Health. She is the Deputy Director of the Army's Traumatic Brain Injury Program. Previously, she worked for the Office of Counterterrorism and Emerging Threats of the Food and Drug Administration. She is a Lieutenant Commander in the U.S. Public Health Service, in which she deploys to assist with national public health emergencies. She is also a Fellow of the Oxford Centre for Animal Ethics and is a Consultant Editor for the Journal of Animal Ethics. She is the author of Animals and Public Health and lives in Maryland.

Reviews

"Our Symphony with Animals is a beautiful, compassionate, and important book. Dr. Akhtar deftly weaves her personal and professional experiences into the scientific story of how humans are designed to bond with animals--and the cost, to us and to the rest of animate creation, of breaking that bond. Her wonderful book is at once intimate and global, and its message is crucial: empathy with our fellow animals is vital for the health of humans and non-humans alike." -- Sy Montgomery, author of 'How to Be a Good Creature'
"A heartfelt call for compassion for all living species." -- Kirkus Reviews
"Akhtar uses personal childhood trauma to launch a thoughtful discussion of the extent of, and limits to, human empathy toward animals. Akhtar's book draws a sobering but hopeful picture of what has been done and what remains to be done to improve animals' lives." -- Publishers Weekly
"An important and illuminating work." -- Booklist
"After reading Our Symphony with Animals, I suggest you spend some time having a friendly talk with a sweet dog like Akhtar's childhood friend Sylvester. It will do both of you good." -- Washington Independent Review of Books
"In her eye-opening and touching account, Aysha Akhtar takes us from one example to another of animals making our lives better. Being there for us without judgment regardless of the circumstances, animals have an immense healing power that science is only beginning to grasp." -- Frans de Waal, author of Mama's Last Hug: Animal Emotions and What They Tell Us about Ourselves
"A memoir, an informational text, and a paean to the joys of sharing our lives with animals." -- Bookreporter
"A timely and necessary book that sheds light on how far animals will go to help us, and how much better we need to treat them in return. This deeply affecting book reveals just how important animals are to human health and happiness." -- Shelf Awareness
"This is a superb, captivating book. Combining memoir, investigative journalism, and science, Aysha Akhtar has produced a marvelous exploration of our troubled, evolving relationship with animals. Themes of vulnerability, injustice, redemption, and love are woven into a moving narrative that drew me in and kept me hungrily turning the pages." -- Jonathan Balcombe, author of What a Fish Knows: The Inner Lives of Our Underwater Cousins
"In her deeply personal and highly readable book, full of stories that surely will move readers all over the place, Dr. Aysha Akhtar seamlessly weaves humorous and touching moments along with the latest research on animal-human relationships. She shows why the development of close relationships with other animals that are filled with trust, respect, compassion, empathy, and love are mutually beneficial and a win-win for all. Highly recommended for a global audience." -- Marc Bekoff, co-author of The Animals: Agenda: Freedom, Compassion, and Coexistence in the Human Age
"In a heartfelt and urgent call to action, Aysha Akhtar shows how the lives of humans and animals are intertwined." -- Gregory Berns, author of How Dogs Love Us

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