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Entangled Empathy

An Alternative Ethic for Our Relationships with Animals

Lori Gruen

In Entangled Empathy, scholar and activist Lori Gruen argues that rather than focusing on animal “rights,” we ought to work to make our relationships with animals right by empathetically responding to their needs, interests, desires, vulnerabilities, hopes, and unique perspectives. Pointing out that we are already entangled in complex and life-altering relationships with other animals, Gruen guides readers through a new way of thinking about—and practicing—animal ethics.

Gruen describes entangled empathy as a type of caring perception focused on attending to another’s experience of well-being. It is an experiential process involving a blend of emotion and cognition in which we recognize we are in relationships with others and are called upon to be responsive and responsible in these relationships by attending to another. When we engage in entangled empathy we are transformed and in that transformation we can imagine less violent, more meaningful ways of being together.

This book is also available as an audiobook here.

"Entangled Empathy shows us how to think more clearly and act more ably, and it also brings us back into felt awareness of the web of relationships in which we live. That’s the beautiful bonus of this way of being in the world."—pattrice jones, co-founder of VINE sanctuary and author of The Oxen at the Intersection

"I hope Entangled Empathy enjoys the wide readership that it deserves. A focus on empathy is just what is needed to make the world a better place for all animals, human and non-human alike."—Marc Bekoff, author of Rewilding our Hearts

144 pp.  
5" x 8"

Lantern Books


Published:  January 2014


Lori Gruen is Professor of Philosophy and Coordinator of Wesleyan Animal Studies at Wesleyan University. She is the author of Ethics and Animals and co-editor, with Carol Adams, of Ecofeminism: Feminist Intersections with Animals and the Earth. See all books by Lori Gruen

Related Titles

  • An Art for the Other : The Animal in Philosophy and Art
  • Related Titles by Subject:

    Animal Advocacy: Animal Rights ; Animal Advocacy: Social Questions and

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