In the past, animals had worth to people only if they were edible, could carry heavy loads obediently or had some other practical use. Recently, however, we have started to realise what we have lost through the extinction of so many wild creatures. Every step we take away from nature we pay for with a loss of understanding and wisdom. What we persecute and exterminate in the outer world we, also, eradicate in our souls. The highly stigmatised wolf, brought nearly to extinction by humans, is one part of our natural world whose value and wisdom we are just beginning to understand. In Kinship with the Wolf , Tanja Askani reveals a new facet of relating to wolves and to the world as a whole. Unlike other wolf researchers who strive to dominate these vicious predators and who measure their success by how much the wolf pack obeys them, Askani bases her wolf relationships on broad respect and kwledge as well as extraordinary empathy and love. She reveals a new picture of the wolf as a highly intelligent, social, sensitive creature that brings inestimable value to healthy natural systems. Her respect for the pack's automous rules and her sensitivity to the wolves' changing feelings and moods clearly distinguishes her from others who work with wolves. Her ability to communicate with and relate to wolves is a model of how we can respond to the intelligent complexity of life with care, respect and wisdom and how we can maintain an intensive connection to the natural world without exercising human dominance. She dispels the myths of the wolf as a blood-thirsty predator and shows the spiritual importance of connecting to the creatures of the natural world.
Tanja Askani has been bonding with animals since she was a child. She established the first wolf pack in the Luneburger Heide Wildlife Preserve in 1998 and continues to care for its wolf packs in addition to many other animals. She lives in Germany.