On the topic of non-human animal sentience, Carl Safina is one of the most experienced observers and gifted communicators in the world.
The renowned ecologist turned bestselling author has penned 10 books about our human relationship to nature and her myriad species. For example, in Becoming Wild: How Animal Cultures Raise Families, Create Beauty, and Achieve Peace (Macmillion 2020), Carl offers a form of deep Earth journalism that brings readers up close to the rituals and activities of beings with whom we share the Earth but rarely personally encounter. His writing is breathtaking, instilling the kind of awe humans must rekindle if we are to halt further damage to our animal kin and the natural systems that support life on Earth.
In this interview, Carl shares some of the remarkable encounters he’s been privileged to experience, with elephants, sperm whales, chimpanzees and owls, as well as the beloved animals that began it all for him – seabirds. He warns us of the consequences of the mistakes we’re making, teaches us about the living beauty that persists, and calls us to moral action.
More: Carl is the first Endowed Professor for Nature and Humanity at Stony Brook University and founder of the not-for-profit Safina Center. He is the recipient of countless awards, including a 2021 Legacy Award from Defenders of Wildlife (USA) that recognizes his decades of advocating for the preservation of biodiversity. His writing about the living world has won a MacArthur “genius” prize, Pew, and Guggenheim Fellowships; book awards from Lannan, Orion, and the National Academies; and the John Burroughs, James Beard, and George Rabb medals.
Intro music: "The Spaces Between" by Scott Buckley.
Interstitial music: "Cosmic Sunrise" by Stellardrone.
Photo: The Safina Center.