Melanie Challenger on Listening to Other Species
This Week from the Emergence Magazine Podcast
Emergence Magazine is an online publication with annual print edition exploring the threads connecting ecology, culture, and spirituality. As we experience the desecration of our lands and waters, the extinguishing of species, and a loss of sacred connection to the Earth, we look to emerging stories. Our podcast features exclusive interviews, narrated essays, stories and more.
How might our human systems work differently if they were adapted to receive input from the nonhuman creatures they involve and impact? In this week’s narrated essay, writer and ethicist Melanie Challenger considers what it would take to expand the democratic imagination to include and represent animal voices in the decisions that affect them. Advocating for a quieting of our own narratives so that we might recognize political signals from the behaviors of the vast community around us, she envisions the revolutionary mechanisms which could make present the expressions of animals within our systems of power.
Read this story on our website.
Melanie Challenger works as a researcher and broadcaster across environmental history, bioethics, and philosophy of biology. Her books include How to Be Animal: What It Means to Be Human; Animal Dignity: Philosophical Reflections on Nonhuman Existence; and On Extinction: How We Became Estranged from Nature, which received Santa Barbara Library’s Green Award for environmental writing. She hosts the podcast Enter the Psychosphere, on diverse intelligences in the natural world, and serves as deputy chair of the Nuffield Council on Bioethics and a vice president of the RSPCA. Melanie is also a founding member of Animals in the Room, a project that seeks to expand democratic imaginations to explore how animals can be present, participate, and be represented in the decisions that affect them.
Annie Marie Musselman is a photographer whose work is inspired by a belief that true kinship with animals can transform our lives for the better. Her award-winning photo books include Finding Trust, Wolf Haven, and Lobos: A Mexican Wolf Family Returns to the Wild. Anne Marie’s work has appeared on the covers of Audubon, Smithsonian, and Outside magazine, and inside The New Yorker, Rolling Stone, National Geographic, and The New York Times, among others.