The Soul of All Living Creatures: What Animals Can Teach Us About Being Human
Dr. Vint Virga..........................
Jon Patch talks to Dr Vint Virga, author of The Soul of All Living Creatures: What Animals Can Teach Us About Being Human. As an emergency room clinician four years out of veterinary school, Dr. Vint Virga had a life-changing experience: he witnessed the power of simple human contact and compassion to affect the recovery of a dog struggling to survive after being hit by a car. Observing firsthand the remarkably strong connection between humans and animals inspired him to explore the world from the viewpoint of animals and taught him to respect the kinship that connects us.
With The Soul of All Living Creatures, Virga draws from his decades in veterinary practice to reveal how, by striving to perceive the world as animals do, we can enrich our own appreciation of life, enhance our character, nurture our relationships, improve our communication with others, reorder our values, and deepen our grasp of spirituality. Virga discerningly illuminates basic traits shared by both humans and animals and makes animal behavior meaningful, relevant, and easy to understand. Insightful and eloquent, The Soul of All Living Creatures offers an intimate journey into the lives of our fellow creatures and a thought-provoking promise of what we can learn from spending time with them.
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For over twenty years, Dr. Virga has been a distinguished practitioner and leader in veterinary medicine, recognized for his insights into our relationships with animals. His expertise spans the animal kingdom from dogs and cats to wild species such as leopards, gibbons, wolves, and giraffes. As the founding president of Veterinary Healing Arts, he has worked extensively with dogs, cats, and their human families on behavioral issues of concern to them and currently serves as a consultant to zoos and wild animal parks on the behavioral well-being and management of animals in their care.
A recognized expert on animal behavior and a prominent advocate for nurturing the human-animal bond, Dr. Virga has appeared as a featured guest on ABC World News, PBS Nature, and National Geographic Explorer. Outside of clinical practice, he has served as an advisor to leading U.S. corporations, professional associations, and animal welfare organizations; a veterinary liaison to the U.S. congress; and an expert on legal and legislative issues concerning animal health and welfare. He is distinguished for his insights into the parallels between human and animal behavior – making animal behavior meaningful, relevant, and easy to understand.
As a writer, Dr. Virga has been awarded two MacDowell Fellowships and a George and Kate Kendall Fellowship. His writing portrays a unique sensitivity and compassion toward humans and animals alike. Dr. Virga’s first book, The Soul of All Living Creatures, will be published in July 2013 by Crown / Random House. He is currently working on his second book.
Dr. Virga received his Doctorate in Veterinary Medicine from the University of California, Davis and completed his clinical residency in behavioral medicine at Cornell University. He is board-certified in veterinary behavior and a Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Behaviorists.
Dr. Virga lives in southern New England with his wife, daughter, and two Norwegian forest cats.