ABOUT THIS BOOK
We live more intimately with nonhuman animals than ever before in history. The change in the way we cohabitate with animals can be seen in the way we treat them when they die. There is an almost infinite variety of ways to help us cope with the loss of our nonhuman friends—from burial, cremation, and taxidermy; to wearing or displaying the remains (ashes, fur, or other parts) of our deceased animals in jewelry, tattoos, or other artwork; to counselors who specialize in helping people mourn pets; to classes for veterinarians; to tips to help the surviving animals who are grieving their animal friends; to pet psychics and memorial websites. But the reality is that these practices, and related beliefs about animal souls or animal afterlife, generally only extend, with very few exceptions, to certain kinds of animals—pets. Most animals, in most cultures, are not mourned, and the question of an animal afterlife is not contemplated at all. Mourning Animals investigates how we mourn animal deaths, which animals are grievable, and what the implications are for all animals.