Kinship with the Wolf: The Amazing Story of the Woman Who Lives with Wolves

Excerpts & Samples

By Tanja Askani

Publisher : Inner Traditions/Bear & Company

ABOUT Tanja Askani

Tanja Askani
Tanja Askani has been bonding with animals since she was a child. She established the first wolf pack in the Lüneburger Heide Wildlife Preserve in 1998 and continues to care for its wolf packs in addition to many other animals. She lives in Germany.



A lavishly illustrated, heartfelt examination of the wolf as a spiritual and ecological role model

• Dispels the myths of the wolf as a “blood-thirsty predator”

• Shows the spiritual importance of connecting to the creatures of the natural world

• Tells the story of the author’s 8 years of living with wolves at the Lüneburger Heide Wildlife Preserve in Germany

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 realize 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 stigmatized 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 knowledge 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 autonomous 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.
“Wolves are the poster animals for showing just how complex our relationships with other animals can be. If these magnificent beasts could read, they’d love this book.”
Marc Bekoff, co-founder with Jane Goodall of Ethologists for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, author of Animal Passions and Beastly Virtues, and editor of the three-volume Encyclopedia of Animal Behavior

“. . . great insight into the world of the wolf. . . . the charming, diary-like writing style and the plethora of color close-ups of the wolves will enchant wolf lovers.” 
Nancy Bent, Booklist, Oct 2006

“This is not a scientific treatise but a warm and carefully observed portrait of one woman's efforts to change our perceptions of the sadly reviled wolf. The numerous photographs--close up, striking, and informative--will make animal lovers weak in the knees."
Barbara Hoffert, Library Journal, Nov 2006