272 pages, b/w illustrations
To be alienated from animals is to live a life that is not quite whole, contends nature writer Tai Moses in Zooburbia. Urban and suburban residents share our environments with many types of wildlife: squirrels, birds, spiders, and increasingly lizards, deer, and coyote. Many of us crave more contact with wild creatures, and recognize the small and large ways animals enrich our lives, yet don't notice the animals already around us.
Zooburbia reveals the reverence that can be felt in the presence of animals and shows how that reverence connects us to a deeper, better part of ourselves. A lively blend of memoir, natural history, and mindfulness practices, Zooburbia makes the case for being mindful and compassionate stewards – and students – of the wildlife with whom we coexist. With lessons on industriousness, perseverance, presence, exuberance, gratitude, aging, how to let go, and much more, Tai's vignettes share the happy fact that none of us is alone – our teachers are right in front of us. We need only go outdoors to find a rapport with the animal kingdom. Zooburbia is a magnifying lens turned to our everyday environment.
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Tai Moses grew up in the Los Angeles neighborhood of Echo Park. While she knew she wanted to be a writer from an early age, her career path was anything but linear. She has held many jobs, including stints at a pet store, a veterinary clinic, a salmon cannery, a bakery, a winery, and a bookstore. She has been a motel maid, a wildland firefighter and emergency medical technician, and an animal trainer's assistant.
Finally, Tai discovered the world of independent media. She had the good fortune to work alongside some veteran newspaper editors who taught her the craft of writing, reporting and editing. Tai has worked in journalism for more than 25 years. She is the former managing editor of the progressive news site, AlterNet.org. She has edited alternative newsweeklies in the Monterey and San Francisco Bay areas and in the mid-'90s she worked in the art department of Esquire magazine. Her writing has been widely published in the independent press. This is her first book.