“Erasing the awe-inspiring variety of sentient life impoverishes all our lives,” historian Joanna Bourke wrote in her poignant meditation on what it means to be human. And yet our relationship with animals and our understanding of their inner lives remain inadequate at best.
In 2010, photographer Tim Flach gave us his extraordinary dog portraits. This year, he’s back with More Than Human— a collection of striking, expressive portraits of our non-human fellow beings, captured with equal parts tenderness and aesthetic elegance.
Despite the sciency sterility of his words, perhaps Darwin was ultimately right in a broader philosophical sense when he reflected in The Descent of Man:"The difference in mind between man and the higher animals, great as it is, is certainly one of degree and not of kind
. We have seen that the senses and intuitions, the various emotions and faculties, such as love, memory, attention, curiosity, imitation, reason, etc., of which man boasts, may be found in an incipient, or even sometimes in a well-developed condition, in the lower animals."
Reprinted with permission. Maria Popova is a cultural curator and curious mind at large, who also writes for Wired UK, The Atlantic and Design Observer, and is the founder and editor in chief of Brain Pickings. To see more of Tim Flach's work visit his website.