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Alexandra Horowitz: The World According to Your Dog

Species Unite 13 May 2021 4

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“I can drive my car off a cliff and just leave it where it lay, the most I’ll get is a littering fine, and if you throw your dog off the cliff the punishment is actually pretty similar. That’s because they’re the same type of thing to the law. So, unless you change that status, and you have people of course, who are thinking that there should be a status of kind of living property that might give them more attributes than my car has or my chair has; and then there are individuals who think they should be given the status of legal persons, which isn’t to say being people, but having rights of some sort. I think both of those are pretty intriguing offers. I think we’re a little ways off from doing that, but boy, either of those would be a massive improvement in our societal treatment of these creatures.


And of course, I don’t think it’s just restricted to dogs… It’s been terrific to work with dogs for all these years, but I think this way about lots of non-human animals that we interact with, were we kind of get to use them sort of, for our sake. I would love to see some kind of sea change in thinking such that we don’t get to use animals in the ways we do now, which are really abuses of animals.” – Alexandra Horowitz

If you have any questions for your dog, Alexandra Horowitz is a pretty good place to start. She’s spent much of her life researching and writing about what it’s like to be a dog.

She is the #1 New York times bestselling author of Inside of a Dog: What Dogs See, Smell, and Know; Our Dogs, Ourselves, Being a Dog: Following the Dog Into a World of Smell; and On Looking.

She is a professor at Barnard College, Columbia University, where she teaches seminars in canine cognition, creative nonfiction writing, and audio storytelling. As Senior Research Fellow, she heads the Dog Cognition Lab at Barnard.

I wish this conversation had lasted all day long as I had about 5 thousand more questions for Alexandra – mostly, everything I’ve ever wanted to ask my dog. Although, the time we did have together was pretty amazing and felt like an absolute gift.  

Species Unite is a podcast focused on those who fight the good fight on behalf of animals around the globe. It's a collection of the stories of the people who are healing the world one creature at a time.

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