A new relationship with animals, nature and each other.

Astrophysicist: ‘Be Good to Animals’

Neil DeGrasse Tyson says kindness is a virtue

People magazine calls him the “sexiest astrophysicist.” (As a teenager, he used to promise girls “the stars” and then take them up to his roof to look through his telescope.)

Today, as director of the Hayden Planetarium, Neil DeGrasse Tyson is still promising the stars, but as a bonus he also throws in kindness to animals and respect for all nature.

“Maybe humans aren’t as good as we should be in our capacity to empathize with the feelings and thoughts of others—be they humans or other animals on Earth,” he says in this video interview that was taped with Ingrid Newkirk of PETA.

Tyson likes to imagine what space aliens landing on Earth might think of humans. Our planet might simply become their zoo – and it might be that we would never even know it.

“Isn’t that kind of what we do?” he asks.

Tyson also comments on a sci-fi book called They’re Made of Meat where aliens are surprised to come across a planet where the people are not only made of meat but “they eat other creatures made of meat!”

Tyson also talks about the importance of compassion, and says that “part of our formal education should be training in empathy. Imagine how different the world would be if, in fact, that were ‘reading, writing, arithmetic, empathy.’”

He’s featured in a new series of ads saying, “You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to know that kindness is a virtue.”