A new relationship with animals, nature and each other.

Session Topics

“I Am Not an Animal!”
The signature cry of our species

February 24 – 25, 2017
A symposium at the Emory Conference Center, Atlanta

Register now

The big questions we face in the coming years, and how to relate to them.

Session Topics
Presentations, Q&A, and discussion.

Speaker Bios
Experts in the fields of psychology, ecology, philosophy, humanities, law and advocacy.

Why are we humans unable to come to grips with what we’re doing and change our behavior? How this symposium came to be.

Join us for this first-of-a-kind gathering.

Substantial discount available at the Emory Conference Center Hotel.

Video Backgrounders
1. How we tell ourselves we’re not really animals.
2. Why we insist we’re not really animals.
3. What Cave Paintings Tell Us
4. King Oedipus and the End of the World

Video Interviews:
What Zoos Tell Us About Ourselves with Randy Malamud, author of Reading Zoos.
Why It’s So Hard to Think Straight about Animals with Hal Herzog, author of Some We Love, Some We Hate, Some We Eat.
How Thinking about Death Makes Us More Supportive of Killing Other Animals with Uri Lifshin of Univ. or Arizona.

Each session lasts an hour and half, divided into three parts:
* a half-hour presentation by the speaker;
* a half-hour Q&A conducted by an invited discussant;
* a half-hour of questions and discussion with the whole group.


The State of the Planet Today

Author and conservationist Carl Safina takes stock of what scientists are calling the Sixth Mass Extinction and where it may be heading.


Our Planet and Ourselves in History and Mythology

Bioethicist Jonathan Crane talks about the creation stories we’ve been telling ourselves for thousands of years about our origins, and about who the other animals are and how we relate to them.

Randy Malamud

How We “View” Other Animals

Author Randy Malamud discusses the psychology of keeping animals in zoos, aquariums and circuses, and how being able to watch them in captivity reinforces our sense of entitlement in relation to them.

Hal Herzog-EiT

Some We Love, Some We Hate, Some We Eat

Author and Professor Emeritus of Psychology Hal Herzog explores the confusing relationships we have with different kinds of animals, and how hard it is for us to think straight about them.


The Worm at the Core

Author and Professor of Psychology Sheldon Solomon explains Terror Management Theory and how our civilization and culture act as a defense against the anxiety we feel about our mortal, animal nature.


“I Am Not an Animal!”

Michael Mountain, former president of Best Friends Animal Society, looks at animal advocacy efforts through the lens of Terror Management Theory and discusses how these efforts are hobbled by people’s denial (often-subconscious) of our own animal nature.

Photography by: ©Michael B. Lloyd

Nonhuman Animals as Legal Persons

Attorney Steven Wise explains how the legal system treats nonhuman animals as “things”, as it once did with slaves, women and children. He talks about the lawsuits of the Nonhuman Rights Project, which seeks to have certain animals recognized as “legal persons” with the fundamental right to bodily liberty.


Someone, Not Something

Lori Marino, President of The Whale Sanctuary Project, discusses how we have come to see other animals as “something” rather than “someone.” She talks about how sanctuaries are part of the vanguard of a new relationship with our fellow animals that’s characterized by parity, reconciliation and active restitution.