This article suggests a new meme of kinship for human–animal relations that has emerged in recent years. This meme infiltrates many narrative streams to create a metanarrative that emphasizes what we humans share with other animals, rather than continuing to pursue an elusive measure that would distinguish us from them. Furthermore, this meme of kinship emerges from the breakdown of an older and pervasive meme of human distinction from and superiority over animals, especially as the meme infiltrated modernism, the version with which the kinship meme competes. In the narrative, the voice of the soul transcends species boundaries, particularly as it is experienced across those boundaries. I illustrate the new and the old narrative frames using examples from biological and psychological sciences, advertising, literature, and the arts and from stories of human encounters with animals in rescue, conservation, and sanctuary settings. I share multiple narrative moments that express the shift, and I make the case that together they represent one of the most inspiring and interesting emerging narratives of our times.
"Kindred Spirits: The Greatest Story on Earth?,"
Narrative Culture: Vol. 4
, Article 3.
Available at: https://digitalcommons.wayne.edu/narrative/vol4/iss2/3