Anyone who loves to travel and also loves animals will find The Weight of Empathy both deeply inspiring and mind expanding. Lucas writes with a sensitive and curious eye about how animals are treated in cultures around the globe. The photos are captivating, and will both break and mend your heart, but always give you much to consider. I highly recommend this empathetic, thought provoking book that sweeps you away, allowing one to travel vicariously around the world at a time when travel comes with so many issues. It’s good to remember what love and compassion still exist in the most unlikely places.
This travel memoir explores not only some of the most beautiful places in the world, but the most beautiful people. Lucas processes his experiences with such heartfelt honesty and insight that it's impossible not to get swept away in his global experience of animal activism and introspection. This book had me in tears several times—some from sadness and some from joy. I highly recommend this book to anyone interested in travel, animal advocacy, human connection, or self-reflection.
There are two journeys in this wonderful travel photo essay/memoir. The literal journey of 22 months going around the world, using truly multi-modal transportation, and the existential journey to explore what it means to lead a good life. ... Honest but not preachy, this book is a hopeful call to action, to do the good we can do. The book is worth its price just for the amazing photos, which will remain in your mind and heart long after you close the book.
The Weight of Empathy is an exploration of both our relationship with animals and the author's own personal process of learning how to be a compassionate person in an often violent and uncaring world. Accompanied by over a hundred photographs, it takes the form of a travel memoir spanning a twenty-two-month trip around the world. It focuses on visits to half a dozen animal sanctuaries in Southeast Asia, India, and Europe, and also serves in part as an origin story for the philanthropic enterprise which was started upon his return: a vegan dog treat company that donates 100% of its profits to farm animal sanctuaries.
The book begins on the west coast of the US, and traces a path through Australia, Japan, SE Asia, India, Sri Lanka, Israel, Egypt, Europe, and back through the United States. The journey leads back to a few of the author's favorite places, to countless new destinations, and ultimately back through his childhood home, as he struggles to learn how to think about his role in the world in a way that honors his values and life story, the current and historical state of the planet, and all those he came to know and love along the way. The Weight of Empathy is part autobiography, part travel story, and part meditation on the diversity of human experience, our failings, and our potential. Through an impassioned and personal, yet thoroughly reasoned approach, it is a call to action in the interest of a kinder, more just, and merciful world.
Lucas Spiegel studied and practiced architecture in the U.S., Canada, and India, before leaving it all behind, in an effort to rethink what it is to live a meaningful life. Since then he's traveled the world, started a philanthropic enterprise, and continues the process of learning and reinvention. Along the way he enjoys playing frisbee, making things with his hands, and befriending every dog who crosses his path.