In Western philosophy animals, along with women and children, has historically been opposed to male-centered civilization, understood through and contained within an anthropomorphic perspective. Consequently, the inequalities of civilization might be addressed most profoundly by the issue of animal rights. This potential disruption is paralleled by the fact that literary representations of animals push narrative to its limits in order to articulate a new ethical consciousness based on a non-human epistemology/ontology. This is exemplified by Barbara Gowdy`s novel The White Bone, which forges a dynamic between animal, feminine and place to portray elephants as subjects constructing their own destiny. In a challenge to Western philosophy`s denial of the animal`s existential being, Gowdy imbues her elephants with complex consciousness of Being. She channels her unavoidable anthropomorphism, giving them logic, though a logic based not on reason but on an emotional ontology alien to humans, and thus translating their language into our own. By translating their ontology, Gowdy attempts a new ethical vision that would enable human and non-human animals to co-exist in harmony. Her portrayal of the social motherhood by which the elephants confront traumatic reality reveals an intuitive ethics of caring going beyond human references of individualism and rationalism, suggesting an approach to animals through an ethical framework that goes beyond mere discursive practice. The White Bone is thus an effort to site justice and morality within a context greater than human civilization and so overcome the binary opposition between human and non-human and constructing a non-anthropomorphic cosmopolitanism (Steiner) that allows them to co-exist in the world.