The Emotional Lives of Animals: A Leading Scientist Explores Animal Joy, Sorrow, and Empathy — and Why They Matter

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New World Library, Oct 5, 2010 - Nature - 240 pages
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Based on award-winning scientist Marc Bekoff’s years studying social communication in a wide range of species, this important book shows that animals have rich emotional lives. Bekoff skillfully blends extraordinary stories of animal joy, empathy, grief, embarrassment, anger, and love with the latest scientific research confirming the existence of emotions that common sense and experience have long implied. Filled with Bekoff’s light humor and touching stories, The Emotional Lives of Animals is a clarion call for reassessing both how we view animals and how we treat them.

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The Emotional Lives of Animals: A Leading Scientist Explores Animal Joy, Sorrow, and Empathy - and Why They Matter

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Any dog owner knows that her own pet has feelings, but what evidence exists beyond the anecdotal, and what does this evidence teach us? Bekoff, professor emeritus of biology at the University of ... Read full review

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To start with the book appears to be very anthropomorphic in its interpretations of animal behaviour, enough to put any scientist off, although for me, an animal owner, he didn't actually say anything I didn't agree with. Then, as the book progresses and he explains more his point of view, you see how he refuses the cognitive dissonance that many people erect when dealing with animals. As a dog owner, he understands the depth of emotion an animal feels and refuses to deny it due to lack of empirical evidence. I really like his approach to the topic of animal welfare and feel this book is perfect for raising awareness in the public. The problem I feel is that he really hopes to target colleagues too, and the style of opening chapters may be a barrier for scientists to read on. 


Finding Honor among Beasts

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About the author (2010)

Marc Bekoff is a professor emeritus of ecology and evolutionary biology at the University of Colorado, Boulder. The author of many books, including The Smile of a Dolphin and The Ten Trusts (with Jane Goodall), he lives in Boulder, Colorado, and lectures throughout the world.

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