Animals Matter: A Biologist Explains Why We Should Treat Animals with Compassion and Respect

Shambhala Publications
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Nonhuman animals have many of the same feelings we do. They get hurt, they suffer, they are happy, and they take care of each other. Marc Bekoff, a renowned biologist specializing in animal minds and emotions, guides readers from high school age up—including older adults who want a basic introduction to the topic—in looking at scientific research, philosophical ideas, and humane values that argue for the ethical and compassionate treatment of animals. Citing the latest scientific studies and tackling controversies with conviction, he zeroes in on the important questions, inviting reader participation with "thought experiments" and ideas for action. Among the questions considered:


   • Are some species more valuable or more important than others?

   • Do some animals feel pain and suffering and not others?

   • Do animals feel emotions?

   • Should endangered animals be reintroduced to places where they originally lived?

   • Should animals be kept in captivity?

   • Are there alternatives to using animals for food, clothing, cosmetic testing, and dissection in the science classroom?

   • What can we learn by imagining what it feels like to be a dog or a cat or a mouse or an ant?

   • What can we do to make a difference in animals’ quality of life?


Bekoff urges us not only to understand and protect animals—especially those whose help we want for our research and other human needs—but to love and respect them as our fellow beings on this planet that we all want to share in peace.
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About the author

Marc Bekoff, PhD, a biologist who specializes in cognitive ethology (the study of animal minds) and behavioral ecology, is the author of some twenty books. With Jane Goodall, he cofounded Ethologists for the Ethical Treatment of Animals.
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Additional Information

Publisher
Shambhala Publications
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Published on
Nov 13, 2007
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Pages
160
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ISBN
9780834825871
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Language
English
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Genres
Nature / Animal Rights
Philosophy / Essays
Psychology / Animal & Comparative Psychology
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Marc Bekoff
Thinking bees, ice-skating buffaloes, dreaming rats, happy foxes, ecstatic elephants, despondent dolphins--in Minding Animals, Marc Bekoff takes us on an exhilarating tour of the emotional and mental world of animals, where we meet creatures who do amazing things and whose lives are filled with mysteries. Following in the footsteps of Konrad Lorenz and Niko Tinbergen, Bekoff has spent the last 30 years studying animals of every stripe--from coyotes in Wyoming to penguins in Antarctica. He draws on this vast experience, as well as on the observations of other naturalists, to offer readers fascinating stories of animal behavior, including grooming and gossip, self-medication, feeding patterns, dreaming, dominance, and mating behavior. Many of these stories are truly incredible--chimpanzees medicating themselves with herbal remedies, elephants clearly mourning a dead group member--but this is not simply a catalog of amazing animal tales, for Bekoff also sheds light on many of the more serious issues surrounding animals. He offers a thought-provoking look at animal cognition, intelligence, and consciousness and he presents vivid examples of animal passions, highlighting the deep emotional lives of our animal kin. All this serves as background for his thoughtful conclusions about humility and animal protection and animal well-being, where he urges a new paradigm of respect, grace, compassion, and love for all animals. Marc Bekoff has gone deep into the minds, hearts, spirits, and souls of animals, giving him profound insight into their lives, and no small insight into ours. Minding Animals is an important contribution to our understanding of animal consciousness, a major work that will be a must read for anyone who loves nature.
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