Animal behaviorist, ecologist and ethicist Bekoff (Encyclopedia of Animal Behavior) presents a lengthy compilation of scientific papers and articles from journals like Scientific American on a range of subjects that, remarkably, coheres into a fascinating "big-picture view of animals, culture, and society." Bekoff's writings focus primarily on the science of cognitive ethology, on what animals think, feel and know—and most of the articles study the behavior of dogs; one of the most interesting pieces looks at the sounds and smells that can trigger primary emotions, such as innate fear, in canines. Overall, this collection serves as an excellent summation of the major theme of Bekoff's many books: "with hard work, we can make Earth a better place for all beings," primarily because of engaging introductory essays that connect five sections on animal emotions, social behaviors and ethics. These essays not only explain his concern for how humans "redecorate" nature by using animals for their own purposes but also achieve his goal of appealing to academic and popular audiences though his "musings" on science, social responsibility and "who we are in the grand scheme of things." (Dec.)
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"Bekoff has established himself as an excellent researcher in behavioral ecology. He has made strong contributions to our understanding of the ecology and behavior of carnivores and this book is a nice review of his past work. Bekoff builds a convincing case that scientists must understand the larger social and political ramifications of their research. Readers who are generally interested in the topics of animal rights and the ethics of conducting science on animals should certainly read this book because many of the author's ideas are both provocative and highly relevant." The Quarterly Review of Biology "Bekoff brings together some of the most important findings he has presented throughout his career as a biologist and animal behaviorist...[He] successfully challenges traditional reviews of animal behavior." Animal Welfare Institute Quarterly "This is a thought-provoking book that forces the reader to consider issues that are important but are often left at the fringes of our work... Marc Bekoff, by forcing us to consider animal minds and our ethical obligations to animals, is pushing the field of behaviour in interesting directions." Nature "One of his gems is his view on how we should interact with animals. He says, 'Do no intentional harm; respect all life; treat all individuals with compassion; and step lightly into the lives of other beings, bodies of water, and landscapes.'" BBC Wildlife "serves as an excellent summation of the major theme of Bekoff's many books...These essays not only explain his concern for how humans 'redecorate' nature by using animals for their own purposes but also achieve his goal of appealing to academic and popular audiences though his 'musings' on science, social responsibility and 'who we are in the grand scheme of things.'" Publishers Weekly Animal Passions and Beastly Virtues is a book for scientists and non-scientists alike. The writing is clear so that even complex subjects can be readily understood. Marc has the courage of his convictions and is an excellent spokesman for animals." Jane Goodall "Through his hard work and determination and in the face of considerable opposition, Bekoff has been most influential in the growing academic body of knowledge on animal sentience. This fascinating book, of appeal to both scientists and the general reader, looks at a range of topics including animal behavior, emotions and relationships and includes discussion of the ethics of our use of animals. Highly recommended!" Farm Animal VoicesSee all Editorial Reviews