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Animals Matter: A Biologist Explains Why We Should Treat Animals with Compassion and Respect Paperback – November 13, 2007

4.7 out of 5 stars 12 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Animal behaviorist and biologist Bekoff follows his most recent in-depth work, The Emotional Life of Animals, with another well-written, more generalist argument for responsible behavior toward animals of all kinds. A revised and updated edition of his 2000 Strolling with Our Kin, an introduction for young readers to ethical issues relating to the use of animals, the writing still feels aimed at younger readers, but the new elements include an excellent review of current debates regarding animal sentience, animal relocation efforts and medical school dissection and vivisection. He also offers the evidence that "zoos actually do little to increase biodiversity," failing both to advocate for conservation and in their attempts to reintroduce captive animals into the wild. This levelheaded brief for animal rights deserves to be read by people of all ages, from teens and 20-somethings turned on to animal activism by vegetarian pop stars like Moby, to parents, teachers and other adults with the hope that they will "make more responsible decisions after reading this book and discussing the issues with family and friends."
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Review

"People who want to end animal exploitation sometimes are accused of being unscientific and uninformed. Marc Bekoff's Animals Matter is (and for a long time will remain) the gold standard when it comes to offering a scientific, informed response to these reckless charges. As Bekoff demonstrates, a scientifically informed understanding of who animals are supports their liberation from the hands of human tyranny."—Tom Regan, author of The Case for Animal Rights and Empty Cages

"Marc Bekoff is the wisest scientist I know, for he is the only expert who truly loves animals in the way that children are able to love animals, with all his heart. Listen to him. Read this book, give it to friends, celebrate this wonderful event."—Jeffrey Moussaieff Masson, author of Altruistic Armadillos, Zenlike Zebras

"It's not every day that a world-class scientist tries to explain his ideas to a general audience. Marc Bekoff not only helps us to understand nature and animals, but also shows us how to love them."—Dale Jamieson, author of Ethics and the Environment
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 202 pages
  • Publisher: Shambhala; Revised edition (November 13, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1590305221
  • ISBN-13: 978-1590305225
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.6 x 8.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #759,444 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
What makes us similar to animals? What makes us different? What makes us different from each other?
Whatever your answers to these vague questions, it will probably involve some aspect of Emotion, and this book evaluates the emotional links that we share and that differentiate us all.

The author indicates emotion is especially significant in sharing experience, and in deciding with whom we share that experience. Almost no reasonable person would choose to abuse a human being of low intellectual capacity who looks at us with a trusting smile, and almost no one would sympathize with an intellectual equal who treats such a person with cold cruelty. Nevertheless, we often categorize other creatures by their emotional response to us, and often find we are amazingly wrong. The author suggests that when we expand our awareness, we are often more accurate and positively rewarded beyond our expectations. We can never treat animals as equals, but we can never degrade them without degrading ourselves. If we should discover creatures who are our technological and intellectual superiors, we should hope they will treat us better than we have treated other conscious creatures.
It's an interesting thesis, and it's interesting to think of the alternatives.
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Format: Paperback
I wish everyone could read this book - I honestly believe it would change the world.
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Format: Paperback
Marc Bekoff's knowledge of animal emotions is impressive - and yet he manages to condense information down into clear, succinct bits that the average reader can digest and process. I appreciate this because the topics he writes on can be weighty for someone who is not totally familiar with them.

I think it's crucial that everyone consider the emotions and thoughts of species other than our own. The examples and cases presented seem to lead to only one conclusion.... Animals Matter - and books like this one matter, because through the author's efforts, a voice is given to the voiceless.
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By JDHB on October 15, 2013
Format: Paperback
This is an excellent book. Filled with great information that will make the reader really stop and think about how animals are treated and how they should be treated. So much good info and lots of quotes that I had to highlight. One of my favorites is about being honest with children about how animals are treated in our society. The author writes "If we do not tell it like it is, important messages are lost." He provides thought-provoking insight, but also proposes questions that get you thinking. I also loved the foreword, which was by one of my idols, Dr. Jane Goodall. What she opens with is so important. She says "Whether an individual respects, ignores, or harms different kinds of animals depends, to a large extent, on the kind of environment in which the child grew up." Yes! We teach children from a young age whether or not it is okay to harm animals, harm and protect some animals, etc. Good stuff! Should be required reading for every high school student in the country!
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By CXC on October 3, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
An excellent read. Very informative and well written by a great author, a great bilologist. If you had any question in your mind why animals matter, You know why animals matter after reading this book. It is a book for your mind and your heart.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Excellent, concise boo. Many animal welfare issues are covered in this one book. A great introduction and reference to important animal issues.
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