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The Emotional Lives of Animals: A Leading Scientist Explores Animal Joy, Sorrow, and Empathy ― and Why They Matter Paperback – May 28, 2008

4.5 out of 5 stars 165 ratings

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

If the onus on Emotional Lives of Animals author Marc Bekoff was simply to prove that nonhuman creatures exhibit Charles Darwin's six universal emotions (anger, happiness, sadness, disgust, fear, and surprise), then his book would be very brief. As anyone who has ever had a pet dog, cat, rabbit, or even bird can attest, animals not only possess such emotions but broadcast them clearly and often. Bekoff's goal, however, is much grander: To show that wild and domestic species have a kaleidoscopic range of feelings, from embarrassment to awe, and that we dismiss them not only at their peril but our own. And if an endorsement squib by PETA president Ingrid Newkirk and Foreword by renowned animal scientist Jane Goodall doesn't give it away, then readers quickly learn that Bekoff also has an agenda: showing that using animals for scientific experiments, amusement, food, and the like is reprehensible and unconscionable.

Not that The Emotional Lives of Animals is a polemic. By turns funny, anecdotal, and deeply researched, the book is all the more persuasive because it's so compelling. As Bekoff (professor emeritus of biology at the University of Colorado) points out, "It's bad biology to argue against the existence of animal emotions. Scientific research in evolutionary biology, cognitive ethology, and social neuroscience supports the view that numerous and diverse animals have rich and deep emotional lives. Emotions have evolved as adaptations in numerous species, and they serve as a social glue to bond animals with one another." And with us, as Bekoff argues in this absorbing and important book. -- Kim Hughes

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“Anyone interested in animal emotion will want a copy of this book. Bekoff speaks with the unique authority of an expert who is experiencing the success of a revolution in science and ethics that he helped make and that will endure (if we endure) as one of the signal achievements — along with the expansion of human rights and environmentalism — of the late twentieth century.”
The BARk

“This thought-provoking book could very likely change your life.”
The Animals Voice

“Marc Bekoff ably presents the richness and variety of the emotions in nonhuman animals — and doesn’t hesitate to draw the ethical conclusions implicit in his findings. I hope this book will be widely read by those who care about animals — and even more widely by those who don’t.”
Peter Singer, professor of bioethics, Princeton University

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C. Johnson
5.0 out of 5 stars Bringing Animal Science and Common Sense Together
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on July 28, 2008
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Suzy Hallett
5.0 out of 5 stars Very interesting
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on May 31, 2019
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5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful Read
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on September 4, 2015
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Anita Kelsey - Author of Claws. Confessions Of A Cat Groomer
5.0 out of 5 stars It is beautifully written and every page had me delving deeper into ...
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on August 16, 2014
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on October 24, 2017
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psychothriller
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent book
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on December 17, 2013
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Amy
5.0 out of 5 stars Love it.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on December 6, 2013
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5.0 out of 5 stars ... a Christmas gift for my partner who is very happy with
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on January 1, 2017
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Isabella
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic book, a moving and beautiful study by a ...
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on September 24, 2014
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5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic
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5.0 out of 5 stars fantastic
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Jim
5.0 out of 5 stars compelling
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
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Marina
4.0 out of 5 stars well written
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on December 25, 2012
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