Books About the Emotional Lives of Animals

When Elephants Weep – The Emotional Lives of Animals

By Jeffrey Moussaieff Masson and Susan McCarthy

Books About the Emotional Lives of AnimalsThis groundbreaking work explores the full range of emotions that exist throughout the animal kingdom. Both McCarthy and Masson beautifully illuminate the wide range of emotions animals have and challenge how we treat animals, from hunting and eating them to scientific experimentation. Chapters on love, joy, anger, fear, shame, compassion, and loneliness are framed by a provocative re-evaluation of how we treat animals, from hunting and eating them to scientific experimentation.  This book shines a penetrating light on the inner lives of animals, and reading it will change how you view animals forever.

Available on Amazon and Barnes and Noble.

The Pig Who Sang to the Moon: The Emotional World of Farm Animals

By Jeffrey Moussaieff Masson

Books About the Emotional Lives of AnimalsJeffrey Moussaieff Masson is recognized and celebrated for his books about the emotional lives of animals—wild animals, companion animals, and now farm animals. He champions their right to live their emotional and physical lives to the fullest and according to their own unique nature, and highlights their intelligence, distinct qualities and deep emotions. In this book, Masson devotes a chapter to each farm animal — one to pigs, chickens, sheep and goats, cows, and ducks, and intersperses his research with quotes from scientists, other authors’ observations, historical background, scientific studies, anecdotes, literature and philosophical musings on the nature of each species. This important book at last gives voice, meaning, and dignity to these gentle creatures that are bred to be milked, shorn, butchered, and eaten. Masson, a passionate advocate for animals and their rights, says, “An animal is happy if it can live according to its own nature.” Shattering the abhorrent myth of the “dumb animal without feelings,” Jeffrey Masson has written a revolutionary book that is sure to stir human emotions far and wide. Available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

Beyond Words: What Animals Think and Feel

By Carl Safina

Books About the Emotional Lives of AnimalsThis well-researched book is a fascinating, passionate and thought-provoking examination of how animals truly think and feel. Award-winning author and MacArthur Fellow, Carl Safina, takes us inside animals’ lives and minds, witnessing their profound capacity for perception, thought and emotion. Safina weaves scientific research with observations of actual animal families in their native habitat revealing animals’ consciousness, self-awareness, empathy, non-verbal communication, imitation, teaching and the expression of deep grief by certain species. The book highlights how much animals think and feel like people do—of course, people are animals too!

Carl Safina’s work has been recognized with MacArthur, Pew, and Guggenheim Fellowships, and his writing has won Orion, Lannan, and National Academies literary awards and the John Burroughs, James Beard, and George Rabb medals. He has a PhD in ecology from Rutgers University. More about Beyond Words and Carl Safina. Available on Amazon and Barnes and Noble.

The Inner World of Farm Animals

By Amy Hatkoff

Books About the Emotional Lives of AnimalsIn The Inner World of Farm Animals, Amy Hatkoff reveals the latest scientific research on the emotional and intellectual capacities of farm animals with moving stories that will change your mind about the emotional lives of these wonderful beings. In this important book, Hatkoff joins the growing call for treating these sentient, conscious, and aware beings with compassion and respect, and she makes it clear that we must stop abusing them and other unfortunate animals for our own selfish needs. “The easiest way for us to increase our compassion footprint is to appreciate animals for who they are–amazing individuals who care deeply about what happens to them.”– Marc Bekoff, author of The Emotional Lives of Animals, Animals Matter, Animals at Play, and Wild Justice: The Moral Lives of Animals. Watch an interview with author Amy Hatkoff about the book. Available on Amazon and The Book Depository.

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

By Marc Bekoff

The Emotional Lives of AnimalsMarc Bekoff spent years studying social communication across a wide range of species. In this book, Bekoff explores how animals display a broad range of emotions including compassion, happiness, joy, empathy, grief, anger, and even resentment and embarrassment. Scientific research shows that many animals have extreme intelligence and sensory and motor abilities far greater than ours. Bekoff reveals that many animals share emotions with us because we share a similar brain structure in the limbic system. In his book, Bekoff blends fascinating 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. Bekoff’s book is a clarion call for reassessing both how we view animals and how we treat them.

Marc Bekoff, Ph.D., is a former Professor of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of Colorado, Boulder, and co-founder with Jane Goodall of Ethologists for the Ethical Treatment of Animals. He has won many awards for his scientific research including the Exemplar Award from the Animal Behavior Society and a Guggenheim Fellowship. Available on Amazon and Barnes and Noble.

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

By Marc Bekoff

Books About the Emotional Lives of AnimalsMarc Bekoff, a renowned biologist specializing in animal minds and emotions, looks 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, he focuses on the important questions, inviting the reader to participate through “thought experiments” and ideas for action. An example of some of the questions he addresses in the book include: Are some species more valuable or more important than others? Do some animals feel pain and suffering and not others? Should endangered animals be reintroduced to places where they originally lived? Should animals be kept in captivity? What can we do to make a difference in animals’ quality of life? Available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

Wild Justice: The Moral Lives of Animals

By Marc Bekoff & Jessica Pierce

Books About the Emotional Lives of Animals

Cognitive ethologist Marc Bekoff (The Emotional Lives of Animals) and philosopher Jessica Pierce (Morality Play) explore the moral lives of several commonly studied animals such as primates, wolves, household rodents, elephants, dolphins—and a few less common creatures as well. Marrying years of behavioral and cognitive research with compelling and moving anecdotes, Bekoff and Pierce reveal that animals exhibit a broad repertoire of moral behaviors, including fairness, empathy, trust, and reciprocity. Underlying these behaviors is a complex and nuanced range of emotions, backed by a high degree of intelligence and surprising behavioral flexibility. Animals, in short, are incredibly adept social beings, relying on rules of conduct to navigate intricate social networks that are essential to their survival. Ultimately, Bekoff and Pierce draw the astonishing conclusion that there is no moral gap between humans and other species: morality is an evolved trait that we unquestionably share with other social mammals. Sure to be controversial, Wild Justice offers not just cutting-edge science, but a provocative call to rethink our relationship with—and our responsibilities toward—our fellow animals. Available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

Animal Wise, How We Know Animals Think and Feel

By Virginia Morell

Books About the Emotional Lives of AnimalsScience and nature writer Virginia Morell journeys into the world of animal cognition and the animal mind. Morell uses her formidable gifts as a storyteller to transport us to field sites and laboratories around the world, introducing us to animal-cognition scientists and their surprisingly intelligent and sensitive subjects. She explores how this rapidly evolving, controversial field has only recently overturned old notions about why animals behave as they do and what and how animals think. In this surprising and moving book, Morell brings the world of nature brilliantly alive in a nuanced, deeply felt appreciation of the human-animal bond. Written in layman’s language, it is easy to understand, and will make you look at your pet and other animals in a whole new light. Available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

What A Fish Knows: The Inner Lives of our Underwater Cousins

By Jonathon Balcombe

Books About the Emotional Lives of AnimalsDo fishes think? Do fishes feel? Although there are more than 30,000 species of fish, we rarely consider how individual fishes think, feel, and behave. In What A Fish Knows, the myth-busting ethologist Jonathan Balcombe addresses these questions and more, taking us under the sea, through streams and estuaries, and to the other side of the aquarium glass to reveal the surprising capabilities of fishes. Balcombe upends our assumptions about fishes, portraying them not as unfeeling, dead-eyed feeding machines but as sentient, aware, smart, social, and even Machiavellian―in other words, much like us. Highlighting breakthrough discoveries from fish enthusiasts and scientists around the world. Highlighting breakthrough discoveries and the latest scientific research, What a Fish Knows will forever change how we see our aquatic cousins―the pet goldfish included. Available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

Second Nature: The Inner Lives of Animals

By Jonathan Balcombe 

BOOKS ABOUT THE EMOTIONAL LIVES OF ANIMALSAnimal behavior expert and author of the critically acclaimed Pleasurable Kingdom, Jonathan Balcombe makes the case that animals, once viewed as mindless automatons, actually have rich sensory experiences and emotions, can solve complex problems, and even make moral judgments. Drawing on new research, observational studies, and personal anecdotes to reveal the full spectrum of animal experience, Balcombe paints a new picture of the inner lives of animals, challenges archaic and traditional views of animals, and makes the case for why the human-animal relationship needs a complete overhaul. New scientific studies of animal behavior reveal perceptions, intelligences, awareness and social skills that would have been deemed fantasy a generation ago. The implications make our troubled relationship to animals one of the most pressing moral issues of our time. With vivid stories and entertaining anecdotes, Balcombe gives the human pedestal a strong shake while opening the door into the inner lives of the animals themselves. Available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

Ninety-Five: Meeting America’s Farmed Animals in Stories and Photographs

By No Voice Unheard

Books Teaching Compassion for Animals to Children of All AgesNinety-Five is a delightful and engaging anthology of writing and photography by rescuers, caregivers, and those who love the animals. Come along as they visit sanctuaries and homes across the country to discover the animals most of us never have a chance to meet – America’s farmed animals. Each animal is portrayed with high quality, full-color photographs and a short story that demonstrate the animal’s personality, depth, emotions, quirks, relationships, and individuality. Some stories are quite dramatic and will leave the reader awed and amazed; while others will simply show who an animal is – from Justice, a steer who broke out of a truck on the way to the slaughterhouse, who now is the self-appointed greeter at his sanctuary, to the quiet happiness of Gilly, a small white hen rescued from a factory egg farm, who found peace in a loving home. Galleries of photos of other farmed animals will also engage the reader, and thumbnail photo footnotes provide additional information. *Ninety-Five is the average number of animal lives spared annually by one person’s vegan diet. Available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

The Soul of All Living Creatures: What Animals Can Teach Us About Being Human (as profiled in New York Time Magazine)

By Vint Virga, D.V.M.

Books About the Emotional Lives of AnimalsBased on the author’s twenty-five years of experience as a veterinarian and veterinary behaviorist, The Soul of All Living Creatures delves into the inner lives of animals – from whales, wolves, and leopards to mice, dogs, and cats – and explores the relationships we forge with them. With The Soul of All Living Creatures, Virga draws from his decades in veterinary practice to reveal how, by striving to perceive the world as animals do, we can enrich our own appreciation of life, enhance our character, nurture our relationships, improve our communication with others, reorder our values, and deepen our grasp of spirituality.  Virga discerningly illuminates basic traits shared by both humans and animals and makes animal behavior meaningful, relevant, and easy to understand.  Insightful and eloquent, The Soul of All Living Creatures offers an intimate journey into the lives of our fellow creatures and a thought-provoking promise of what we can learn from spending time with them. Available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

The Soul of an Octopus: A Surprising Exploration into the Wonder of Consciousness

By Sy Montgomery

the-soul-of-an-octopusAnother New York Times bestseller from naturalist author of The Good Good Pig, this book explores the emotional and physical world of the octopus—a surprisingly complex, intelligent, and spirited creature—and the remarkable connections it makes with humans. In pursuit of the wild, solitary, predatory octopus, popular naturalist Sy Montgomery has practiced true immersion journalism. From New England aquarium tanks to the reefs of French Polynesia and the Gulf of Mexico, she has befriended octopuses with strikingly different personalities—gentle Athena, assertive Octavia, curious Kali, and joyful Karma. Each creature shows her cleverness in myriad ways: escaping enclosures like an orangutan; jetting water to bounce balls; and endlessly tricking companions with multiple “sleights of hand” to get food. Montgomery chronicles the mysterious world and growing appreciation of this mollusk as she tells a unique love story. By turns funny, entertaining, touching, and profound, The Soul of an Octopus reveals what octopuses can teach us about the meeting of two very different minds. Available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

The Emotional Lives of Animals & Children: Insights from a Farm Sanctuary

By William Crain

Books About the Emotional Lives of AnimalsIn 2008, Bill Crain, a professor of psychology at The City College of New York, and his wife Ellen, a recently retired pediatrician, opened Safe Haven Farm Sanctuary in Poughquag, New York. The sanctuary provides a permanent home to over 70 animals rescued from slaughter and abusive situations, including goats, sheep, chickens, turkeys, ducks, partridges, and a mini-horse. It also has afforded Bill a tremendous opportunity to observe animals in all emotional states and how their behavior casts light on the emotions of human children. Crain discovered that the farm animals’ emotional behaviors can help us understand those of human children. The Emotional Lives of Animals & Children is divided into two parts. Part one discusses six emotional behaviors that are shared by animals and children: fear, play, freedom, care, spirituality, and resilience. Part two addresses the broader social theme of our Western culture’s disparagement of animals. Initially, children do not set themselves apart from nature, but experience it with an instinctive empathy. However, they are eventually taught by our society to detach themselves and to devalue animals. Visit them online at Available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

Are We Smart Enough to Know How Smart Animals Are?

By Frans de Waal

are-we-smart-enought-to-know-how-smart-animals-areFrom New York Times bestselling author and world-renowned biologist and primatologist Frans de Waal, a groundbreaking work on animal intelligence destined to become a classic. In recent decades, claims that we are the pre-eminent species have eroded, or have even been disproven outright, by a revolution in the study of animal cognition. Based on research involving crows, dolphins, parrots, sheep, wasps, bats, whales, and of course chimpanzees and bonobos, Frans de Waal explores both the scope and the depth of animal intelligence. He offers a firsthand account of how science has stood traditional behaviorism on its head by revealing how smart animals really are, and how we have underestimated their abilities for far too long. People often assume a cognitive ladder, from lower to higher forms, with our own intelligence at the top. But de Waal opens our minds to the idea that animal minds are far more intricate and complex than we have assumed. De Waal’s landmark work will convince you to rethink everything you thought you knew about animal—and human—intelligence. Available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble.


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