I promise you this: If you love animals anywhere near as much as I love animals, the next book you’ll want to read is The Emotional Lives of Animals: A Leading Scientist Explores Animal Joy, Sorrow, and Empathy – and Why They Matter. You’ll smile, cry, laugh, “awwwww,” and in the end, never look at animals the same again.
Anyone, with any sense whatsoever, knows that animals have emotions. However, most of us don’t realize how deep these emotions run. Animals feel happiness, sadness, joy, grief, fear, frustration, relief, and a host of other feelings that some people think humans have the market on.
In The Emotional Lives of Animals: A Leading Scientist Explores Animal Joy, Sorrow, and Empathy – And Why They Matter, author Mark Bekoff explores these emotions beautifully. It’s a very, very important book that needs to be read by as many people as possible. I would LOVE for it to be required reading in schools around the world. People need to read more about the beautiful animals we share the earth with – to read and understand that they have feelings and emotions. They aren’t plants or props, they’re living, breathing, beautiful wonders that can enrich our lives in countless ways.
One of my favorite stories (one of MANY) was found in chapter 3:
To observe animals for any length of time is to see that animals clearly enjoy themselves. Animals experience immense joy in a wide range of situations: when they play, greet friends, groom one another, are freed from confinement, sing, and perhaps even when watching others having fun. Joy is so contagious, it’s essentially an epidemic. One researcher tells of watching a female chimpanzee give birth, after which her closest friend screamed and embraced two other chimps. The friend then tended the mother and her offspring for several weeks.
The book is absolutely remarkable – a beautiful, inspiring, and moving tribute to animals and the people who are in awe of them. The author has devoted so much of himself to bringing awareness to the need for change in the way animals are treated. He lays out the facts, then challenges us by basically asking, “Now that you know, what are you going to do?”
I urge you to read this book as soon as possible. When you support the author, you support the animals that we all love so much.
You’ll also love:
When Elephants Weep: The Emotional Lives of Animals
One Can Make a Difference (My review on Self Help Daily)