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Elephants on the Edge: What Animals Teach Us about Humanity

Elephants on the Edge: What Animals Teach Us about Humanity Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Drawing on accounts from India to Africa and California to Tennessee, and on research in neuroscience, psychology, and animal behavior, G. A. Bradshaw explores the minds, emotions, and lives of elephants. Wars, starvation, mass culls, poaching, and habitat loss have reduced elephant numbers from more than ten million to a few hundred thousand, leaving orphans bereft of the elders who would normally mentor them. As a consequence, traumatized elephants have become aggressive against people, other animals, and even one another; their behavior is comparable to that of humans who have experienced genocide, other types of violence, and social collapse. By exploring the elephant mind and experience in the wild and in captivity, Bradshaw bears witness to the breakdown of ancient elephant cultures.

All is not lost. People are working to save elephants by rescuing orphaned infants and rehabilitating adult zoo and circus elephants, using the same principles psychologists apply in treating humans who have survived trauma. Bradshaw urges us to support these and other models of elephant recovery and to solve pressing social and environmental crises affecting all animals, human or not.

Review:

"This thoughtful book by animal trauma specialist Bradshaw draws analogies between human and animal culture to illustrate the profound 'breakdown' occurring in elephant societies. Extraordinarily sensitive and social, elephants' survival has long depended on their matriarchal lineage — now sundered by culling the herds, which disrupts the hierarchy — and their psyches have been broken by prolonged isolation and separation, painful hooks used as training tools and general cruelty. Captured elephants meet the criteria of the psychiatirc handbook DSM for suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder. Drawing on research on animal trauma, concentration camp survivors and Konrad Lorenz — type ethology, Bradshaw makes a multidisciplinary condemnation of elephant abuse and celebrates those working on rehabilitating and healing the animals — including an elephant massage therapist and the owners of an elephant sanctuary in the Tennessee hills. In the end, anthropomorphizing isn't the issue; Bradshaw says that instead of giving animals human feelings, we should observe that they have feelings that correlate with what we may feel in similar circumstances. With its heartbreaking findings and irrefutable conclusions, this book bears careful reading and consideration." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)

About the Author

G. A. Bradshaw, who holds doctorates in ecology and psychology, is director of the Kerulos Center. Her work on elephants, chimpanzees, parrots, and other animals is frequently featured in the national media, including the New York Times, NPR, 20/20, Time magazine, the London Times, National Geo­graphic television, and National Geographic magazine. She lives in Jacksonville, OR.

Product Details

ISBN:
9780300127317
Publisher:
Yale University Press
Subject:
Social behavior in animals
Author:
Bradshaw, G. a.
Subject:
Psychology, comparative
Subject:
Life Sciences - Zoology - Mammals
Subject:
Animal Rights
Subject:
Wildlife
Subject:
Mammals
Subject:
Animals - Mammals
Subject:
Nature Studies-Mammals
Edition Description:
Trade Cloth
Publication Date:
20091031
Binding:
Paperback
Language:
English
Illustrations:
32 bandw illus.
Pages:
352
Dimensions:
9 x 5.88 in 1.05 lb

Related Subjects


Science and Mathematics » Biology » Zoology » Mammals
Science and Mathematics » Environmental Studies » Animal Rights
Science and Mathematics » Nature Studies » Animal Rights
Science and Mathematics » Nature Studies » Mammals » Elephants
Science and Mathematics » Nature Studies » Mammals » General
Science and Mathematics » Nature Studies » World Wildlife
Sports and Outdoors » Outdoors » Conservation and Animal Rights

Elephants on the Edge: What Animals Teach Us about Humanity
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Product details 352 pages Yale University Press - English 9780300127317 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "This thoughtful book by animal trauma specialist Bradshaw draws analogies between human and animal culture to illustrate the profound 'breakdown' occurring in elephant societies. Extraordinarily sensitive and social, elephants' survival has long depended on their matriarchal lineage — now sundered by culling the herds, which disrupts the hierarchy — and their psyches have been broken by prolonged isolation and separation, painful hooks used as training tools and general cruelty. Captured elephants meet the criteria of the psychiatirc handbook DSM for suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder. Drawing on research on animal trauma, concentration camp survivors and Konrad Lorenz — type ethology, Bradshaw makes a multidisciplinary condemnation of elephant abuse and celebrates those working on rehabilitating and healing the animals — including an elephant massage therapist and the owners of an elephant sanctuary in the Tennessee hills. In the end, anthropomorphizing isn't the issue; Bradshaw says that instead of giving animals human feelings, we should observe that they have feelings that correlate with what we may feel in similar circumstances. With its heartbreaking findings and irrefutable conclusions, this book bears careful reading and consideration." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
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