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Animals Matter: A Biologist Explains Why We Should Treat Animals with Compassion and Respectby Marc Bekoff
Synopses & Reviews
Nonhuman animals have many of the same feelings we do. They get hurt, they suffer, they are happy, and they take care of each other. Marc Bekoff, a renowned biologist specializing in animal minds and emotions, guides readers from high school age up—including older adults who want a basic introduction to the topic—in looking 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 with conviction, he zeroes in on the important questions, inviting reader participation with “thought experiments” and ideas for action. Among the questions considered:
Are some species more valuable or more important than others?
Do some animals feel pain and suffering and not others?
Do animals feel emotions?
Should endangered animals be reintroduced to places where they originally lived?
Should animals be kept in captivity?
Are there alternatives to using animals for food, clothing, cosmetic testing, and dissection in the science classroom?
What can we learn by imagining what it feels like to be a dog or a cat or a mouse or an ant?
What can we do to make a difference in animals quality of life?
Bekoff urges us not only to understand and protect animals—especially those whose help we want for our research and other human needs—but to love and respect them as our fellow beings on this planet that we all want to share in peace.
"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.'" Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
Bekoff, a renowned biologist specializing in animal minds and emotions, guides readers in looking at scientific research, philosophical ideas, and humane values that argue for the ethical and compassionate treatment of animals.
About the Author
Marc Bekoff, formerly professor of biology at the University of Colorado in Boulder, specializes in animal behavior, cognitive ethology (the study of animal minds), and behavioral ecology. With the renowned primatologist Jane Goodall, he cofounded Ethologists for the Ethical Treatment of Animals. He has published more than eighteen books.
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