Nancy S, March 30, 2013 (view all comments by Nancy S)
How refeshing to read a book about animals that includes both evolutionary biology and heart. Most books involving animal intellegence focus on how they measure up to human genius but Virginia Morell chooses instead to explore the uniqueness of animal minds and emotions. She tracks down scientific research being done all over the world that indicates animals have thoughts, feelings, laughter and dreams. I found particularily compelling the relationships that develop between the animals and the humans that sudy them in captivity and in the wild. What a great book!
techeditor, January 22, 2013 (view all comments by techeditor)
Here is a book everyone should read. It deals with such an important subject, and too many of us are unaware of it. Probably, MOST of us are unaware of it.
Virginia Morell, author of ANIMAL WISE, says that animals have minds. They use their brains as we do, and, like us, they have personalities, moods, and emotions. They laugh and play. Some show grief and empathy.
It is true that most of us pet owners see intelligence and personality in our own animals. But this is more than a proclamation by someone who loves her pets.
Morell speaks scientific fact, first in a cover article in NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC, now expanded in ANIMAL WISE. She tells us how we know that domesticated and wild animals, such as chimpanzees, elephants, wolves, and even fish, live by more than instinct.
Morell knows and wants us all to know: animals have feelings, both psychological and physical. But most of us don't realize that because the scientific experiments and findings that prove this have happened mostly in relatively recent years, the 1990s. But, even then and now, other animal experts are telling us to beware of anthropomorphism, attributing human emotions to animals. They need to see the proof to believe it.
The ANIMAL WISE epilogue gives examples to show why we need to know that animals as well as humans have minds and emotions. Then how could we not take care of animals and know that to do otherwise is immoral?
So read ANIMAL WISE. Then you will notice that, more and more, this subject is discussed elsewhere, too. Places like PBS stations and the Discovery channel are getting the word out so that even nonreaders of scientific magazines will see the proof.
Thanks to readitforward.com for this galley of ANIMAL WISE.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No (1 of 1 readers found this comment helpful)
by Kirkus Reviews (starred review),
“[A] delightful exploration of how animals think....Morell makes a fascinating, convincing case that even primitive animals give some thought to their actions.”
by Temple Grandin, author of Animals in Translation and Animals Make Us Human,
“After you read this book, you will be convinced that many different animal species have true thoughts and emotions. You will take a journey to the center of the animal mind.”
by Hal Herzog, author of Some We Love, Some We Hate, Some We Eat,
“From real-estate appraising ants and wife-beating parrots to laughing rats, grieving elephants, and dogs that play Simon Says, Virginia Morell’s Animal Wise is a fascinating and intellectually sweeping overview of the new science of animal cognition. With Morell’s unusual ability to capture the passion and humanity of these scientists, this extraordinary book is an impressive treatment of animal minds and a must read for anyone who has ever wondered what is going on in the heads of the creatures we share our world with.”
by Elizabeth Marshall Thomas, author of The Hidden Life of Dogs,
“Why is it that until very recently, many scientists claimed that animals can’t think? Every pet owner knows better, and Virginia Morell is our champion. But she’s not going on guesswork and opinion — Animal Wise is thoroughly and meticulously researched. And it’s a page-turner — a window to the natural world that will change the way we view other species. We place ourselves at the top of the evolutionary ladder. Of course we do. We invented the ladder. In her marvelous book, Morell displays the folly of this viewpoint. Animal Wise is fabulous!”
by Irene Pepperberg, author of Alex & Me,
“Morell’s Animal Wise is science writing at its best. Here she not only translates scientists’ jargon and data into enviable prose, but transmits her love of the field to her audience. Novice readers will be enthralled to learn about the intelligence of the creatures in this book, and experts will be extremely pleased to see how she makes their work and that of their colleagues accessible to everyone.”
by Frans de Waal, author of The Age of Empathy,
“From chimpanzees playing computer games to amorous dolphins, Virginia Morell takes us on a lively tour of what we have learned about the emotions and intelligence of animals. By inviting scientists to tell their personal side of the story, she not only brings the animals closer but also the thrill of discovery.”
by Jennifer S. Holland, author of Unlikely Friendships,
“These animals have incredible minds. Now thanks to Morell they have a voice. I love this book. It makes me even prouder to share this Earth with our non-human kin.”
by Richard E. Leakey, FRS, Stony Brook Professor of Anthropology and author of The Sixth Extinction,
“Anyone who reads this book will be changed forever in their view of life on earth.”
by Bernd Heinrich, author of Life Everlasting,
“The scientific expertise Virginia Morell provides to this very important subject, and the way she ties this in with the researchers who know their animals — because knowing them is their life work — make this an important book and a great read.”
“Animal Wise brings the reader into the lab and field to learn firsthand from the scientists that marvel over the minds of other animals. Using the sharp pen of an investigative reporter, Morell exposes the expected brilliance of apes, dolphins, and parrots, but also surprises us with simple discoveries of genius among fishes and ants, and even laughter among rats. Each page allows you to anticipate, sweat, grieve, and celebrate with dedicated scientists as you discover and experience their worlds, and those within the minds of the astounding animals that they study. Your journey causes reflection; a consideration of how we treat other species and what they think about us.” John Marzluff, Professor of Wildlife Science, University of Washington and author of Dog Days, Raven Nights and Gifts of the Crow
“Animal Wise is a thought-provoking and highly engaging set of essays that captures the changing views of scientists toward the minds and emotional lives of animals. It is sure to have broad impact on attitudes towards other species and our treatment of them. Thank you, Virginia Morell, for adding legitimacy to what we have so painstakingly observed.” Joyce Poole, PhD, Co-Director of ElephantVoices, member of the Amboseli Elephant Research Project, and author of Coming of Age With Elephants
by George B. Schaller, Panthera and Wildlife Conservation Society,
“In sprightly and clear prose Virginia Morell enters the world of animals with respect and insight and with the compelling argument that our lives differ only in degree. The recognition that we are bound in mind to many other creatures, all of them dependent on us for survival, will, I hope, arouse our compassion and assure them a future. This is a fascinating, timely, and important book.”
“From ants to apes, Animal Wise covers wide-ranging scientific research on the cognitive and emotional capacities of many different non-human animals. Noted author Virginia Morell writes clearly and concisely, and this easy read will surely be good for animals because we must use what we know about them to make their lives better in an increasingly human dominated world.” Marc Bekoff, author of The Emotional Lives of Animals and The Animal Manifesto and editor of Ignoring Nature No More
by Jeffrey Masson, author of When Elephants Weep,
“It is nice to see a science writer of Virginia Morell’s distinction take on this increasingly important topic, and it is good to have her calm and careful voice added to the conversation. She has a great deal to teach us about the latest research on the frontiers of this fascinating new world. Animal Wise is a fine book.”
Powell's City of Books is an independent bookstore in Portland, Oregon, that fills a whole city block with more than a million new, used, and out of print books. Shop those shelves — plus literally millions more books, DVDs, and gifts — here at Powells.com.