Kindle Book Spotlight: If You Could Talk To The Animals…

July 31, 2012
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…what might they say? Today we shine the Kindle Book Spotlight on a few titles that may just have the answers to that question.

The Emotional Lives of Animals (4.5/5 stars, Kindle edition currently priced at $9.59)

Based on award-winning scientist Marc Bekoff’s years studying social communication in a wide range of species, this important book shows that animals have rich emotional lives. Bekoff skillfully blends extraordinary 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. Filled with Bekoff’s light humor and touching stories, The Emotional Lives of Animals is a clarion call for reassessing both how we view animals and how we treat them.

From the same author – Wild Justice: The Moral Lives of Animals (4.5/5 stars, Kindle edition currently priced at $9.39)

Scientists have long counseled against interpreting animal behavior in terms of human emotions, warning that such anthropomorphizing limits our ability to understand animals as they really are. Yet what are we to make of a female gorilla in a German zoo who spent days mourning the death of her baby? Or a wild female elephant who cared for a younger one after she was injured by a rambunctious teenage male? Or a rat who refused to push a lever for food when he saw that doing so caused another rat to be shocked? Aren’t these clear signs that animals have recognizable emotions and moral intelligence? With Wild Justice Marc Bekoff and Jessica Pierce unequivocally answer yes.

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.


Animals in Translation (4.5/5 stars, Kindle edition currently priced at $11.99 – price set by the publisher) is the work of acclaimed (and autistic) animal scientist, professor and livestock industry consultant Temple Grandin.

Temple Grandin’s Animals in Translation speaks in the clear voice of a woman who emerged from the other side of autism, bringing with her an extraordinary message about how animals think and feel. Temple’s professional training as an animal scientist and her history as a person with autism have given her a perspective like that of no other expert in the field. Standing at the intersection of autism and animals, she offers unparalleled observations and groundbreaking ideas about both.Autistic people can often think the way animals think — in fact, Grandin and co-author Catherine Johnson see autism as a kind of way station on the road from animals to humans — putting autistic people in the perfect position to translate “animal talk.” Temple is a faithful guide into their world, exploring animal pain, fear, aggression, love, friendship, communication, learning, and, yes, even animal genius. Not only are animals much smarter than anyone ever imagined, in some cases animals are out-and-out brilliant.

The sweep of Animals in Translationis immense, merging an animal scientist’s thirty years of study with her keen perceptions as a person with autism — Temple sees what others cannot.


Another book from the same author, Animals Make Us Human: Creating The Best Life For Animals (4.5/5 stars, Kindle edition currently priced at $9.99 – price set by the publisher), focuses on how humans can best interact with, and care for, both domesticated and wild creatures.

How can we give animals the best life– for them? What does an animal need to be happy?

In her groundbreaking, best-selling book Animals in Translation, Temple Grandin drew on her own experience with autism as well as her experience as an animal scientist to deliver extraordinary insights into how animals think, act, and feel. Now she builds on those insights to show us how to give our animals the best and happiest life– on their terms, not ours.

Knowing what causes animals physical pain is usually easy, but pinpointing emotional distress is much harder. Drawing on the latest research and her own work, Grandin identifies the core emotional needs of animals and then explains how to fulfill the specific needs of dogs and cats, horses, farm animals, zoo animals, and even wildlife. Whether it’s how to make the healthiest environment for the dog you must leave alone most of the day, how to keep pigs from being bored, or how to know if the lion pacing in the zoo is miserable or just exercising, Grandin teaches us to challenge our assumptions about animal contentment and honor our bond with our fellow creatures.

Animals Make Us Human is the culmination of almost thirty years of research, experimentation, and experience. This is essential reading for anyone who’s ever owned, cared for, or simply cared about an animal.

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One Response to Kindle Book Spotlight: If You Could Talk To The Animals…

  1. Jane (Dandelion Jane) on August 1, 2012 at 12:35 am

    Thank-you for highlighting these titles! I probably wouldn’t have known about them if it weren’t for you!

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