Do baboons have a sense of right and wrong? Can cats and dogs have their feelings hurt? Animal behavior expert Jonathan Balcombe makes the case that animals, once viewed only as mindless automatons, actually have rich sensory experiences and emotional complexity. Drawing on new research, observational studies, and personal anecdotes to reveal the full spectrum of animal experience, Balcombe paints a new picture of the inner lives of animals that diverges from the "fight or die" image often presented in the popular media. He challenges traditional views of animals and makes the case for why the human-animal relationship needs a complete overhaul. Did you know that dogs recognize unfairness and that rats practice random acts of kindness? Did you know that chimpanzees can trounce humans in short-term memory games? Or that fish distinguish good guys from cheaters, and that birds are susceptible to mood swings such as depression and optimism? With vivid stories and entertaining anecdotes, Balcombe gives the human pedestal a strong shake while opening the door into the inner lives of the animals themselves.
J. M. Coetzee