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Price: $81.50

Hardback 244 pp.
7 halftones, 1 figure and 1 line drawing, 156 mm x 234 mm



Publication date:
March 2002

Imprint: OUP UK

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Minding Animals

Awareness, Emotions, and Heart

Marc Bekoff

Minding Animals is concerned not only with the study of animal behaviour, but also with the innumerable ways in which humans interact with and intrude into the lives of our animal kin. The phrase "minding animals" is used in two ways. First, "minding animals" refers to caring for other animal beings, respecting them for who they are, appreciating their own world views, and wondering what and how they are feeling and why. The second meaning refers to the fact that many animals have very active and thoughtful minds. Throughout, the animals' point of view is stressed, based on the author's more than three decades of experience with a variety of animals. Minding Animals is a broad comparative, evolutionary, and ecological work that does not centre on nonhuman primates of one specific group of animals.

After introducing himself in the field of ethology, the biological study of animal behaviour, Bekoff discusses behaviour patterns such as predatory behaviour, grooming and gossip, what animals know about what others know, self-medication, dreaming, sperm wars, and mate choice. The also discusses animal intelligence, emotions, and the evolution of social morality. The final chapters deal with the nature of human interactions with animals - how we use them for education, research, clothing, and food, and how we "redecorate" nature by moving animals from one place to another.

Bekoff argues that we need more socially responsible and compassionate science to make progress solving the problems that we have created. He concludes that love is the answer and that we must connect with and love other animals, other humans, and all environments if we are to continue to live in harmony on this wondrous and interconnected planet.

Readership : General readers who are interested in animals, ecology and the state of the world; researchers and students.

Jane Goodall: Foreword
1. Chasing coyotes and moving "yellow snow"
2. Representing and misrepresenting animals
3. The richness of behavioral diversity: a potpourri of animal behavior
4. Animal minds and what's in them
5. Animal emotions: passionate natures and animal feelings
6. Play, cooperation, and the evolution of social morality: foundations of fairness
7. Animal welfare, animal rights, and animal protection
8. Human intrusions into animals' lives
9. Science, nature, and heart: minding animals and redecorating nature
10. Animals, theology, spirituality, and love

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Marc Bekoff is Professor of Biology at the Unviersity of Colorado, Boulder, and is a fellow of the Animal Behavior Society and a former Guggenheim Fellow. He was recently awarded the Exemplar Award from the Animal Behavior Society for major long-term contributions to the field of animal behavior. Marc is also the regional coordinator for Jane Goodall's Roots & Shoots programme. He and Jane have recently co-founded the organization Ethologists for the Ethical Treatment of Animals: Citizens for Responsible Animal Behavior Studies (www.ethologicalethics.com). Marc is also on the Advisory Board for the conservation organization, SINAPU, and in part of the international programme, Science and the Spiritual Quest II.

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Special Features

  • A broad comparative, evolutionary, and ecological work that does not centre on nonhuman primates or one specific group of animals
  • Ties together detailed empirical data on animal behaviour with anecdotes
  • Written in a style that is accessible to non-scientists