Animal Intelligence

What is going on in the minds of animals?

Balcombe, Jonathan. Pleasurable Kingdom: Animals and the Nature of Feeling Good. New York: Macmillan, 2006.

This book provides overwhelming evidence that both domesticated and wild animals feel emotions and behave in ways to enhance positive feelings and concludes by addressing the responsibilities of human beings.

Balcombe, Jonathan. Second Nature: The Inner Lives of Animals. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2010.

Filled with page after page of evidence, this book shows that both domesticated and wild animals have complex emotional lives. They are self-aware, sensitive and communicative. What are the implications for human beings? Can we still use animals for experiments? Can we still eat them? This intriguing book for adults is definitely worth reading.

Hatkoff, Amy. The Inner World of Farm Animals: Their Amazing Social, Emotional, and Intellectual CapacitiesNew York: Stewart, Tabori & Chang, 2009.

Heart-warming vignettes tell astonishing stories of chickens and turkeys, cows and goats, pigs and sheep. Any reader aged eleven and up will enjoy this easy-to-read book full of incredible feats and touching relationships. And if you are not already a vegetarian, you are likely to give more thought to the treatment of these animals who far too often are treated merely as raw materials for human consumption.

Dogs on Duty

Hinshaw, Dorothy. Dogs on duty: Soldiers’ Best friends on the Battlefield and Beyond. New York : Walker & Co., 2012.

An illustrated nonfiction book for readers 10 years old and up.

Masson, Jeffrey Moussaieff. The Pig Who Sang to the Moon: The Emotional World of Farm AnimalsNew York: Ballantine, 2003.

This bestselling author of books about elephants, dogs and cats now addresses the inner lives of pigs, chickens, ducks, sheep and cows, strenuously emphasizing that these creatures do not only operate on instinct but instead have complex emotional lives that are all too often ignored by humans.  Also available as an ebook.

Peterson, Dale. The Moral Lives of Animals. New York: Bloomsbury Press, 2011.

Like human beings, many animals have a strong sense of morality. Whether by following rules or by showing empathy, many animals have evolved to show moral behaviour in regards to authority, violence, sex, possession, communication, cooperation and kindness. The author maintains that this morality developed as a response to living in groups. Easy to understand and fascinating to read, this almost 300-page book is nevertheless best suited for accomplished readers.

Waal, Frans de. The Age of Empathy: Nature’s Lessons for a Kinder SocietyToronto: McClelland & Stewart, 2009.

This well-known biologist explains how both animals and humans are not only capable of kindness but are neurologically wired to have empathy for others. Available as an ebook.



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