Animal Passions and Beastly Virtues: Reflections on Redecorating Nature

Overview

What is it really like to be a dog? Do animals experience emotions like pleasure, joy, and grief? Marc Bekoff's work draws world-wide attention for its originality and its probing into what animals think about and know as well as what they feel, what physical and mental skills they use to live successfully within their social community. Bekoff's work, whether addressed to scientists or the general public, demonstrates that investigations into animal thought, emotions, self-awareness, behavioral ecology, and ...
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Animal Passions and Beastly Virtues: Reflections on Redecorating Nature

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Overview

What is it really like to be a dog? Do animals experience emotions like pleasure, joy, and grief? Marc Bekoff's work draws world-wide attention for its originality and its probing into what animals think about and know as well as what they feel, what physical and mental skills they use to live successfully within their social community. Bekoff's work, whether addressed to scientists or the general public, demonstrates that investigations into animal thought, emotions, self-awareness, behavioral ecology, and conservation biology can be compassionate as well as scientifically rigorous.

In Animal Passions and Beastly Virtues, Bekoff brings together essays on his own ground-breaking research and on what scientists know about the remarkable range and flexibility of animal behavior. His fascinating and often amusing observations of dogs, wolves, coyotes, prairie dogs, elephants, and other animals playing, leaving and detecting scent-marks ("yellow snow"), solving problems, and forming friendships challenge the idea that science and the ethical treatment of animals are incompatible.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Animal behaviorist, ecologist and ethicist Bekoff (Encyclopedia of Animal Behavior) presents a lengthy compilation of scientific papers and articles from journals like Scientific American on a range of subjects that, remarkably, coheres into a fascinating "big-picture view of animals, culture, and society." Bekoff's writings focus primarily on the science of cognitive ethology, on what animals think, feel and know-and most of the articles study the behavior of dogs; one of the most interesting pieces looks at the sounds and smells that can trigger primary emotions, such as innate fear, in canines. Overall, this collection serves as an excellent summation of the major theme of Bekoff's many books: "with hard work, we can make Earth a better place for all beings," primarily because of engaging introductory essays that connect five sections on animal emotions, social behaviors and ethics. These essays not only explain his concern for how humans "redecorate" nature by using animals for their own purposes but also achieve his goal of appealing to academic and popular audiences though his "musings" on science, social responsibility and "who we are in the grand scheme of things." (Dec.) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Library Journal
In this collection of essays, Bekoff (ecology & evolutionary biology, Univ. of Colorado, Boulder; Encyclopedia of Animal Behavior) addresses various aspects of animal behavior (ethology) and the related treatment of animals. The subtitle reflects the intention of the work: to show that any interference with ecosystems or animal species ("redecorating") has undesirable effects on the world. Bekoff attempts to reconcile scientific studies of animals with the animal-rights philosophy of not treating animals as things. This is a unique concept and a difficult task, since such studies have traditionally involved interference in nature. Although primatologist Jane Goodall has written a foreword, the appeal of this book to popular audiences will be limited; about half of the essays come from advanced journals, and the rest are written at a college level. Recommended for academic libraries where there is an interest in ethology and animal rights.-John Kistler, Houston, PA Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781592133482
  • Publisher: Temple University Press
  • Publication date: 12/28/2005
  • Series: Animals Culture and Society Series
  • Pages: 320
  • Sales rank: 874,899
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Table of Contents

Foreword
Introduction : what does it feel like to be a fox? 1
I Emotions, cognition, and animal selves : "wow! that's me!" 23
1 Beastly passions 35
2 Cognitive ethology : the comparative study of animal minds 40
3 On aims and methods of cognitive ethology 50
4 Reflections on animal selves 66
II The social behavior of dogs and coyotes 77
5 The social ecology of coyotes 86
6 Population and social biology of free-ranging domestic dogs, Canis familiaris 99
7 Ground scratching by male domestic dogs : a composite signal? 112
8 Observations of scent-marking and discriminating self from others by a domestic dog (Canis familiaris) : tales of displaced yellow snow 116
III Social play, social development, and social communication : cooperation, fairness, and wild justice 123
9 Social communication in canids : evidence for the evolution of a stereotyped mammalian display 134
10 Virtuous nature 140
11 Wild justice, cooperation, and fair play : minding manners, being nice, and feeling good 144
IV Human dimensions : human-animal interactions 177
12 Human (anthropogenic) effects on animal behavior 182
13 Translocation effects on the behavior of black-tailed prairie dogs (Cynomys ludovicianus) 192
14 Interactions among dogs, people, and the environment in Boulder, Colorado : a case study 197
15 Behavioral interactions and conflict among domestic dogs, black-tailed prairie dogs, and people in Boulder, Colorado 209
V Ethics, compassion, conservation, and activism : redecorating nature 219
16 The importance of ethics in conservation biology : let's be ethicists not ostriches 225
17 Ethics and the study of carnivores : doing science while respecting animals 232
Afterword : minding animals, minding Earth-old brains in new bottlenecks 263
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