Second Nature

The Inner Lives of Animals by Jonathan Balcombe

  • Published: Sep 18, 2020

For centuries we believed that humans were the only ones that mattered. The idea that animals had feelings was either dismissed or considered heresy. Today, that's all changing.New scientific studies of animal behavior reveal perceptions,... read more

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Details of Second Nature

Exact title of the book
Second Nature
Book author
Jonathan Balcombe
ISBN
9780230109261
Book series
MacSci
Publisher
St. Martin's Publishing Group
Published
Mar 16, 2010
Language
English
Format
PDF, FB2, EPUB, MOBI
Pages
256
File size (in PDF)
2304 kB

Some brief overview of book

For centuries we believed that humans were the only ones that mattered. The idea that animals had feelings was either dismissed or considered heresy. Today, that's all changing.

New scientific studies of animal behavior reveal perceptions, intelligences, awareness and social skills that would have been deemed fantasy a generation ago. The implications make our troubled relationship to animals one of the most pressing moral issues of our time. Jonathan Balcombe, animal behaviorist and author of the critically acclaimed Pleasurable Kingdom, draws on the latest research, observational studies and personal anecdotes to reveal the full gamut of animal experiencefrom emotions, to problem solving, to moral judgment.

Balcombe challenges the widely held idea that nature is red in tooth and claw, highlighting animal traits we have disregarded until now their nuanced understanding of social dynamics, their consideration for others, and their strong tendency to avoid violent conflict. 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 fishes 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.

About author

Balcombe, Ph. D., is a former animal behavior research scientist for the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, and currently a consultant based in Washington, D. C.

He is the author of Pleasurable Kingdom.

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