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Who hasn't wondered what it's like to be a dog or bird? Such questions seem unanswerable because we have no way of getting into an animal's mind. Marc Bekoff's work on animal behavior and mind draws world-wide attention for its originality and its probing into what animals might know as well as what skills (mental and physical) are needed to live life successfully as a member of a particular species. Convinced that individuals of every species have some level of self-awareness, Bekoff embarks on fascinating (and often amusing) observations of animals playing, leaving and detecting scent-marks, solving problems, and behaving fairly toward each other. Animal Passions and Beastly Virtues brings together some of his path-breaking research papers, essays on science and ethics, and popular articles in order to reveal a remarkable range of animal behaviors but also to argue that the ethical treatment of animals is an especially significant issue now.
"Bekoff has established himself as an excellent researcher in behavioral ecology. He has made strong contributions to our understanding of the ecology and behavior of carnivores and this book is a nice review of his past work. Bekoff builds a convincing case that scientists must understand the larger social and political ramifications of their research. Readers who are generally interested in the topics of animal rights and the ethics of conducting science on animals should certainly read this book because many of the author's ideas are both provocative and highly relevant."
- The Quarterly Review of Biology
"Bekoff brings together some of the most important findings he has presented throughout his career as a biologist and animal behaviorist [...] [He] successfully challenges traditional reviews of animal behavior."
- Animal Welfare Institute Quarterly
"This is a thought-provoking book that forces the reader to consider issues that are important but are often left at the fringes of our work [...] Marc Bekoff, by forcing us to consider animal minds and our ethical obligations to animals, is pushing the field of behaviour in interesting directions."
"One of his gems is his view on how we should interact with animals. He says, 'Do no intentional harm; respect all life; treat all individuals with compassion; and step lightly into the lives of other beings, bodies of water, and landscapes.'"
- BBC Wildlife
"serves as an excellent summation of the major theme of Bekoff's many books [...] 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.'"
- Publishers Weekly
"Animal Passions and Beastly Virtues is a book for scientists and non-scientists alike. The writing is clear so that even complex subjects can be readily understood. Marc has the courage of his convictions and is an excellent spokesman for animals."
- Jane Goodall
"Through his hard work and determination and in the face of considerable opposition, Bekoff has been most influential in the growing academic body of knowledge on animal sentience. This fascinating book, of appeal to both scientists and the general reader, looks at a range of topics including animal behavior, emotions and relationships and includes discussion of the ethics of our use of animals. Highly recommended!"
- Farm Animal Voices