Nonhuman animals have many of the same feelings we do. They get hurt, they suffer, they are happy, and they take care of each other. Marc Bekoff, a renowned biologist specializing in animal minds and emotions, guides readers from high school age up—including older adults who want a basic introduction to the topic—in looking at scientific research, philosophical ideas, and humane values that argue for the ethical and compassionate treatment of animals. Citing the latest scientific studies and tackling controversies with conviction, he zeroes in on the important questions, inviting reader participation with “thought experiments” and ideas for action. Among the questions considered:
Are some species more valuable or more important than others?
Do some animals feel pain and suffering and not others?
Do animals feel emotions?
Should endangered animals be reintroduced to places where they originally lived?
Should animals be kept in captivity?
Are there alternatives to using animals for food, clothing, cosmetic testing, and dissection in the science classroom?
What can we learn by imagining what it feels like to be a dog or a cat or a mouse or an ant?
What can we do to make a difference in animals’ quality of life?
Bekoff urges us not only to understand and protect animals—especially those whose help we want for our research and other human needs—but to love and respect them as our fellow beings on this planet that we all want to share in peace.
"People who want to end animal exploitation sometimes are accused of being unscientific and uninformed. Marc Bekoff's Animals Matter is (and for a long time will remain) the gold standard when it comes to offering a scientific, informed response to these reckless charges. As Bekoff demonstrates, a scientifically informed understanding of who animals are supports their liberation from the hands of human tyranny."—Tom Regan, author of The Case for Animal Rights and Empty Cages
"Marc Bekoff is the wisest scientist I know, for he is the only expert who truly loves animals in the way that children are able to love animals, with all his heart. Listen to him. Read this book, give it to friends, celebrate this wonderful event."—Jeffrey Moussaieff Masson, author of Altruistic Armadillos, Zenlike Zebras
"It's not every day that a world-class scientist tries to explain his ideas to a general audience. Marc Bekoff not only helps us to understand nature and animals, but also shows us how to love them."—Dale Jamieson, author of Ethics and the Environment