“I'm not sure where I saw this book, but I'm glad it came to my attention. I had no idea how perfect the contained subject was in reference to my interests.
This book examined topics that fascinate me: animals, ethics, ethology, behavioral science, you name it. It was a dense read and it took quite awhile to work through, but it was worth it. Bekoff examined questions that I've always wondered about with anecdotal and evidential support. In short, it was absolutely fascinating to see the development of the study of animal emotions and feelings in the realm of scientific study. It was particularly fascinating to read about the purpose and examination of play in animals as well as grieving and other social interactions like empathy. I was also pleased that Bekoff made a point of differentiating between animal and human emotions while acknowledging their similarities.
I think his writing style was a little long winded and repetitive, but perhaps this was meant to be more of a scientific analysis/paper than a novel, and so I may just be unfamiliar with the format. I think I also disagreed with some of his finer points, but his approach to the subject was so open minded and compassionate that I didn't feel badgered, guilted, or upset with any of his research or opinions.
I feel like this is a book that should be read several times. Maybe one day I can buy it and study it. It's inspiring: makes me want to go back to school to learn ethology, animal psychology, animal preservation, all of that :)”