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Inside Animal Hearts and Minds
As Charles Darwin suggested more than a century ago, the differences between animals and humans are “one of degree and not of kind.” Not long ago, ethologists denied that animals had emotions or true intelligence. Now, we know that rats laugh when tickled, magpies mourn as they cover the departed with greenery, female whales travel thousands of miles for annual reunions with their gal pals, ants recognize themselves in a mirror, and beetles make star maps in their minds.
In engaging text and photographs, Inside Animal Hearts and Minds introduces readers to a broad and astonishing spectrum of animal feeling, thinking, and sentience. Learn about monkeys who understand the concept of money and use currency to shop, rats who choose friendship over food, and ravens who windsurf using curved pieces of tree bark as surfboards. Even language, math, and logic are no longer exclusive to humans. Signing apes invent metaphors, prairie dogs have “words” to describe intruders, parrots name their chicks, sea lions can think logically, and bears, lemurs, parrots, and other animals can “count.”
In a world where a growing body of scientific research is closing the gap between the human and nonhuman, Inside Animal Hearts and Minds invites us to change the way we view animals, the world, and our place in it.
About the Author
Belinda Recio is a recipient of the Humane Society’s Award for Innovation in the Study of Animals and Society, and a contributing editor for Organic Spa Magazine, where she writes the “State of the Ark” column on animals. She has developed science curricula for educational television, museums, and publishers; and has authored books on a variety of subjects, ranging from animals and nature to sacred arts and symbolism. Recio runs True North Gallery (www.truenorthgallery.net), where she exhibits art that connects people with animals, nature, and native traditions. She lives in South Hamilton, Massachusetts.
Foreword by Jonathan Balcombe
Jonathan Balcombe is an ethologist, author, and speaker. He has published over fifty scientific papers on animal behavior and animal protection. He is the director of Animal Sentience with the Humane Society Institute for Science and Policy and the author of five books, including What a Fish Knows: The Inner Lives of Our Underwater Cousins.
"In an increasingly human-dominated world, nonhuman animals (aka animals) need all the help they can get. Belinda Recio's Inside Animal Hearts and Minds will make it easier for people to rewild their hearts, and (re)connect with other animals. It's essential that as we learn about the inner lives of animals―their cognitive, emotional, and moral capacities― we take action on their behalf. Recio's book could be a game-changer."
―Marc Bekoff, author of Rewilding Our Hearts: Building Pathways of Compassion and Coexistence and The Animals' Agenda: Freedom, Compassion, and Coexistence in the Human Age
"Belinda Recio has written a fascinating account of animal emotions and animal intelligence. She makes the stories she tells available to a wide audience, and her examples are fair, friendly, and charming. I cannot imagine any animal lover not finding this a wonderful book!"
―Jeffrey Moussaieff Masson, bestselling author of nine books on the emotional life of animals, including Beasts: What Animals Can Teach Us About the Origins of Good and Evil
“Belinda Recio has assembled the best true stories of animals’ achievements in art, emotion, and reasoning all in one place. Everyone who reads it will come away feeling much closer to the other species we share this planet with, and be amazed by the sophisticated things they are capable of. Inside Animal Hearts and Minds is a provocative and beautiful book.”
—David Rothenberg, author of Survival of the Beautiful and Why Birds Sing