Second Nature: The Inner Lives of Animals (MacSci)

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An interesting book even though not terribly well written. View all 25 comments. Jul 27, Desiree rated it really liked it. Dec 15, jeremy rated it really liked it Shelves: nature. Aug 28, Rachel rated it it was amazing Shelves: the-animal-connection-non-fiction.

Vervet Monkey Wildlife Nature Documentary HD - The Bandit Diaries - Entry #2

An extremely thoughtful look at not only the lives of animals, but of our moral and ethical thoughts about them. At first the focus is on animals, their behaviour, sentience, how their senses differ depending on physiology, and finally on their emotions. Although scientific research is always used as evidence, this author never starts with an "they don't have this until it is proven otherwise" attitude, instead he is most willing to give the benefit of the doubt. One particular point is emphasiz An extremely thoughtful look at not only the lives of animals, but of our moral and ethical thoughts about them.

One particular point is emphasized, animals in the group setting are not as violent as many of us believe. They share, work together, and on the rare occasion that they do fight, the submission of the loser is accepted. It rarely ends with death. This is contrary to what most nature programs say, and reflects more on our fascination with violence, than how much actually occurs.

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In reality more deaths are caused by humans than any other species, but we never include ourselves in statistics comparing animals. Having looked at the emotions in animals, a new focus is presented, since animals have emotions what does that mean about how we treat them. Do we have the right to cause them suffering? Should we use them for our benefits knowing that we do?

Finally, at the end a hopeful note is left for us, we are learning. May 22, Colette rated it it was ok. A usually interesting collection of research studies, anecdotes, and observations about animals, with the author believing strongly that animals are capable of enjoying life, rather than being devoid of feeling, and acting on instinct.

Second Nature

Definitely some good food for thought, though the writing sucked, and everything was so 'fluffy' and agenda-laden, that I found it frustrating at times. But it convinced me that the double-priced eggs from the family farms are worth it! Jan 16, The Wandering Bibliophile rated it it was amazing Shelves: I literally finished this book in the span of 24 hours. It was amazing. I can't recommend it highly enough to those who are concerned with animal welfare. While I borrowed the book from the library this time I will most definitely be purchasing it for my own library as there were numerous passages that I desperately wanted to take a highlighter to.

Definitely my first "favorite" of An exceptionally researched, candid and extraordinary book. A must-read for animal lovers and those narrow-minded about animals. Oct 29, Cathy Unruh rated it it was amazing. Written largely from a scientific perspective, so one needs to be prepared for that: incredibly informative and possibly life-changing in the way we view our fellow creatures.

Oct 14, Mark McTague rated it really liked it. The author, a biologist by training and profession, cites numerous scientific studies over the previous decade published in that have been shifting our understanding of the so-called "lower animals. In carefull The author, a biologist by training and profession, cites numerous scientific studies over the previous decade published in that have been shifting our understanding of the so-called "lower animals.

In carefully organized chapters, he shows how we are discovering, via scientific study, that animals think far more than we ever imagined, that they experience pain and apparent pleasure, that they are capable of altruistic action, and that many live highly social lives where their relationships to others of their kind, and even to other species, is best understood as communal. In short, they have lives as meaningful to them as our own are to us. Yet he does more than that.

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He links this changing awareness of other animals to our own ecological predicament - overpopulation and its attendant ills - climate change, resource depletion, environmental degradation, and accelerated species extinction. He then shows how two actions - refusing to eat meat chicken, beef, pork, fish and having one or no children - can, if done by enough people in the developed world, begin to reverse the damage that our ideology of growth and expanding consumption is doing to this spaceship that we live on.

His prose is forceful but not shrill so that readers skeptical or unsure of this developing paradigm shift can consider the evidence dispassionately. Well worth the reading. Jun 29, Amelia Mulder rated it it was amazing Shelves: animal-rights. This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. A most extraordinary book.

Even though I've been vegan for quite a while, it's absolutely opened my eyes to stereotypes about animal intelligence and empathy that even I was still upholding, such as the inherent cruelty of nature, which Balcombe shows is not nearly as cut-throat as nature documentaries would lead us to believe.


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  • Running on Empty: Refilling Your Spirit at the Low Points of Life;
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  • REPRISAL.

Animals actually have time to enjoy their lives, they have a purpose beyond feeding or entertaining us, and their lives are not just a constant battle for survival. Often A most extraordinary book. Often their abilities, intelligence and senses go way beyond what we give them credit for, with human intelligence as the standard their worth is measured against.

New Discoveries in Animal Intelligence are Revealed in Jonathan Balcombe’s Book Second Nature

Balcombe shows that often we'd fall far short if our abilities and yes, even intelligence in reverse was measured against theirs. May 11, Kathi rated it liked it. I spent several hours with this author at a fundraiser where I purchased my signed copy of this book. While I like Jonathan a lot, I have mixed feelings about this book.

The Exultant Ark by Jonathan Peter Balcombe - Hardcover - University of California Press

Written at a college level, at times it had my eyes glaze and I had to re-read a paragraph to understand what he was trying to say. The author is well-traveled and many of the anecdotes are personal experience. This is well-researched with pages of notes at the end of the book.

The final chapters are a bit "preachy" though. Ha I spent several hours with this author at a fundraiser where I purchased my signed copy of this book. Having spent two decades in the pet rescue field, I agree with so much of what he had to say and I didn't need to research it. Mar 16, Susan rated it it was amazing Shelves: nonfiction , natural-history. This book is a fantastic read. At the same time, Balcombe also refrains from 'dumbing down' the work. For me, a couple of the chapters were extremely difficult to read as they describe the violence people do to animals and that people do to one another.

However, these chapters were in no way gratuitous; they supported Balcombe's argumen This book is a fantastic read. However, these chapters were in no way gratuitous; they supported Balcombe's arguments and provided information important to his thesis. Apr 30, Sheila rated it really liked it. Thought provoking read about animals emotional lives as well as their interactions with the same species and others, how we humans treat animals in the laboratory and factory farms. Nice ancedotes about interactions between animals.

Not so pretty thoughts about humans' unethical and immoral actions towards animals. Aug 18, Adrienne rated it really liked it. It seemed like a lot of information was thrown together without really fleshing out the narrative. Many interesting studies that I would have liked expanded. Clearer, more concise arguments would have made this a stronger book. Jun 28, e.

I recommend this book. The main point for me was that the life of each individual animal matters to that individual animal. I'll try to become more conscious of my personal choices. Excelente libro. Apr 25, Ed Dieringer rated it really liked it. Really gets that ol' brain a tickin'. Jul 17, Steph Bradford rated it really liked it. It reminds me of watching Mutual of Omaha's "Wild Kingdom" as a kid! I hope to use snippets with my students. Marc Bekoff. David Nibert. Gary L.