Beyond Words

What Animals Think and Feel (2015.7)


关于本书 About the book

Beyond Words brings forth powerful and illuminating insight into the unique personalities of animals through extraordinary stories of animal joy, grief, jealousy, anger, and love. The similarity between human and nonhuman consciousness, self-awareness, and empathy calls us to re-evaluate how we interact with animals. Wise, passionate, and eye-opening at every turn, Beyond Words is ultimately a graceful examination of humanity's place in the world.

本书金句 Key insights

● So, a better way to view animals is by acknowledging that they have minds, albeit minds of their own.

● Among the bonobos the females rule and it is the friendly males, not the aggressive ones, which are preferred for breeding. As a result, the species has become friendlier over time. This is essentially an example of developing a characteristic temperament by selective breeding.

● Did you know that the basic structure of your brain is very similar to that of other mammals? This surprising fact says a lot about animal thought because having brains and hormones comparable to those of humans makes other mammals act, feel and think much like we do.

● Elephants are also cooperative and when lost will seek out others. In fact, they can even feel the emotions of another elephant. For instance, when an elephant is hurt, another will feed it, showing that they understand such situations and respond with compassion.

● To communicate, each killer whale family uses unique calls but also shares certain common ones with other families whose calls unite them in a pod. Multiple pods form clans, which also employ a specific set of calls. Clans socialize with other clans with the same calls to form a community which will not interact with other killer whale communities.