Sunday, May 9, 2010

Review: When Elephants Weep

By Jeffrey Moussaieff Masson
Non-fiction (1995)

My Synopsis

Non-fiction book about the emotional lives of animals.

My Thoughts

Ever since I saw the movie Arctic Circle I've been interested in animal emotions. The moving picture in my mind of the mother polar bear grieving for her dead cub - first lying next to it and then, knowing she must move on, glancing back several times, finally, reluctantly leaving - is etched and permanent.

When Elephants Weep is a carefully researched book of scientific data and experiments, accompanied by scores of animal stories, that prove that animals (not just elephants) in captivity and in the wild experience emotion.

Animals emotions proven and covered in the book include: Fear, hope, love, friendship, grief, sadness, joy, rage, compassion, rescue, altruism, shame, and the ability to appreciate beauty.

There is mention of the cruel rhesus monkey experiments from years ago, but also the most beautiful, awe-inspiring stories of animals that show they feel just about every emotion humans do, from pain and fear to guilt and embarrassment.

I absolutely loved this book and will never look at animals the same way again.

Do I Recommend?




My Rating



Staci said...

I have a feeling that this one would break my heart but I'm always intrigued by stories about animals!!!

Aths said...

Do you know elephants are my favorite animals? I come from a place that is a home to elephants, but still tragedies happen to them, like trains hitting them at night. One particularly tragic incident about a train hitting a mother elephant and dragging her for quite a distance, while the train tried to stop had a huge impact on me. I'm trying to figure out what I can do for elephants in India, it doesn't help that we don't really have as many rules protecting animals as human beings in India.

Don't know why I said all that, I guess the cover just reminded me. :) I'm going to add this book, thanks for bringing it to my attention!

Jenners said...

I have no doubt that animals have emotions ... anyone who thinks they don't (and sadly some people think this) are just fooling themselves.

christa @ mental foodie said...

I like reading books with scientific research (written for layperson like me of course) so will add this to my TBR. T Hanks for the review!


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