cover image When Elephants Weep: The Emotional Lives

When Elephants Weep: The Emotional Lives

Jeffrey Moussaieff Masson / Author, Jeffrey M. Mason / Author, Susan McC

When Masson searched modern scientific literature on the subject of emotions in nonhuman animals, he found very little. So the psychoanalyst turned his attention and analysis to these other species. With science writer McCarthy, he shows that animals of all kinds lead complex emotional lives. This subject is avoided by many behavioral scientists for fear that they will be accused of anthropomorphism; the authors look carefully at that issue. They argue that scientists use a double standard, depending on whether the behavior is human or nonhuman (``a cheetah is not frightened by a lion; it shows flight behavior''). The authors are sharply critical of animal research in psychology, which they liken to torture. Most human emotions can be observed in other animals--grief, anger, dominance, jealousy, compassion, altruism, gratitude; the book offers examples. ``If we wish to learn about other animals, they must be taken on their own terms, which includes their feelings,'' stress the authors, who make a compelling case for animals' having feelings to begin with. First serial to Cosmopolitan and New Age Journal; BOMC, QPB, Nature Book Study and National Wildlife Federation selections; audio rights to Recorded Books and Books on Tape. (May)