Beyond Words: What Animals Think and Feel (Paperback)

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Beyond Words is an extraordinary look at who, rather than what, animals are. Carl Safina deftly asserts that in our zeal to avoid anthropomorphizing we have made the equally unscientific error of ignoring clear evidence of cognition, feeling, culture, and community among our non-human earthly cohabitants. Illuminating and deeply moving.

— Stephanie


I wanted to know what they were experiencing, and why to us they feel so compelling, and so-close. This time I allowed myself to ask them the question that for a scientist was forbidden fruit: Who are you?

Weaving decades of field observations with exciting new discoveries about the brain, Carl Safina's landmark book offers an intimate view of animal behavior to challenge the fixed boundary between humans and nonhuman animals. In Beyond Words, readers travel to Amboseli National Park in the threatened landscape of Kenya and witness struggling elephant families work out how to survive poaching and drought, then to Yellowstone National Park to observe wolves sort out the aftermath of one pack's personal tragedy, and finally plunge into the astonishingly peaceful society of killer whales living in the crystalline waters of the Pacific Northwest.

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.

About the Author

Carl Safina's work has been recognized with MacArthur, Pew, and Guggenheim Fellowships, and his writing has won Orion, Lannan, and National Academies literary awards and the John Burroughs, James Beard, and George Rabb medals. He has a PhD in ecology from Rutgers University. Safina is the inaugural holder of the endowed chair for nature and humanity at Stony Brook University, where he co-chairs the steering committee of the Alan Alda Center for Communicating Science and is founding president of the not-for-profit Safina Center. He hosted the 10-part PBS series "Saving the Ocean" with Carl Safina. His writing appears in "The New York Times," "National Geographic," "Audubon," "Orion," " "and other periodicals and on the Web at National Geographic News and Views, Huffington Post, and "Beyond Words" is his seventh book. He lives on Long Island, New York.
Product Details
ISBN: 9781250094599
ISBN-10: 1250094593
Publisher: Picador USA
Publication Date: July 12th, 2016
Pages: 496
Language: English