Animal Passions and Beastly Virtues

Reflections on Redecorating Nature

Marc Bekoff
Book Cover

PB: $34.95
EAN: 978-1-59213-348-2
Publication: Nov 05

Ebook: $34.95
EAN: 978-1-59213-349-9

320 pages
6 x 9
3 tables

An engaging, thoughtful look at the science and ethics of research into animal behavior

Read the Foreword and an excerpt from the Introduction (pdf).


What is it really like to be a dog? Do animals experience emotions like pleasure, joy, and grief? Marc Bekoff's work draws world-wide attention for its originality and its probing into what animals think about and know as well as what they feel, what physical and mental skills they use to live successfully within their social community. Bekoff's work, whether addressed to scientists or the general public, demonstrates that investigations into animal thought, emotions, self-awareness, behavioral ecology, and conservation biology can be compassionate as well as scientifically rigorous. In Animal Passions and Beastly Virtues, Bekoff brings together essays on his own ground-breaking research and on what scientists know about the remarkable range and flexibility of animal behavior. His fascinating and often amusing observations of dogs, wolves, coyotes, prairie dogs, elephants, and other animals playing, leaving and detecting scent-marks ("yellow snow"), solving problems, and forming friendships challenge the idea that science and the ethical treatment of animals are incompatible. In the series Animals, Culture, and Society, edited by Arnold Arluke and Clinton R. Sanders

Table of Contents

Foreword – Jane Goodall Introduction: What Does It Feel Like to Be a Fox? Part I. Emotions, Cognition, and Animal Selves: "Wow! That's Me!" 1. Beastly Passions 2. Cognitive Ethology: The Comparative Study of Animal Minds 3. On Aims and Methods of Cognitive Ethology, with Dale Jamieson 4. Reflections on Animal Selves, with Paul W. Sherman Part II. The Social Behavior of Dogs and Coyotes 5. The Social Ecology of Coyotes, with Michael C. Wells 6. Population and Social Biology of Free-Ranging Domestic Dogs, Canis familiaris, with Thomas J. Daniels 7. Ground Scratching by Male Domestic Dogs: A Composite Signal? 8. Observations of Scent-Marking and Discriminating Self from Others by a Domestic Dog ( Canis familiaris): Tales of Displaced Yellow Snow Part III. Social Play, Social Development, and Social Communication: Cooperation, Fairness, and Wild Justice 9. Social Communication in Canids: Evidence for the Evolution of a Stereotyped Mammalian Display 10. Virtuous Nature 11. Wild Justice, Cooperation, and Fair Play: Minding Manners, Being Nice, and Feeling Good Part IV. Human Dimensions: Human-Animal Interactions 12. Human (Anthropogenic) Effects on Animal Behavior 13. Translocation Effects on the Behavior of Black-Tailed Prairie Dogs ( Cynomys ludovicianus), with John P. Farrar, Karin L. Coleman, and Eric Stone 14. Interactions Among Dogs, People, and the Environment in Boulder, Colorado: A Case Study, with Carron A. Meaney 15. Behavioral Interactions and Conflict Among Domestic Dogs, Black-Tailed Prairie Dogs, and People in Boulder, Colorado, with Robert W. Ickes Part V. Ethics, Compassion, Conservation, and Activism: Redecorating Nature 16. The Importance of Ethics in Conservation Biology: Let's Be Ethicists Not Ostriches 17. Ethics and the Study of Carnivores: Doing Science While Respecting Animals, with Dale Jamieson Afterword: Minding Animals, Minding Earth-Old Brains in New Bottlenecks References Index

About the Author(s)

Marc Bekoff is a Professor of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of Colorado, Boulder. He has published numerous books including The Smile of a Dolphin, Minding Animals, The Ten Trusts (with Jane Goodall), and The Encyclopedia of Animal Behavior. His homepage is He and Jane Goodall co-founded Ethologists for the Ethical Treatment of Animals ( In 2005 Marc was presented with The Bank One Faculty Community Service Award for the work he has done with children, senior citizens, and prisoners.


In the Series

  • Animals, Culture, and Society edited by Arnold Arluke and Clinton R. Sanders

    Animals, Culture, and Society, edited by Arnold Arluke and Clinton R. Sanders, is concerned with probing the complex and contradictory human-animal relationship through the publication of accessible books that consider the place of animals in our culture, our literature, our society, and our homes.