Most of us can remember a time when we’ve been upset or in a bad mood, and our cat or dog has, through a deliberate touch or look, seemingly expressed great concern. Research is now substantiating what we know in our bones to be true: that at such moments, our pets are revealing their deep feelings for us.
In Beauty in the Beasts, animal advocate and writer Kristin von Kreisler combines provocative scientific findings with a compassionate understanding of the natural world to offer clear proof that animals are capable of experiencing such strong feelings – and that they can choose to express their emotions through behavior that is virtuous and moral. She tells the captivating, real-life accounts of dogs, cats, bears, horses, and other animals whose actions speak volumes. Among them:
- A pot-bellied pig who lay down in traffic outside her house in Pennsylvania and squealed to get help for a woman who’d had a heart attack.
- A British dog with a slipped disk who hobbled painfully, by herself, to her vet’s office and scratched at the door for help – five years after her last visit.
- A Sumatran monkey who brought bananas and bamboo shoots for twelve days to a British sergeant in World War II who was caught by his parachute in a tree
Weaving moving anecdotes and fascinating interviews with animal experts, von Kreisler debunks the idea that the behavior of these creatures is driven purely by instinct or self-interest. Through hundreds of true stories from around the world, she demonstrates how animals choose to act in virtuous ways – and how, in so doing, they have much to show us about how to live.