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Animals and the Nature of Feeling Good

About The Book:

Pleasurable Kingdom Book Cover

The recognition of animal pain and stress, once controversial, is now acknowledged by legislation in many countries, but there is no formal recognition of animals’ ability to feel pleasure.

Pleasurable Kingdom is the first book for lay-readers to present new evidence that animals – like humans – enjoy themselves.

It debunks the popular perception that life for most is a continuous, grim struggle for survival and the avoidance of pain.

Instead it suggests that creatures from birds to baboons feel good thanks to play, sex, touch, food, anticipation, comfort, aesthetics, and more.

Combining rigorous evidence, elegant argument and amusing anecdotes, leading animal behavior researcher Jonathan Balcombe proposes that the possibility of positive feelings in creatures other than humans has important ethical ramifications for both science and society.

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Brisk, erudite and enormously entertaining — an excellent, approachable introduction to the basic issues in animal behaviour.

Publishers Weekly

Entertaining examples of animal bliss — from drunken parrots to the caresses of fiddler crabs — bring a pleasure all their own.

Psychology Today

This well-reasoned, engaging book argues that critters share our capacities for humor, empathy and aesthetic pleasure.

People Magazine

This entertaining and thought-provoking book is recommended for popular science collections.

Library Journal

A well-argued thesis.

Scientific American