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Pleasurable Kingdom
Animals and the Nature of Feeling Good
Jonathan Balcombe

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Hardback 129mm x 196mm
May 2006 1403986010
256 Pages 16.99 / US$24.95

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"I predicted, in When Elephants Weep, that in ten years better scientists would write better books about the depth of feelings in animals. Well, that time has come, and here is that book."
--Jeffrey Moussaieff Masson
, Author, When Elephants Weep

"This impressive book takes the reader on a journey of scientific knowledge and understanding into the inner lives of others, from mice to monkeys and fish to fowl - even insects and worms - that inspires respect and appreciation for all creatures great and small. Dr. Balcombe's book should be a standard text for students of biology and behaviour. All who care for animals will be informed and inspired".
--Dr Michael W. Fox, Veterinarian, columnist, author

"For centuries humanity has justified our extermination of fishes with the myth that they do not have feelings or intelligence. Jonathan Balcombe exposes this myth and presents fishes, with other animals, as sensitive, social, feeling, marvelous sentient beings."
--Captain Paul Watson, founder of Greenpeace and Sea Shepherd Conservation Society

'In Pleasurable Kingdom, Balcombe draws together an extraordinary amount of information to help us to appreciate that we are not the only species that can, if all goes well, live joyful lives.'
-- Peter Singer, Professor of Bioethics, Princeton University, USA


Pleasurable Kingdom is the first trade book to focus on new evidence that animals, like humans, enjoy themselves. It debunks the popular perception that life for most is a continuous, grim struggle for survival. Instead it suggests that creatures from birds to bats to baboons may feel good thanks to play, sex, touch, food, anticipation, comfort, aesthetics and more.

Combining rigorous evidence, elegant argument and amusing anecdote, leading animal behaviour researcher, Dr Jonathan Balcombe proposes that evolution favours sensory rewards because they drive living things to stay alive and reproduce.
Animal pain and stress, once controversial, are now acknowledged by legislation in many countries. Likewise the possibility of positive feelings in creatures other than humans has important ramifications for science and society and is thus ripe for informed debate, Balcombe concludes.

Author Biographies

JONATHAN BALCOMBE is Animal Behaviour Research Scientist for the Washington DC-based Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine. He has published numerous scientific papers and magazine articles on, among other things, bat communication, turtle nesting and bird breeding. His first book, The Use of Animals in Higher Education: Problems, Alternatives and Recommendations was published by Humane Society Press in 2000.