Elephants can count. Dogs read our expressions. Cows have personality. Fish feel Pain. What do animals know and feel? Are they creative, can they actually make art? Do they grieve or have agency - the ability to make decisions, intentionally manipulate other creatures (even us) or love? Animals have extraordinary abilities. Their feelings are much like ours, and some of their cognitive skills equal our own. Inside the Animal Mind unpacks their inner lives and their relationship to us.
Animal consciousness has long been fascinating — but difficult to penetrate. Today, that is changing, and fast. Researchers say that each creature has evolved a suitable intelligence and emotional life for it’s own role in the world: Dogs have minds that race though time on the fast track, in line with their quick metabolisms. Cats have a detailed language of meows to communicate specifically with humans. The octopus, with eight interacting arms, has a wildly complex brain.
Readers will learn about how dogs love us, the special skills of horse therapists, and the wisdom of communities of bees. We explore how animals remember, how they love, the nature of their self-awareness and moral codes — and how they have fun.
Pamela Weintraub is a veteran journalist specializing in psychology, life sciences, and culture. She is former editor-in-chief of OMNI, executive editor of Discover, and currently the psychology and health editor of Aeon. She is author or co-author of 16 books, including the award-winning Cure Unknown: Inside the Lyme Epidemic, as well as The Meaning of Meow (Centennial Books, 2020) and The Meaning of Woof (Centennial Books, 2020). For the last two years, much of her work’s focus has been on covering animal psychology and the animal mind. Pamela lives in New York City.