— Elizabeth Palmer Peabody, Theory of Teaching (1830) p. 6 (Unitarian, educator, author)
— Eleanor Roosevelt, as quoted in No Ordinary Time by Doris Kearns Goodwin.
— James Russell Lowell (Unitarian, poet, statesman, reformer)
Here is just a sample of the things in this book that blew my mind: Fish sing. Rats dream. Cats can count to four. Pigeons can tell the difference between a Monet and a Picasso. Lady rats prefer a guy who makes them laugh.
This book will fill you with facts like these, and it will make you think and worry and feel feelings about the question Morell poses in her epilogue: “GIven that we now know that we live in a world of sentient beings, not one of stimulus-response machines, how should we treat these other emotional, thinking creatures?”
It will also (if you are me) make you love and envy the scientists discovering the minds of the creatures we share a planet with. They do this work because they love the animals they study, or sometimes the other way around. They come to see the animals as colleagues.
Read this book, it’s great.
“We seem at the edge of a vast, expanding ocean of words, an ocean growing without any critical perspective whatever being brought to it. To me, as an editor, that seems an enormous absence.”
—Robert Silvers, founding editor of the New York Review of Books
“I have always been enchanted with the simultaneously permanent and ephemeral quality of the internet, and I believe that it is enough that it lives here and maybe it dies here. I just like that it even existed in the first place.”
— Virginia Morell, Animal Wise: The Thoughts and Emotions of Our Fellow Creatures