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How Animals Grieve by Barbara J. King
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How Animals Grieve (edition 2013)

by Barbara J. King (Author)

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613289,496 (4.22)4
Member:The_Great_Panjandrum
Title:How Animals Grieve
Authors:Barbara J. King (Author)
Info:University Of Chicago Press (2013), 208 pages
Collections:Your library
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How Animals Grieve by Barbara J. King

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Repetitive, but interesting look at how animals grieve Pet owners and animal lovers probably won't be surprised at the information in this book, which looks at various animals in grief at the death of their fellow animal and sometimes human. Many of these stories are probably familiar: dogs that sniff around and go from room to room looking for his/her companion, elephants that stop and examine the dead body of a comrade, dolphins that carry/push their dead and are guarded by fellow dolphins, etc.
 
Most chapters discusses a different animal: elephants, dogs, cats, horses, rabbits, dolphins, etc. King offers observations from both herself and scientists who have previously studied these animals. There are also stories from animal owners and caretakers about the deaths of animals in their care and what their families do or not.
 
King warns that not all animals seem to exhibit grief or perhaps know how to "move on" in ways humans do not understand or observe. For example, she cites one dog who was brought in to see another who had been put down by the vet. The living animal showed no interest in the dead companion. King acknowledges that perhaps the relationship between the two (who had lived together) was not close. Or the animal had simply moved on and the death was of no matter.
 
It was an interesting and relatively quick read, although sometimes I felt it could get repetitive since it followed the basic same structure. It was fascinating to see how how this is something that appears to encompass much of the animal kingdom, and King offers some thoughts about what that means for humans, both in terms of ourselves and in understanding the grief of others (human or otherwise).
 
Animal lovers or those who study them will probably find this interesting. ( )
  acciolibros | Feb 11, 2018 |
4.5 stars

In this book, anthropologist Barbara King brings examples of situations where she believes those animals are grieving. She also provides examples where it's not that easy to tell.

I really liked this. Of course, with my love for animals, I do believe animals feel and grieve. I borrowed this book from a friend who was doing research for school, so I wasn't sure how “academic” it would be, but because there really haven't been scientific studies on the topic, these really are more anecdotes, which is more enjoyable for the casual reader (like me!), anyway. ( )
  LibraryCin | May 1, 2016 |
I'll admit I only picked up this book because I thought the idea King was trying to prove is ridiculous. However, she made some interesting claims throughout the book; by the end, I wasn't convinced, but I wasn't ruling her out. ( )
  amlohf | Jan 18, 2016 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0226436942, Hardcover)

From the time of our earliest childhood encounters with animals, we casually ascribe familiar emotions to them. But scientists have long cautioned against such anthropomorphizing, arguing that it limits our ability to truly comprehend the lives of other creatures. Recently, however, things have begun to shift in the other direction, and anthropologist Barbara J. King is at the forefront of that movement, arguing strenuously that we can—and should—attend to animal emotions. With How Animals Grieve, she draws our attention to the specific case of grief, and relates story after story—from fieldsites, farms, homes, and more—of animals mourning lost companions, mates, or friends.
 
King tells of elephants surrounding their matriarch as she weakens and dies, and, in the following days, attending to her corpse as if holding a vigil. A housecat loses her sister, from whom she's never before been parted, and spends weeks pacing the apartment, wailing plaintively. A baboon loses her daughter to a predator and sinks into grief. In each case, King uses her anthropological training to interpret and try to explain what we see—to help us understand this animal grief properly, as something neither the same as nor wholly different from the human experience of loss.
 
The resulting book is both daring and down-to-earth, strikingly ambitious even as it’s careful to acknowledge the limits of our understanding. Through the moving stories she chronicles and analyzes so beautifully, King brings us closer to the animals with whom we share a planet, and helps us see our own experiences, attachments, and emotions as part of a larger web of life, death, love, and loss.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:12:45 -0400)

An anthropologist proves that animals really do experience emotions, describing through a number of specific cases how elephants, housecats and baboons exhibited signs of grieving upon experiencing a loss of a mate, sibling or child.

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