Frans de Waal, C. H. Candler Professor in Emory University's Psychology Department and director of the Living Links Center at the Yerkes National Primate Research Center, has spent more than 40 years studying and writing about animal behavior. In his book Are We Smart Enough to Know How Smart Animals Are? he made a good case against the widely held idea that humanity is the measure of all things. He reported on the versatility and resilience of nonhuman minds.
In this compelling work, the author presents the latest cutting-edge research to prove that animals have a rich and varied emotional life. He looks at the experiences of apes, elephants, cats, horses, dolphins, dogs, and rats that illustrate their capacity for love, hate, fear, shame, joy, generosity, and empathy. De Waal is a wonderful storyteller, and here he shares stories about elephants revisiting the bones of kin who have passed on; dogs who "adopt" the injuries of their companions; and the mourning rituals of dolphins and killer whales who carry the bodies of their dead children, often for days.
Learning that fish feel pain and rats would rather help one of their own who is in trouble than eat a cookie certainly make a good case for the need for more study of the rich emotional lives of all types of animals.
Yet despite all the evidence and research de Waal presents, other scientists and modern thinkers resist the idea that human beings are brothers and sisters to animals. But we affirm the author's conclusions that such qualities as love, kindness, and generosity bind us together with animal beings and make the connections between us even more vivid and adventuresome.