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MAMA’S LAST HUG

Animal Emotions and What They Tell Us about Ourselves

by Frans de Waal

New York Times best-selling author Frans de Waal has spent four decades at the forefrontof animal research. Following up on his 2016 bestseller Are We Smart Enough to Know How Smart Animals Are?, which investigated animal behavior and intelligence, his new book,MAMA’S LAST HUG: Animal Emotions and What They Tell Us about Ourselves [W. W.Norton and Company, March 12, 2019; $27.95 hardcover], delivers a fascinating exploration of the rich emotional lives of animals that is just as enlightening and provocative. Once again de Waal proves the perfect guide to the cutting-edge research that can help us understand the animal world. With dramatic stories of rats, horses, dogs, dolphins, elephants, and apes, among others, de Waal shows that humans are not the only species with the capacity for love, hate, fear, shame, joy, generosity, and empathy.

De Waal begins MAMA’S LAST HUG with the death of Mama, a fifty-nine-year-old chimpanzee matriarch who formed a deep bond with her caretaker, the biologist Jan van Hoof. When Mama was dying, van Hoof filmed their goodbyes and witnessed something remarkable: the emotions that Mama expressed were every bit as profound as those of van Hoof—she was sad to leave him but also recognized the sadness he felt and responded to it by comforting him.

This story and others like it form the core of de Waal’s argument. He points to lab experiments in which rats, when given the choice between eating a cookie or helping a fellow rat in distress, will choose to help. Dogs have been known to “adopt” the injuries of their companions, pretending to limp in response to the pain experienced by their owners. Chimpanzees like Mama have such a sophisticated sense of empathy that they grasp concepts of fairness and justice and use them to great effect inside their communities. In one common experiment, chimpanzees rejected food-sharing offers that seemed unequal, even when that rejection meant the participating chimps received no food at all. This is, notably, exactly what humans do in the same experiment.

De Waal discusses a whole range of complex emotions and how they manifest themselves in physical behavior and facial expressions. Both dolphin and killer whale mothers have been known to carry along the bodies of their dead children, often for days. Bonobos have deep-belly laughs, dogs hang their heads in shame, horses roll their eyes out of fear. Elephants revisit the bones of their loved ones, sometimes years after their companion has passed away. All of these have human counterparts.


De Waal also looks at the darker side of emotional intelligence. He recounts the story of an alpha male chimpanzee who was killed by an experienced older rival and a young-up-and-coming male. The calculating manner in which the duo trapped and killed the former leader, and the brutality of the violence done to the deposed alpha male, left no doubt in de Waal’s mind that what he witnessed was a case of murder among the chimps.

Following the lead of Aristotle, who imagined animals as a sort of reacting machine, Western society has committed to the idea that there is a fundamental distinction between the emotional life of humans and all other species. This line of reasoning extends to modern thinkers like Richard Dawkins, who suggests that all signs of emotional life in animals are illusory byproducts of a deeper relentless and amoral dive to maximize genetic duplication. De Waal systematically challenges all of these outdated theories, opening our hearts and minds to the many ways in which humans and other animals are connected to each other and can form the sorts of complex bonds that last a lifetime. MAMA’S LAST HUG is one of those rare books that will transform how readers view the living world around them and will shift how they understand their own connection to a family of all living things.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Frans de Waal has been named one ofTIMEmagazine’s 100 Most Influential People. Theauthor of Are We Smart Enough to Know How Smart Animals Are? among many other works, he is the C. H. Candler Professor in Emory University’s Psychology Department and director of the Living Links Center at the Yerkes National Primate Research Center. He lives in Atlanta, Georgia.

TITLE: MAMA’S LAST HUG

SUBTITLE: Animal Emotions and What They Tell Us about Ourselves

AUTHOR: Frans de Waal

ISBN: 978-0-393-63506-5

PUB DATE: March 12, 2019

PRICE: $27.95 hardcover

PAGE COUNT: 336


- Early Praise for Mama’s Last Hug -

“A captivating and big-hearted book, full of compassion and brimming with insights about the

lives of animals, including human ones.”

Yuval Noah Harari, New York Times best-selling author of Sapiens

“I doubt that I've ever read a book as good as Mama's Last Hug: Animal and Human Emotions, because it presents in irrefutable scientific detail the very important fact that animals do have these emotions as well as the other mental features we once attributed only to people. Not only is the book exceedingly important, it's also fun to read, a real page-turner. I can't say enough good things about it except it's utterly splendid.”

Elizabeth Marshall Thomas

“Before I realized Frans de Waal's connection to Mama's actual last hug, I sent the online video link to a large group of scientists saying, ‘I believe it is possible to view this interaction and be changed forever.’ Likewise, I believe that anyone reading this book will be changed forever. De Waal has spent so many decades watching intently and thinking deeply that he sees a planet that is deeper and more beautiful than almost anyone realizes. In these pages, you can acquire and share his beautiful, shockingly insightful view of life on Earth.”

Carl Safina, author of Beyond Words: What Animals Think and Feel

“After you've read Mama's Last Hug it becomes obvious that animals have emotions. Learn how

they resemble us in many ways.”

Temple Grandin, author of Animals Make Us Human and Animals in Translation

“Frans de Waal is one of the most influential primatologists to ever walk the earth, changing the way we think of human nature by exploring its continuity with other species. He does this again in the wonderful Mama’s Last Hug, an examination of the continuum between emotion in humans and other animals. This subject is rife with groundless speculation, ideology, and badly misplaced folk intuition, and de Waal ably navigates it with deep insight, showing the ways in which our emotional lives are shared with other primates. This is an important book, wise and accessible.”

Robert Sapolsky, author of Behave: The Biology of Humans at Our Best and Worst

“Another fascinating book from Frans de Waal. Once again, he makes us think long and hard

about the true nature of animal emotions.”

Desmond Morris, author of The Naked Ape

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Review written by Jon Patch with 3 out of 4 paws

Smallfoot

Warner Bros. Pictures, Warner Animation Group, Warner Bros. Animation and Zaftig Films present a PG, 96 minute, Animation, Adventure, Comedy, directed by Karey Kirkpatrick and Jason Reisig, screenplay by Kirkpatrick and Clare Sera with a theatre release date on September 28, 2018.

 

RALEIGH, NC (3/14/18) – The AKC Canine Health Foundation (AKC CHF) and the V Foundation for Cancer Research announce a collaboration to fund cancer research for dogs that may also benefit people.

In an area of research known as “Comparative Oncology”, the two national organizations find they speak the same language. Comparative Oncology is the discipline that integrates naturally occurring cancers in dogs into broader studies of cancer biology and therapy. Since dogs and people get many of the same cancers, the AKC CHF and the V Foundation have teamed up to fund research in this field to benefit both species.

One of the cancers that occurs in both dogs and people is bladder cancer. Bladder cancer affects approximately 40,000 dogs and 79,000 people a year. The first project the AKC CHF and the V Foundation is jointly funding will test a new, targeted immunotherapy against a specific gene mutation that occurs in bladder cancer. Nicola Mason, BVetMed, PhD, a veterinary researcher at the University of Pennsylvania will lead the research team in this clinical trial entitled, “Immune Targeting of the V600E B-Raf Neoantigen in Canine Urothelial Carcinoma”.

“The V Foundation is excited about this partnership with the AKC CHF. Our funding of research in Comparative Oncology represents our belief that this work benefits humans and dogs alike. We are honored to co-fund this grant in memory of David Kane,” said Susan Braun, CEO of the V Foundation.

According to Dr. Diane Brown, CEO of the AKC CHF, “As veterinarians, we are trained to understand disease processes across species and have a clear understanding of the field of Comparative Oncology and comparative medicine. What is important now is to see human medicine working closely with veterinary medicine to benefit all species, and in this case, dogs and humans. We are thrilled to work with the V Foundation to lead in this area of research for a new cancer vaccine. Together we are stronger, and joining forces for bladder cancer research just makes sense.”

# # #

About the AKC Canine Health Foundation

Since 1995, the Raleigh, NC-based AKC Canine Health Foundation has leveraged the power of science and research to improve the lives of dogs and their people. The Foundation has awarded more than $40 million in research grants for the health of dogs, and works to prevent, treat and cure diseases that impact all dogs, while providing professional information and resources for a new breed of dog owner. Take action because you care; find out more online at www.akcchf.org.

About the V Foundation for Cancer Research
The V Foundation for Cancer Research was founded in 1993 by ESPN and the late Jim Valvano, legendary North Carolina State University basketball coach and ESPN commentator. Since 1993, the Foundation has funded more than $200 million in cancer research grants nationwide. The V Foundation awards 100% of direct donations to cancer research and programs. The V Foundation’s endowment covers administrative expenses. The Foundation awards peer-reviewed grants through a competitive awards process strictly supervised by a Scientific Advisory Committee. For more information on the V Foundation or to make a donation, please visit www.jimmyv.org.

 

Review written by Jon Patch with 3.5 out of 4 paws

Wonder Woman

Warner Bros. Pictures, Atlas Entertainment, Cruel & Unusual Films and DC Entertainment present a PG-13, 141 minute, Action, Adventure, Fantasy film directed by Patty Jenkins, screenplay by Allan Heinberg and story by Zack Snyder with a theater release date of June 2, 2017.

Review written by Jon Patch with 2.5 paws out of 4

Norm of the North

Lionsgate, Assemblage Entertainment and Splash Entertainment present a PG rated, 86 minute, Animation, Adventure, Comedy, directed by Trevor Wall, written by Daniel Altiere and Steven Altiere with a theater release date of January 15, 2016.

 

Masson brings the behavior of his animal subjects vividly and enchantingly to life…Truly fascinating.”

 

Dr. Jane Goodall on The Evolution of Fatherhood

 

 

 

A masterpiece…the most comprehensive and compelling argument for animal sensibility that I've yet seen.”

 

Elizabeth Marshall Thomas, on When Elephants Weep

 

 

 

Masson's rare combination of passionate advocacy and scientific perspicacity makes this book unusually powerful. As a psychoanalyst, he addresses the psychological and emotional barriers that keep people from adopting a compassionate lifestyle - and one so manifestly in their own interest, as well as society's and the planet's.”

 

  • The Atlantic on The Face on Your Plate

 

 

 

BEASTS

 

What Animals Can Teach Us About the Origins of Good and Evil

 

by Jeffrey Moussaieff Masson

 

 

 

Bestselling author Jeffrey Moussaieff Masson has delved deep into the unexplored territory of animal emotions, but in his new book he tackles the wildest creature of all – humans. BEASTS: What Animals Can Teach Us About the Origins of Good and Evil (Bloomsbury; March 4, 2014) is an illuminating account of the relationship between humans, animals, and our perception of violence.

 

 

 

A given person might say they fear shark attacks more than his fellow man, but there is a glaring discrepancy with this prevalent misconception: sharks, orcas, big cats, and other fearsome predators are not nearly as aggressive as humans. We are the only species responsible for killing over 200 million of our own members in the last century alone.

 

 

 

Masson has taught us how to explore human emotions through animal behavior – the way dogs love, cats practice independence, and elephants grieve for their lost ones. In BEASTS, Masson examines the difference between the unchecked aggression and predatory behavior that separates humans from animals, and who the real beasts are.

 

 

 

Jeffrey Moussaieff Masson, an ex-psychoanalyst and former director of the Freud Archives, is the author of numerous bestselling books on animal emotions, including Dogs Never Lie About Love and When Elephants Weep. He lives in New Zealand, but will be traveling to the U.S. at publication.

 

 

(Nov. 11, 2013) – After confirmation of two new flu-like canine viruses in the Tampa Bay region, The Humane Society of the United States and The Humane Society Veterinary Medical Association cautions dog owners in the area to avoid places where dogs socialize or congregate.

Last week, Hillsborough County Animal Services announced that several dogs at its shelter tested positive for respiratory coronavirus and pneumovirus. Dogs at the shelter were tested as part of a Cornell University research study.

Barry Kellogg, VMD, HSVMA’s senior veterinary advisor said: “If you notice your dog has runny eyes, a runny nose, or is sneezing and/or coughing, you should immediately contact your veterinarian.”

Management of canine infectious respiratory disease in dogs housed in close proximity to one another remains a challenge, and it is critical that veterinarians working in and with animal shelters are familiar with its various causes. CIRDC is commonly known as “kennel cough.” The pneumovirus and respiratory coronavirus are just two of the viruses that cause respiratory diseases.

Any of these upper respiratory infections cause an illness similar to when a human gets the flu; however, these are not the same disease as the Canine Flu. The viruses are not usually deadly, but infected animals should be given veterinary care, including antibiotics for secondary infections. While respiratory coronavirus and pneumovirus are not contagious to humans or cats, Hillsborough County Animal Services – the only shelter in the area – has taken steps to confine the viruses. The shelter temporarily halted adoptions, and will only accept sick or injured dogs, dogs who have bitten someone and dogs deemed “dangerous.”

There is no way to prevent outbreaks such as this, but animals vaccinated for the upper respiratory complex may fare better in such situations. Pet owners should make sure their animals are properly vaccinated. A consultation with a veterinarian who understands both your situation and the vaccines available will determine which vaccines are best for your animals.

Additional Resources and Information

  • Stephanie Janeczko, DVM, a shelter medicine specialist with the ASPCA discussed the two new viruses in her session entitled “Emerging Canine Infectious Respiratory Diseases,” part of the scientific program at the 2013 Western Veterinary Conference. Veterinarians can read the sessions notes here.

 

The Humane Society Veterinary Medical Association was formed as a home for veterinary professionals who want to join together to speak out for animals, engage in direct care programs for animals in need, and educate the public and others in the profession about animal welfare issues. The HSVMA is an affiliate of The Humane Society of the United States.

Subscribe to Wayne Pacelle’s blog, A Humane Nation. Follow The HSUS PR department on Twitter for the latest animal welfare news. See our work for animals on your Apple or Android device by searching for our “Humane TV” app.

The Humane Society of the United States is the nation’s largest animal protection organization, rated the most effective by its peers. Since 1954, The HSUS has been fighting for the protection of all animals through advocacy, education and hands-on programs. We rescue and care for tens of thousands of animals each year, but our primary mission is to prevent cruelty before it occurs. We're there for all animals, across America and around the world. Celebrating animals and confronting cruelty -- on the Web at humanesociety.org.

In the tradition of Temple Grandin, Oliver Sacks, and Neil Shubin,
cardiologist and psychiatrist Barbara Natterson-Horowitz and science
writer Kathryn Bowers look at the remarkable similarities between
the way human beings and animals live, die, get sick, and heal in their
natural settings. Delving into an array of disciplines—evolution,
anthropology, sociology, biology, cutting-edge medicine, and zoology—
the authors provide a revelatory understanding of what animals can
teach us about the human body and mind.
“Zoobiquity” is a term that refers to a new, species-spanning approach to
health. After being called in to consult on a case of heart failure in a
monkey at the Los Angeles Zoo, Natterson-Horowitz found herself
launched on a journey of discovery that reshaped her entire approach to
medicine. In Zoobiquity, she uses fascinating case studies and scholarship
to explore the ways in which what we know about animal and human
commonality can be used to diagnose, treat, and ultimately heal human
patients.
DR. BARBARA NATTERSON-HOROWITZ earned her degrees at Harvard and UCSF.
She is a cardiology professor at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA and
serves on the Medical Advisory Board of the L.A. Zoo as a cardiovascular consultant.
Her writing has appeared in many scientific and medical publications. KATHRYN
BOWERS was a staff editor at The Atlantic Monthly and writer and producer at CNN
International. She has edited and written popular and academic books and teaches a
course on medical narrative at UCLA.

“Profoundly illuminating . . . Zoobiquity is as clarion and perception-altering as works by Oliver Saks, Michael Pollan, and E. O. Wilson.” –Booklist, starred review


“After finishing, you’re guaranteed to never look at your dog, cat, or any other animal the same way again.” –Publishers Weekly


"If common ancestors with worms, fish, and apes lie in our past, then Zoobiquity points the way to our future. The connections we share with the rest of life on our planet are a source of beauty and, in Natterson-Horowitz and Bowers’ luminous new account,  the inspiration for an emerging and powerful approach to human health. Zoobiquity is a book that explodes barriers and myths all in the purpose of bettering the human condition."


—Neil Shubin, paleontologist and author of Your Inner Fish


"Centered on an insight rich with consequences, this beautifully written book is loaded with fascinating material that makes a compelling case for viewing human health and disease comparatively. We have more to learn from other species than I had ever suspected. Gripping and memorably engaging, it belongs in the hands of anyone with an ounce of curiosity about the biological sources of the human condition."


—Stephen Stearns, PhD., Edward P. Bass Professor of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Yale University


“A fascinating reading about the similarities in both physiology and behavior of people and animals.”
—Temple Grandin


“Zoobiquity is full of fascinating stories of intersection between human and nonhuman medicine — fish that faint; dinosaur cancers; human treatments that cure dogs of melanoma; lessons from adolescent elephant behavior that explain human teenagers. I was beguiled.”
—Atul Gawande, M.D.