“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
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.