By Jonathan Peter Balcombe
Nature documentaries usually depict animal existence as a grim fight for survival, yet this visually wonderful e-book opens our eyes to another, extra scientifically up to date method of the animal nation. in additional than 130 extraordinary pictures, The Exultant Ark celebrates the whole diversity of animal event with dramatic graphics of animal excitement starting from the charismatic and commonplace to the vague and weird. those pictures, home windows onto the interior lives of enjoyment seekers, convey polar bears engaged in a bout of wrestling, hoary marmots taking time for a pleasant chase, jap macaques having fun with a soak in a scorching spring, a tender bull elk protruding his tongue to trap snowflakes, and plenty of different profitable moments. Biologist and best-selling writer Jonathan Balcombe is our consultant, examining the photographs in the clinical context of what's identified approximately animal habit. in any case, outdated attitudes fall away as we achieve a heightened experience of animal individuality and of the pleasures that make existence worthy dwelling for all sentient beings.
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Extra resources for The Exultant Ark: A Pictorial Tour of Animal Pleasure
Of all the behaviors animals engage in, play is the least controversial in its suggestion of feelings of pleasure. Animal play has an unmistakable quality. The whole comportment of the participants exudes joie de vivre. Playing has an important role in survival. When animals and humans play games such as chasing, wrestling, or tug-of-war, they gain or maintain physical strength and learn important survival skills or proper social behavior. This is probably why play is more prevalent in younger animals: they are growing and have more to learn.
17 Although these arguments create a convincing foundation for animal pleasure—that it may benefit survival, that if humans experience pleasure, other animals are likely to as well, and that animals share with humans the physical and physiological equipment to feel bad (and by analogy, good) things—they support the idea without actually demonstrating it. They do not prove outright that animal pleasure exists. However, I cannot prove outright that even you feel pain or pleasure; this is the privacy of sensory experience.
That human languages contain rich vocabularies for describing good feelings—happiness, delight, surprise, anticipation, pride, satisfaction, joy, elation, ecstasy, thrill, euphoria, exultation, jubilation, excitement, rapture, fulfillment, gratification, and comfort, among others—attests to the diversity of both physical and emotional pleasures that can be felt by humans. Our knowledge and acceptance of these sensory phenomena in one species provide a firm foundation for their existence in others.