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Pleasurable Kingdom: Animals and the Nature of Feeling Good
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Pleasurable Kingdom: Animals and the Nature of Feeling Good

3.9 of 5 stars 3.90  ·  rating details  ·  124 ratings  ·  16 reviews
The recognition of animal pain and stress, once controversial, is now acknowledged by legislation in many countries, but there is no formal recognition of animals' ability to feel pleasure. Pleasurable Kingdom is the first book for lay-readers to present new evidence that animals--like humans--enjoy themselves. It debunks the popular perception that life for most is a cont ...more
Hardcover, 256 pages
Published May 2nd 2006 by Palgrave Macmillan Trade (first published 2006)
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Judyta Szaciłło
This is one of the best impulse buys I have ever made. The contents are very efficiently organised, the narrative is engaging, and there is a wonderful balance of science and anecdote. And the subject is of great importance. The author postulates that animals are, not unlike us, feeling, unique individuals that deserve to be treated with consideration and respect. They can feel fear and joy, they appreciate beauty and play games, they enjoy relaxation and thrills of risk, they can feel love and ...more
aPriL eVoLvEs
The bibliography is 30 pages long and the index section is 14 pages. The author obviously did in-depth research and because of that this reader is completely satisfied that many scientific studies prove animals have emotions. Yet, while the book is full of anecdotes and fascinating stories about animal behavior, the organization of the material is concise and spare. The stories are about many wild and tame creatures, and includes admittedly unscientific observations about insects, as well. It is ...more
I heard this gentleman speak at a Cornell Vet School occasion. He seemed so nice, I wanted to read his book. The premise is that the pleasure animals experience in the natural world can be as great as their suffering, and interrupting their ability to pursue pleasure is a form of cruelty. He cites some interesting studies, but the contents of the book weren't overly surprising. I think that he may be preaching to the choir in regards to those most likely to pick up this book. If only the people ...more
Minulla oli paljon odotuksia tälle kirjalle, eikä vähiten hauskan kannen ansiosta. Kirja oli kuitenkin suht puiseva ja liukui yliopistotyyppiseksi tiedejulkaisuksi aivan liian usein. Mukana oli kyllä paljon mielenkiintoisia esimerkkejä, mutta nekin usein yliopistomaisesti selitettyjä, eikä niissä ollut juuri logiikkaa, vaan eläimet vilahtelivat tekstissä miten kuten. Kirjoittaja oli laittanut mukaan myös paljon oletuksiaan sekä ihmeellisiä, kirjoittajan itsensä olettamia itsestäänselvyyksiä, mik ...more
Pleasurable Kingdom was published in 2006 and it seems that at that time, a mere 8 years ago, it was still rare to think of animals as having emotions or being able to experience pleasure. Balcombe relates anecdotes of animals that would seem to indicate that many/most animals are also emotional beings, more similar to humankind than many of us would like to admit. Balcombe also approaches this subject from a scientific angle (not merely anecdotal) as well arguing that it makes sense for animals ...more

"Ein Vogel zu sein, bedeutet intensiver zu leben als jedes andere Lebewesen - Menschen eingeschlossen. Vögel haben heißeres Blut, leuchtendere Farben, stärkere Emotionen ... sie leben ausschließlich in der Gegenwart, meist ein Leben voller Freuden."


"Ob Tiere eine bestimmte Emotion ähnlich empfinden wie Menschen - haben Kaninchen ähnliche Ängste wie Menschen? - spielt keine Rolle. Entscheidend ist nur, dass sich für alle Freude und Leid gleichermaßen anfühlt."


"Die Farben und Formen d
Through an intriguing discussion of the ways that non-humans experience a huge range of pleasurable feelings and emotions, Balcombe weaves in an insightful exploration of what it will mean for our ethical system for humans to acknowledge the many things we share with members of other species.
The big question in this book is whether animals (read: non-humans) know pleasure like we (read: humans) do. Balcombe states yes, although it's very hard to put facts to the statement. Because there are so few facts to base your opinion on, it is more the question whether you believe Balcombe or not. I did and I really enjoyed the book. I like to think non-human animals share many things with humans and for me Balcombe confirmed my thoughts.
Stephanie Jewett
There is a lot of speculation and inference in this book, although I guess that until we figure out a way to clearly communicate with animals that's pretty much what we have to go on. Plus, I am one of those who firmly falls on the side of animals being able to experience pleasure (the look of bliss on my cat's face when I scratch his belly is unmistakable). I enjoyed the anecdotes, and some of the research is fascinating.
Feb 28, 2008 Emelda rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone, especially jaded ar folks.
Recommended to Emelda by: Animal Voices radio show/podcast
Shelves: animal-rights, own
I loved this book! The anecdotes and studies he gathered to prove his case were great and as well researched as the subject can be- as studying non-human animals' pleasure, as opposed to pain, is not well covered. The stories and explanations were accessible and I love that the last (short) part of the book is just a plug to go vegan. Hells yeah.
Savina King
I would love to have the courage to change my diet to vegetarian and books like this definetly help. though every one can benefit from reading this book vegetarian or not. if you love animals and want to know more get reading.
I was kind of disappointed in this book specially w/ all the typos. I was expecting something different & for them to talk more about compassion than about mating habits.
A treatise on the ability of animals to feel pleasure/happiness. I thought it would be cute and charming but it was dull and scientific and not at all worth reading.
Tammy BayAreaVeg
This book is a more 'scientific' version of Pig Who Sang to the Moon. It was interesting in some parts but too long and dry in others.
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Tippy Jackson
Abandoned on page 40. Author is Douche.
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