Review: Animal Wise

animal wiseTitle: Animal Wise
Author: Virginia Morell
Publisher: Crown
Released: February 26, 2013
Pages: 267 (minus notes)
First Line: “Animals have minds.”

“Did you know that ants teach, earthworms make decisions, rats love to be tickled, and chimps grieve? Did you know that some dogs have thousand-word vocabularies and that birds practice songs in their sleep? That crows improvise tools, blue jays plan ahead, and moths remember living as caterpillars?

Noted science writer Virginia Morell explores the frontiers of research on animal cognition and emotion, offering a surprising and moving exploration into the hearts and minds of wild and domesticated animals.” – from

My Thoughts: As an animal lover and vegetarian, I might be a little biased on this subject, but I really enjoyed this book. I’m glad that researchers are actually putting time and resources into the study of animal cognition, because only by understanding them better can we make others realize the hurt they are causing through the terrible treatment of animals. They are not robots, and they deserve better.

Morell did put a lot of effort into telling the stories of the researchers as well. Some may think this takes away from the important subject at hand, but I liked getting to know the people who take this issue seriously enough to really study it, apparently most of time even though it’s not considered valid by other scientists. People are just as important as the animals themselves in the fight for animal rights.

I also learned a lot of cool stuff about different species, but of course, as a dog lover, the last chapter “Of Dogs and Wolves” was definitely the most relevant and interesting to me. In fact, I told my husband, even if he doesn’t read the whole thing, he should at least read that chapter. But the whole book is definitely worth it too, and Morell makes even the scientific stuff a smooth, easy read.

Writing: 5/5
Characters: 5/5
Subject: 5/5
Originality: 4/5
Kept me interested: 5/5
Overall Rating: 5/5

Loved it!


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Posted on March 28, 2013, in Reviews and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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