Drawing on accounts from India to Africa and California to Tennessee, and on research in neuroscience, psychology, and animal behavior, G. A. Bradshaw explores the minds, emotions, and lives of elephants.
Author: G. A. Bradshaw
Publisher: Yale University Press
“At times sad and at times heartwarming . . . Helps us to understand not only elephants, but all animals, including ourselves” (Peter Singer, author of Animal Liberation). Drawing on accounts from India to Africa and California to Tennessee, and on research in neuroscience, psychology, and animal behavior, G. A. Bradshaw explores the minds, emotions, and lives of elephants. Wars, starvation, mass culls, poaching, and habitat loss have reduced elephant numbers from more than ten million to a few hundred thousand, leaving orphans bereft of the elders who would normally mentor them. As a consequence, traumatized elephants have become aggressive against people, other animals, and even one another; their behavior is comparable to that of humans who have experienced genocide, other types of violence, and social collapse. By exploring the elephant mind and experience in the wild and in captivity, Bradshaw bears witness to the breakdown of ancient elephant cultures. But, she reminds us, all is not lost. People are working to save elephants by rescuing orphaned infants and rehabilitating adult zoo and circus elephants, using the same principles psychologists apply in treating humans who have survived trauma. Bradshaw urges us to support these and other models of elephant recovery and to solve pressing social and environmental crises affecting all animals—humans included. “This book opens the door into the soul of the elephant. It will really make you think about our relationship with other animals.” —Temple Grandin, author of Animals in Translation