Wild elephants walking along a trail stop and spontaneously try to protect and assist a weak and dying fellow elephant. Laboratory rats, finding other rats caged nearby in distressing circumstances, proceed to rescue them. A chimpanzee in a zoo loses his own life trying to save an unrelated infant who has fallen into a watery moat. The examples above and many others, argues nature writer Dale Peterson, show that our fellow creatures have powerful impulses toward cooperation, generosity, and fairness. He rigorously challenges the notion that Homo sapiens are the only animals with a moral sense and illuminates the profound connections—the moral continuum—that link humans to many other species.
"Dale Peterson adds originality and astonishing clarity to a discussion that has engaged science and philosophy in sometimes heated debate. This book is a delight to read. The Moral Lives of Animals will change the way many think of animals, and it will vindicate what others have always known intuitively."—Jane Goodall