“Along with Darwin’s Origin and Richard Dawkins’s Selfish Gene, Beyond Words marks a major milestone in our evolving understanding of our place in nature. “ ‘The New York Review of Books’
Alongside Frans de Waal’s The Age of Empathy, Carl Safina is leading the way in investigating animals’ intelligence and empathy, understanding their outer and inner lives. His challenging conclusions raise the question: if we can understand how non-human animals feel does that redefine humanity’s relationship with them and the natural world?
Do elephants have consciousness, do wolves grieve?
Carl Safina’s intimate view of animal behaviour challenges the fixed boundary between humans and nonhuman animals. In Beyond Words, he presents numerous facts and decades of field observations about an array of fascinating animals: from the Amboseli National Park in Kenya where he witnesses struggling elephant families survive poaching and drought, to Yellowstone National Park to observe wolves in the aftermath of one pack’s personal tragedy, before he dives into the peaceful society of killer whales living in the waters of the Pacific Northwest.
“Over my lifetime, living with, studying, and working with many other animals in their world and ours has only broadened and deepened – and reaffirmed – my impression of our shared life.”
Beyond Words is a powerful and illuminating insight into the unique personalities of animals through stories of their emotional responses: joy, jealousy, anger, and love. The similarity between human and nonhuman consciousness, self-awareness, and empathy suggests that humans and non-humans all feel the same emotions, form bonds with our families and social groups, and learn to cope with our environment in similar ways. Wise, passionate, and revelatory Beyond Words examines humanity’s place in nature and our kinship with the natural world.
Carl Safina is the founder of the Safina Center, which works to fuse scientific understanding of nature with a moral call to heal the natural world. He holds the chair for Nature and Humanity at Stony Brook University. Carl Safina has also presented the 10-part TV series Saving the Ocean with Carl Safina, and his TED talk (based on Beyond Words) has been viewed several million times.