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Understanding Animal-people Emotions: Books by Dr. Jeffrey Moussaieff Masson (vegan), Part 1 of 2

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An epiphany led him to give up both his professorship and his analytic career in the early 1990s. Dr. Jeffrey Masson has since written a number of books on the emotional life of animal-people and explored our relationship to the animal-people kingdom. “So that began, I think, about 25 years ago. I started researching for a book that eventually came to be called ‘When Elephants Weep: The Emotional Lives of Animals.’ The book became a surprising bestseller, New York Times bestseller.”

Dr. Masson’s book, “When Elephants Weep,” shows the complex emotional lives of animal-people in a way that can change the way the reader views these precious beings forever. “I think I became fascinated by the emotional lives of animals partly because it was so hard to understand the emotions of humans. They’re much more, I was about to say, complex, but I don’t think it’s more complex. They’re more devious. Dogs don’t pretend to hate you when they really love you, or pretend to love you when they really don’t.”

“I called it ‘The Pig Who Sang to the Moon,’ and it was about the emotional lives of animals who ‘live’ – ‘live in,’ in quotation marks, on a farm because it’s not much of a life – and that’s what I discovered. I do not believe you can live on a farm, take care of animals, claim you love them, and then kill them one day, or send them off to be slaughtered. That, I mean the word ‘slaughter’ and love just don’t go together, and I realized that.”

“The most important lesson we can learn from animals is simply that we are animals, too. We’re a different kind of animal. In some ways, we have qualities that surpass theirs; in some ways, they have qualities that surpass ours. But it’s really true: every animal lives in the moment. Animals don’t obsess about things they’ve done or things they’re going to do. It’s what they’re doing right now, and that is a lesson for us.”
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