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book-club-mama

 

Mama’s Last Hug

Animals Emotions and What They Teach Us about Ourselves

– Frans de Waal

 

Most people probably think humans are very different from animals. Yet we don’t have a single organ that other animals don’t also have, and according to noted primatologist Frans de Waal, that is also true for emotions.

 

Mama’s Last Hug is a groundbreaking and entertaining book, and it will open your eyes to what it means to be a human animal. The books draws on decades spent studying the social and emotional lives of animals, and presents a wealth of new findings and personal encounters with chimps, bonobos and many other species.

 

An excerpt from the book:

 

“– While it is true that we descend from an apelike ancestor, the ancient species that gave rise to us no longer exists. It dwelled the earth about six million years ago, and its descendants went through numerous changes and died out one by one before giving rise to the survivors around today: the chimpanzee, the bonobo, and our own species. Since these three hominids have equally long histories behind them, they are equally “evolved“. So looking at an ape reveals our shared history not only to us but also to the ape looking back at us. If apes are time machines for us, then we are the same for them. – “

 

You can for instance read about the moving farewell between Mama, a dying chimpanzee matriarch, and her human friend. At the heart of the book, de Waal posits a shared, complex emotional framework observable across species. Mama’s Last Hug illustrates how profoundly we have underestimated animals’ emotional experiences.

 

 

Read. Reflect. Repeat.

#BOOKCLUB

 

 

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