Second Nature - The Inner Lives of Animals - by Jonathan Balcombe


ISBN: 978-0-230-61362-1
Available via Amazon: £11.60


I believe this is a very important book. Those of you who have read Jonathan Balcombes previous book ‘The Pleasureable Kingdom' will know that his books are very readable.  I first heard of Jonathan when his mother, Maureen Balcombe contacted me in 2005 to ask ASWA to hold a service at York Minster - which we did.

Jonathan is an independent animal behaviour research scientist and a consultant for the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine. He lives in the USA. He says that his chief aim in writing the book was to ‘close the gap between human beings and animals - by helping us to understand the animal experience, and by elevating animals from their lowly status.'

He sets out the evidence for animal sentience, emotion and feeling and then discusses the implications this has for human attitudes and actions. The book is full of anecdotes and example of extraordinary animal behaviour.

Definitely a book to give those ‘not yet convinced by the need for a better understanding of the animal kingdom'.


Samantha Chandler