Pleasurable Kingdom Reaches Indian Audiences
PCRM’s Jonathan Balcombe, Ph.D., an animal behavior specialist, has spoken about his new book, which debunks the notion that animals do not have complex emotions, in cities across the United States and the United Kingdom. This January, Dr. Balcombe is taking his powerful and provocative arguments about animal feelings further afield, with a 15-city tour of India.
Pleasurable Kingdom: Animals and the Nature of Feeling Good takes an in-depth look at new evidence that animals enjoy themselves. Dr. Balcombe provides rigorous evidence along with amusing anecdotes showing that animals are emotional, acutely perceptive, and highly sentient.
Dr. Balcombe concludes that this new information has important ethical consequences for both science and society. “There is a profound disconnect between what we now know other animals are capable of and how we treat them,” he says. “We can’t continue to treat them as nothing more than property. Each animal is an individual and not a disposable object. If pleasure is what makes life for humans worth living, then animals’ ability to feel pleasure also makes their lives worth living.”
Dr. Balcombe begins his tour in Chennai, then continues to Tirpati, Bangalore, New Delhi, Varanasi, Mumbai, and other cities. As the world’s second most populous nation, where vegetarian diets are under heavy attack by invading Western diets, India is an important venue for new perspectives on animals and how they should be treated. By speaking to audiences in medical and veterinary schools, Dr. Balcombe seeks to bring his and PCRM’s message to some of India’s most influential citizens.