Brighton Magazine

The Brighton Magazine

Selected Brighton Magazine Article

Wednesday 19 October 2011

Award-Winning Brighton Author Delves Into Fascinating World Of Animal Grief

We all know how it feels to grieve and as humans we cry, talk and can describe how it feels but how do the likes of dogs, cats, gorillas even elephants, reptiles and birds cope with grief.

A new book written by Brighton author David Alderton, a best-selling, award-winning author and broadcaster who specialises in the fields of pet care and natural history describes to us through his own experiences and scientific findings how animals cope with grief.

There are many remarkable factual accounts of animals displaying their emotions which we have seen in the past but up until now the subject of animal grief has not been covered hugely.

Taking a scientific approach to the subject, Cambridge University graduate David Alderton analyses this most fundamental and complex emotion for the first time, in the context of animals in general.

It is only very recently that the idea of animals having emotions has become widely- accepted.

In the past it had been firmly established that humans were separated from animals, being on a higher plane because of our emotions, including our ability to grieve.

This belief has now changed, largely due to the advances of science and technology and the development of better equipment for us to be able to understand how animals communicate.

For example through diagnostic equipment is has been discovered that Crocodilians have emerged as devoted parents, while elephants can keep in touch with each other across long distances by using ultrasonic calls, which are inaudible to our ears.

Meanwhile, the song of whales reverberates through the oceans, albeit drowned out increasingly by the presence of sonar.

With companion animals especially, it is not just death but separation, too, that can lead to grief.

After being in denial for centuries, recent discoveries mean that we as a species can finally start to empathise with some of our fellow creatures under such circumstances.

This book is the first of a ground-breaking trilogy of books examining different animal emotions.

Complemented with beautiful and heart-warming pictures and an authoritative text that has been carefully chosen to reflect and exemplify the subject matter.

Animal Grief: How Animals Mourn By David Alderton is out on 31st October via Veloce books, bookshops and Amazon. See

by: Mike Cobley

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