The Exultant Arc : A Pictorial Tour Of Animal Pleasure
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Throughout history animals can be perceived in many different ways. Until the beginning of 20th-century, people considered animals to be mindless machines which were programmed to survive and relied only on instincts. Nowadays we are in the beginning of the way to view animals as spiritual creatures capable of coherent thought and emotions. I think that animals are much closer to us than we previously thought. Although they rely heavily on instinct, they are capable of feeling emotions and are driven not only by the necessity to survive but also by pleasure.
In the book "The Exultant Arc. A Pictorial Tour Of Animal Pleasure", J. Balcombe suggests, that we differ from animals in degree, not in kind. He provides significant evidence, showing such aspects of animal life as play, food, touch, sex, love, comfort and companionship in a slightly different way than we are used to. Balcombe insists that everything that animals do can be viewed from the ultimate and proximate position.
For example, if an animal is eating something, the ultimate purpose of it is survival. On the other hand, it can be a source of pleasure.
Since animals are partly driven by the same force as people, they tend to enjoy the same things as we do. First, an important part of their lives is playing. It helps to develop skills, necessary for survival, as well as it can be a source of pleasure. While playing, animals behavior resembles humans. Animals tend to play fair and eliminate the rough players.