I just learned that my book The Smile of a Dolphin: Remarkable Accounts of Animal Emotions is now banned in certain libraries or class reading lists of certain schools in Texas. It's number 6 on the current list with such books as Paintings from the Cave, Talking in the Dark, and World War Z

I think this is a very interesting and rather unanticipated move and a few people have asked me why I think this was done. The ban does indeed reflect on our relationships with other animals and the best answer I can come up with is that it is due to the presence of evolutionary arguments about animal emotions, there are some essays on sexual behavior and aggression, and there is a picture of a whale's penis. The major reason books are banned is that they contain sex, profanity, violence, religion, race, or politics. My book is guilty of two of these charges -- sex and violence.

I think there's much food for thought here for anthrozoologists and readers of Psychology Today who are interested in human-animal relationships. However, there's also a lot of food for thought here about the freedom for someone to read whatever she or he wants to read. 

Note: As of now not a single person who has written to me is even slightly surprised and some think I should be honored. 

Recent Posts in Animal Emotions

Captive Killer Whales Die Much Younger than Wild Orcas

A new study shows captive killer whales don't live as long as wild relatives

Dogs and Underdogs: Happiness at Both Ends of the Leash

Elizabeth Abbott's book and Toni Shelbourne's "Among the Wolves" are great reads

Kids and Animals Helping One Another at Green Chimneys

A conference on human-animal interaction shows how much can be done for all

Judge Recognizes Two Chimpanzees as Legal Persons: A First

Two chimpanzees, Hercules and Leo, are determined to be persons in NY court

Dogs, Humans, and the Oxytocin-Mediated Strong Social Bond

Mutual gazing by dogs but not wolves increases oxytocin levels in humans.

Why Writing for Psychology Today Is a Good Idea

Writing for popular audiences is more effective than publishing in journals.