In the latest UC Press podcast, Jonathan Balcombe tells the incredible story of how fishes, like humans, love to engage in the time-honored ritual of the spa. Despite the perception of fishes as coldblooded, unfeeling, unthinking creatures, the story reveals them to be social animals who take pleasure in touch, cleanliness, and good grooming.
Balcombe, the author of The Exultant Ark, uses this, and other stories to illustrate the phenomenon of animal pleasure, which has been largely ignored in the scientific community until recently. From crabs and lobsters who experience pain, to a monogamous pair of bluebirds, to a pika carrying home food for its family in a triumphant act of survival, Balcombe reminds us of the rich inner lives of animals, and invites us to consider this when we make decisions about what to eat.
Listen to the podcast now: