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Animal emotions expert Jeffrey Moussaieff Masson to speak at Powell's Saturday

Are we the civilized ones?
Are we the civilized ones?
Photo by Matt Cardy/Getty Images

On March, 15th, 2014 at 4:00 PM Powell’s City of Books will host Jeffrey Moussaieff Masson who is the author of Beasts: What Animals Can Teach Us About the Origins of Good and Evil in a lecture sponsored by The Oregon Humane Society.

Beasts focuses on the animals at the top of the food chain and argues that “the violence we perceive in the wild is a matter of projection”. The book illustrates the way that our reaction to animals in the wild influences our beliefs about right and wrong.

Mr. Masson points out that humans are the only species on earth who have “killed 200 million members of its own kind in the twentieth century alone.” The book demonstrates the manner in which most animals use aggression to advance their species while humans use aggression to destroy its species.

Mr. Masson is an animal emotions expert and former psychoanalyst who has taught the history of psychoanalysis and journalistic ethics at the University of Toronto and the University of Michigan. He is the author of many animal rights books including Why Elephants Weep and The Face on You Plate. His books attempt to establish that animals have complex emotions and morals.