Pleasurable Kingdom marshalls the latest evidence that animals, like humans, enjoy themselves. It debunks the popular perception
that life for most is a continuous, grim struggle for survival. Instead it suggests that creatures from birds to bats to baboons
may feel good thanks to play, sex, touch, food, anticipation, comfort, aesthetics and more. Combining rigorous evidence,
elegant argument and amusing anecdote, leading animal behaviour researcher Dr Jonathan Balcombe proposes that evolution favours
sensory rewards because they drive living things to stay alive and reproduce. Animal pain and stress, once controversial,
are now acknowledged by legislation in many countries. Likewise the possibility of positive feelings in creatures other than
humans has important ramifications for science and society and is thus ripe for informed debate, Balcombe concludes.