Marc Bekoff

Marc Bekoff (born September 6, 1945) is Professor Emeritus of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of Colorado, Boulder.[1] He is the co-founder, with Jane Goodall, of Ethologists for the Ethical Treatment of Animals,[2] a fellow of the Animal Behavior Society and a former Guggenheim fellow. He lectures internationally on animal behavior, cognitive ethology (the study of animal minds), and behavioral ecology, and writes a science column about animal emotion for Psychology Today.[3] He is an advocate for the compassionate conservation movement.[4]

Marc Bekoff
Born (1945-09-06) September 6, 1945
EducationAB (1967), Washington University
MA (1968), Hofstra University
PhD (1972, animal behavior), Washington University[1]
OccupationProfessor Emeritus of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of Colorado, Boulder

Bekoff is a vegan.[5] He is also a patron of the Captive Animals Protection Society, a charity campaigning against the exotic pet trade, and the use of non-human animals in circuses and zoos.[6] In May 2010 he argued in an article for the Greater Good Science Center, "Expanding Our Compassionate Footprint," that human beings need to abandon human exceptionalism: "Research on animal morality is blossoming, and if we can break free of theoretical prejudices, we may come to better understand ourselves and the other animals with whom we share this planet."[7]

Selected works

Bekoff has written over 1000 articles and published 30 books, and has edited three encyclopedias.[2] His books include the following:

  • Species of mind: The philosophy and biology of cognitive ethology (with Colin Allen, 1997).
  • Nature's purposes: Analyses of function and design in biology (edited with Colin Allen and George Lauder, 1998)
  • Animal play: Evolutionary, comparative, and ecological perspectives (edited with John Byers, 1998)
  • Encyclopedia of animal rights and animal welfare (1998)
  • The cognitive animal: Empirical and theoretical perspectives on animal cognition (edited by Marc Bekoff, Colin Allen, and Gordon Burghardt, 2002)
  • Minding animals: Awareness, emotions, and heart (2002)
  • The Ten Trusts: What we must do to care for the animals we love (Jane Goodall and Marc Bekoff, 2002)
  • Animals Matter: A Biologist Explains Why We Should Treat Animals with Compassion and Respect (2007)
  • The Emotional Lives of Animals: A Leading Scientist Explores Animal Joy, Sorrow, and Empathy and Why They Matter (2007)
  • Wild Justice: The Moral Lives of Animals (Marc Bekoff and Jessica Pierce, 2009) ISBN 978-0-226-04161-2
  • The Animal Manifesto: Six Reasons For Expanding Our Compassion Footprint (2010)
  • Ignoring Nature No More: The Case for Compassionate Conservation (edited by Marc Bekoff, 2013)
  • Rewilding Our Hearts: Building Pathways of Compassion and Coexistence (2014)
  • The Jane Effect: Celebrating Jane Goodall (edited with Dale Peterson, Trinity University Press, 2015)[8]
  • The Animals' Agenda: Freedom, Compassion, and Coexistence in the Human Age (Beacon Press, 2017) ISBN 978-0-807-04520-6
  • Canine Confidential: Why Dogs Do What They Do (University of Chicago Press, 2018) ISBN 978-0-226-56049-6


  1. "Bekoff, Marc 1945–," HighBeam Research.
  2. "Marc Bekoff, Ph.D.", Psychology Today, undated.
  3. "Marc Bekoff" Archived 2013-02-13 at the Wayback Machine,, undated.
  4. Wallach, Arian D.; Bekoff, Marc; Batavia, Chelsea; Nelson, Michael Paul; Ramp, Daniel (2018). "Summoning compassion to address the challenges of conservation". Conservation Biology. 32 (6): 1255–1265. doi:10.1111/cobi.13126. ISSN 1523-1739. PMID 29700860.
  5. Marc Bekoff, "Vegans Shouldn't Eat Oysters, and If You Do You're Not Vegan, So... ", Huffington Post, June 10, 2010.
  6. "Professor Marc Bekoff – Patron", Captive Animals Protection Society.
  7. Marc Bekoff, "Expanding Our Compassion Footprint", Greater Good Science Center, May 20, 2010.
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