Mice are empathetic, feeling each other's emotions. Rats are kind to one another. And whales possess spindle cells, the same cells that help humans and apes process emotions. These are all facts gleaned from the latest findings that Marc Bekoff — professor emeritus of ecology and evolutionary biology at the University of Colorado at Boulder, member of the Jane Goodall Institute's ethics committee and co-founder (with Goodall) of the organization Ethologists for the Ethical Treatment of Animals: Citizens for Responsible Animal Behavior Studies — includes in his book Animals Matter. The tome is not only a compendium of recent scientific findings, but also a call to action for animal lovers. Why, for example, does the United States Animal Welfare Act refer to rats, rabbits, mice and birds as "non-animals"? And what can be done to improve the lot of our scaly, furry and feathered friends? Animals Matter boils dense scientific studies down to an easily digested format, and also lists myriad ways we can better the lives of our non-human cohabitants on the planet.