In his fieldwork as an ethologist, Bekoff shows how animals use tools and language, are artists, have culture, and can reason. He also points out that humans are the only animals who think or worry about mortality.
He also touches on the human obsession with comparing ourselves to others, specifically, how we find the need to measure intelligence levels between animals, and between animals and humans. It's pointless because each has a different role in life, a different way of interacting and surviving, and needs different skills in order to do so. He gives an example of the intelligence of chimpanzees compared to humans. Research says chimpanzees have the intelligence levels of a 2 ½ year-old child. But a 2 ½ year-old child would never be able to survive in the chimpanzee's world. So we must look at each animal and species as individual.
Humans seem to love this comparison game so they can make one thing superior over another. Often it is for self-gain or self-esteem or outright fear. Berkoff gives another example about how humans are so reticent to give any other being the title of "person." A person is designated as being conscious of one's surroundings, able to reason, experiencing various emotions, having a sense of self, adjusting to changing situations, and performing various cognitive and intellectual tasks.
Infants and seriously mentally challenged adults aren't able to do most or any of these things, yet they are still called people. Animals, on the other hand, do most or all of these things, yet they are relegated to lower status, morally, legally, and philosophically. It's fear that prevents us from putting others on the same level as we are, as it will somehow take away our power or specialness.
Those who are already learning animal communication are likely aware — often first-hand — of the depth, range of emotions, and colorful personalities our animal friends possess. The rest of the world is still stuck in the other view mentioned above. But that is slowly, little by little shifting as more and more people become aware of this field and of their innate abilities. If you are learning this skill, you are part of this shift. If you are sharing this awareness with others who are not yet conscious of it, you are a much bigger part of this shift!