Barbara J. King

Quick Links

Barbara's Public Speaking And Book News

TWITTER FANS - Barbara tweets (a lot!). Follow her: @​bjkingape

Barbara's latest (March 2017) book is out! PERSONALITIES ON THE PLATE: THE LIVES & MINDS OF ANIMALS WE EAT (University of Chicago Press) is about how animals ranging from fish and octopus to goats, pigs, chickens and cows-- and yes, some insects-- think and feel, and what that means for our food choices.

Here are ways to buy the book:

IndieBound (independent bookstores)


Barnes & Noble

Listen to an interview with Barbara talking about the book with Mariann Sullivan in this Our Hen House podcast (starts 6:50)

Barbara writes weekly at NPR's 13.7 Cosmos and Culture blog

Barbara's interview on animal grief with the BBC on Monday June 20

How Animals Grieve, Barbara's 2013, is now translated into French, Japanese, Portuguese, and Hebrew; the French translation, Le Chagrin des Animaux, won this book prize

The book can be ordered through Amazon, Barnes & Noble online, and The University of Chicago Press website. Barbara urges you to remember independent bookstores, also!

Watch Barbara's 4-minute book video:

For Dr. Marc Bekoff's thoughts on the book, please see here:

Psychology Today

If you're interested in inviting Barbara to give a public lecture, please send details to bjking09@​


Barbara is emerita professor of anthropology at the College of William and Mary and a freelance science writer.

Shared with her husband, Barbara's cat-rescue work brings her happiness every day.

Selected Works

Why are animals so irresistible to us? Why do we live with and care so deeply about them? From the famous "art caves" of ice-age Europe, to the ancient villages where animals were first domesticated, to stories of apes, whales, dogs, and cats doing fascinating things today, King weaves together a scenario about the animal-human bond that encompasses our past, present and future.
Can scientists discover a prehistory of religion just as they have traced the evolution of technology, language, and art? What does compassion in chimpanzees, or burial patterns in our human ancestors and Neanderthals, tell us about the origins of religion? In Evolving God, named a Top Ten Religion Book for 2007 by the American Library Association, Barbara King explores these questions.
How do chimpanzees, bonobos, and gorillas-- the African apes -- communicate using body postures and gestures? Using her many years of experience studying these apes, Barbara King answers this question in a book that offers a new perspective on the evolution of language.