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Animals Make Us Human: Creating the Best Life for Animals Paperback – Bargain Price, January 12, 2010
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I was appalled that a book about making life better for animals would imply that it's okay to abandon an unwanted cat, because it will "do fine".
A little further on, the author has some things to say about adopting cats from a shelter, namely that it's best to adopt kittens, or if you must get an adult, get one that's been in the shelter less than 2 months. This also sends a bad message and may prevent really nice older cats from finding homes. We have four cats. One was abandoned near our place and we managed to coax her in -- and by the way, Dr. Grandin, she wasn't "doing fine"; she was starved to a skeleton and covered with ticks. The other 3 were adults when we adopted them, over a period of years, from our local shelter. Two of them had been in the shelter so long, they were out of time (one had been there 8 months). They all get along fine and socialize very well with us and each other. Over my decades of cat ownership, I've never had a cat who was so "colonized" to a shelter that it couldn't adjust very quickly to having a regular home. I'd love to know if anyone else has adopted a cat that tried to go back to the shelter where they got it. I have my doubts.
Like other reviewers, I could argue with more of the book's assertions about cats and their degree of attachment to their owners, and their lack of sensitivity to our body language and tone of voice, but I won't. Instead I'll just say,
read this book for some interesting things about the other types of animals, but take the cat chapter with a grain of salt.
I've been around enough cats, dogs and other critters to realize without a doubt that animals have a spiritual side and that they DO try to communicate to us poor humans in many ways that show a much deeper side to their existence. My own cats have been excellent judges of human personalities -- so much so that in one case I was about to tell my roomate never to allow a certain person back into the apartment because of the way my cat initially reacted to him - and I proved right. I also had an Animal Communicator talk to my cats, with surprising outcomes. The animals have so much to teach US!!
And as for her statement (p 121, hardcover) "When I visited several slaughterhouses, every single one of the horses I would have called gorgeous was a behavior problem, kicking and rearing and going nuts. They were beautiful animals going to slaughter becaue they couldn't be managed" NOT so, Dr Grandin -- horses (some of whom are starved before being sent to slaughter so their owners can save on feed - some of whom are a beloved child's pony that was outgrown and was promised a "good home" by the buyer-- some of whom are babies-- innocent terrified unweaned foals, the by-products of the Premarin industry - some of whom are racehorses in perfect health who are not winning as much as their owners want them to - some of whom are so weak they are DRAGGED across the auctioneer's floor to be sold for slaughter) -- these horses are sent to slaughter usually in trucks with ceilings so low that they have to bend their necks for hours and days while the truck carries them thru heat and cold -- with NO food or water or veterinary care. Then they are herded and prodded into a slaughterhouse, where they SMELL death - the deaths of the horses that came there before them, and THEIR own impending death.
I cannot recommend this book to anyone -- although it contains some interesting facts about handling livestock, in other areas it has too many un-scientific personal assumptions, which could in my opinion, cause more harm to innocent beings, the animals.