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Animals in Translation: Using the Mysteries of Autism to Decode Animal Behavior (A Harvest Book) Paperback – January 2, 2006
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"Neurology has Oliver Sachs, nature has Annie Dillard, and the lucky animal world has Grandin, a master intermediary between humans and our fellow beasts . . . Animals is one of those rare books that elicits a 'wow' on almost every page. A."--Entertainment Weekly
"Inspiring . . . Crammed with facts and anecdotes about Temple Grandin's favorite subject: the senses, brains, emotions, and amazing talents of animals."--The New York Times Book Review
From the Back Cover
People with autism can often think the way animals think, which puts them in the perfect position to translate animal talk. In this groundbreaking book Temple Grandin draws on her own experiences with autism as well as her distinguished career as an animal scientist to deliver an extraordinary message about how animals think, act, and feel. Funny, inspiring, and full of incredible insight, "Animals in Translation" will forever change the way we look at our fellow creatures.
"Animals in Translation" is wonderful! The most important book I ve read in 30 years. --Patricia McConnell, author of "The Other End of the Leash"
Grandin s focus in "Animals in Translation" is not on all the normal things autistics and animals can t do but on the unexpected, extraordinary, invaluable things they can. --"O, the Oprah Magazine"
- Lexile Measure : 1130L
- Item Weight : 10.4 ounces
- Paperback : 358 pages
- ISBN-13 : 978-0156031448
- ISBN-10 : 0156031442
- Product Dimensions : 5.31 x 0.92 x 8 inches
- Publisher : Harcourt; 1st Edition (January 2, 2006)
- Reading level : 14 and up
- Language: : English
- Best Sellers Rank: #73,865 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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The animals I know best are dogs and she says some things about dogs that I don't agree with. However, her understanding of our overall relationship with dogs, of our _history_ with dogs, is wonderful. Right or wrong about details, she provokes thought about all of the subjects she discusses and has many brilliant things to say.
However, the main thing I want to do here is to defend her from the mindless critics who say that she should not have gotten involved with the meat industry.
When you see a beef-breed calf you _know_ that it is only going to live eighteen months under normal circumstances. What you might want to do is to change the world so that everyone is a vegetarian but you can't. You could buy that calf and give it a home but that won't change the fate of millions of other cattle, today and tomorrow.
What Temple did was to work very hard to make that calf's life and end-of-life as stress-free and pain-free as possible. To criticize her for that is to side with torture.
Top reviews from other countries
Grandin discovered that her way of viewing the world corresponded very closely to the perceptions of many animals. As a trouble-shooter on farms and ranches across the USA, she found that she could very often just `see' the problems which were scaring cattle and bringing their owners to the brink of despair. Combined with her prolific research and writings, autism has been a rare gift, enabling her remarkable work.
As a novice in the field of animal science, I felt fascinated and challenged by the wide mix of ideas this book presents. Topics as diverse as why pigs enjoy snuggling up to each other and genetic aggression are introduced in easy, layman's terms, giving interesting details about the research but also recognising that scientists don't yet have all the answers. Grandin challenges us to question a lot of what we might believe about animal behaviour - and for that matter autism - and does so with humility and humour.
A wealth of down-to-earth anecdotes ground the research and open questions posed. For example, we learn about a friend's cat who knew when `mother' was entering the lift of their apartment block some 12 floors below and of the prairie dogs of Arizona who've not only evolved a language involving nouns, verbs and adjectives, but even different dialects amongst local colonies!
At the same time, familiar stories are looked at a new light. For example, the story of the German `counting' horse Clever Hans is looked at not as a disappointing scam (it was revealed that Hans couldn't really count), but remarkable for the fact that a horse had taught himself to tune into subtle human cues in the first place. This is just one example of what is often unseen `animal genius'.
Grandin appeals for humane treatment of all animals, which she argues must come through a new understanding of how they interact with their world and how we deal with our husbandry of them.
The joint writing with Catherine Johnson works well, coming across as a conversation between friends (including the reader). But what is remarkable is that Grandin and Johnson manage to present deep insights into both autism and animal communication, as well as linking the two together. Rarely does a book inspire us to think both about the animals around us and our fellow human beings in a new way.
This is a truly wonderful book, and one which I have found myself constantly wanting to recommend to others.