- Series: Merloyd Lawrence Books
- Hardcover: 312 pages
- Publisher: Da Capo Press (February 3, 2009)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0306817365
- ISBN-13: 978-0306817366
- Product Dimensions: 9 x 6.4 x 1.1 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 32 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,056,201 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Made for Each Other: The Biology of the Human-Animal Bond (Merloyd Lawrence Books)
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Many people will attest to the happiness pets bring, but few are aware of the neurochemical basis. In one of those delectably synergistic books that tie together threads of science, history, and everyday life, Olmert explains the evolutionary processes behind what E. O. Wilson calls biophilia, our love and need for animals. The complex story begins with the hormone oxytocin. First identified as the agent for labor contractions and breast-feeding, oxytocin is now recognized as the biological factor in social bonding. Olmert tracks the far-reaching power of oxytocin back to our Ice Age ancestors’ transformation into hunters, the forging of communities, and the welcoming of wolves around the hearth. As wolves evolved into dogs, it is oxytocin that turned them into “man’s best friend,” and the same mutually beneficial oxytocin-enhancing chemistry makes possible the close bonds between humans and horses, cattle, and cats. Studies proving the remarkable therapeutic effects of pets bolster Olmert’s mind-stretching assertion that our close relationships with other species are organically necessary for our well-being. More proof of the astonishing intricacy of life’s interconnectivity. --Donna Seaman
Sex and Friendship in Baboons and Primate Societies
“Wide-ranging, fascinating, poignant and clearly heartfelt….Timely because if connects the human-animal bond to the latest work in neuroscience, animal behavior, and the relationship between these fields.”
Scientific American Mind, 1/27/09
“[A] heartwarming and fascinating book…Olmert makes a convincing case that we are better off with [animals] in our lives.”
“More proof of the astonishing intricacy of life’s interconnectivity.”
“Made for Each Other turns a bright light on animal-human relationships, and raises provocative questions about the relationship of biology and behavior."
Sante Fe New Mexican, 2/8/09
“[Olmert] comes to some fascinating conclusions.”
Boston Globe, 2/15/09
“A nice companion volume to Grandin’s...Olmert weaves together the evolution of the bond between people and animals with the latest science.”
The Bark, March/April 2009
“Olmert creates a compelling case for our seemingly innate attraction to animals.”
New Scientist, 3/14/09
“A fascinating, wide-ranging and easy read about the biology of the human-animal bond.”
“Meg Daley Olmert expertly sums up a slew of scientific studies that show oxytocin to have a hand in everything from the monogamous mating habits of prairies voles to the early relationship between a human mom and her newborn.”
Natural History, 4/09
“Meg Daley Olmert…has investigated the scientific and historical background of the bond between humans and their domestic animals, finding that it’s as socially complex and meditated as the love we humans have for each other.”
“Olmert calls on a wealth of behavioral psychology, zoology, and anthropology to explain the neuroscience behind the evolution of domestication and the mutual benefits of human-animal bonding.”
“Wide-ranging and well-researched…An entertaining and insightful book crammed with interesting science presented in a thoroughly accessible way. Olmert convincingly shows that the urge to connect with animals is deep in our nature, and she livens up her writing with engaging stories and intriguing tidbits of information that make for fascinating reading.”
“A fascinating exploration into the foundations of the human-animal bond and of our relationships with animals.
E. O. Wilson, Harvard University author of Biophilia
“An original, exceptionally interesting book. It is also a feel-good-about-ourselves book, and we surely need more of those in today’s strife-torn environment.”
“A warm exploration of the bond that might just keep humans sane ‘until our own species can settle down again and act civilized.'"
Barbara Smuts, author of
Top customer reviews
In 1977, this "je ne sais quoi" inspired creation of Delta Society, with Leo as President, and in 1982, for me to create a foundation called People-Animals-Love. Both organizations helped launch a heightened awareness of the profound role animals play in our sense of health and wellbeing. But it was not until 2009, that I learned through this amazing book, the "quoi" that was central to my life and veterinary practice. it turns out you can't bottle this ancient and complex biology, but as Olmert discovered, you can tap into it anytime by connecting with animals. Olmert's seventeen year investigation into the biology of the Human-Animal Bond is a must (and easy) read for animal lovers-I send it to everyone.