Caroline's Reviews > Animals Make Us Human: Creating the Best Life for Animals

Animals Make Us Human by Catherine  Johnson
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's review
Nov 12, 2011

it was amazing
bookshelves: animal-books
Read from November 12 to 24, 2011

This is definitely a must-read for anybody who is going to be caring for an animal. Temple Grandin and Catherine Johnson devote individual chapters to different animals, starting out more as a practical guide for pet owners (talking about cats and dogs) and moves into something more like a plea for better conditions for farm and zoo animals. Her research is thorough, but what makes it great is that she has plenty of on-the-job experience to support what she is saying. The anecdotes she provides humanizes some of the scientific research.

I would highly recommend this for anybody who is an animal lover. She is entirely practical, and therefore provides new insight into some of the long-term (and unintended) consequences of animal activism. She is not against people who work actively for animal welfare, but rather points out some interesting by-products of laws meant to protect animals. For example, at the end of the book she points out that, even though dogs are more likely to get hit by cars if they are always off-leash, the life that they lead when they are cooped up inside a house all day -but safe -is not really a life worth living to a dog. This was a sentiment I had always felt like I had agreed with, but had rarely heard supported by anybody else. It drives me crazy to see people getting upset when dogs are off-leash at the park-dogs need that time desperately.

Anyway, perhaps the only downside is that she references Animals in Translation quite frequently, so perhaps had I read that first I might have a better understanding of what she says in this book. It was hard to read, but it might have added something extra to my understanding had I read her other book first. Of course, now this means that I have to buy Animals in Translation (this was clearly a marketing scheme).

Overall, though, it was a wonderful book. Highly informative without being excessively preachy.

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Reading Progress

11/12/2011 page 71
20.0% "Love it. Can't put it down."
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