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

Animals Make Us Human by Temple Grandin
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's review
May 31, 2009

really liked it
Read in March, 2009

Temple Grandin writes about the four emotions of animals - fear, panic, rage, and seeking. It was like she read my diary! (just kidding)

There's really only one positive emotion for animals - seeking, and that's the one you want to work with. There are a couple of chapters on domestic animals - cats and dogs, and others on farm animals - chickens, pigs, cows, and horses, another on birds. The farm animal chapters are somewhat depressing in the sense of how the food industry has treated them, and that might put you off your feed. Grandin has done a lot of work to improve the situation of cows and chickens. (She's a national treasure.)

I was happy to read that we're doing all the right things with our cats.

The section about wildlife blew my mind. Here's an excerpt:

"Jane Goodall eventually did get a PhD in ethology, but not until after she made two major discoveries about chimpanzees: She discovered that they ate meat and used tools, at a time when scientists believed that the fundamental distinction between humans and animals was that humans used tools and animals didn't. When Jane Goodall reported that she had seen chimpanzees using twigs to fish for termites in termite nests, Dr. Leakey sent her a cable that said, 'Now we must redefine "tool," redefine "man" or accept chimpanzees as humans.'"

I'd never considered that the category of human might contain another living species. Amazing.

Temple Grandin is autistic and seeing the world through a perspective so wildly different from my own was a gift.
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