Kurtbg'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
Oct 31, 2009

it was ok
bookshelves: science, psychology, zoology
Read in October, 2009

The title is a little misrepresentative of the book. It's not a treaty on how animals make us human. Instead I would characterize the content of showing how the classification of animal "Blue ribbon" responses (or emotions) are similar to humans. If animals can be shown to have feelings then they're not so different from humans.

Most animals have a seeking and fear switch. When a novel experience is provided either one gets switched on. Too far in one direction the animal bolts, or explores. Generally seeking is positive and fear negative. Fear can lead to anger and violence.

She covers how different animals can be led to more seeking activities for a more content state of mind. Laboratory, zoo, and food farms activities and behaviors are touched on to provide examples of the difference between animal behavior in the "wild" versus controlled.

I've read other books which seek to illustrate the symbiotic relationships of animals and humans and how that working relationship contributed to the development of both. This can be seen on the human-dog/wolve relationship.

If you've read other books by the author you'll realize that she usually slides back into areas of expertise which is designing slaughterhouses and how to efficiently and humanly slaughter animals.

A better title would have been "the emotional live of Animals" or
"how to keep an animal occupied and content."

I would still recommend this book for anyone interested in learning more about how animal minds work.
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