Monday, December 24, 2007

Animals in Translation: Using the Mysteries of Autism to Decode Animal Behavior

Author: Temple Grandin

First line: People who aren't autistic always ask me about the moment I realized I could understand the way animals think.

Why you should read this book: Grandin reframes our understanding of animal intelligence by translating the hyperspecific nature of autistic perception to a theory of animal understanding, which she has successfully put to work over several decades in the meat-packing industry. Her explanations of behavior and intelligence, both animal and human, are backed up with lots of scientific research as well as first and second hand anecdotes. Her primary focus being to help animals lead better lives, she summarizes her work at the end with behavior and training troubleshooting guide to help human understand why animals will exhibit negative behavior and how to make environmental changes that will teach positive responses.

Why you shouldn't read this book: You're not good at thinking, and it makes you jealous to hear that animals are.

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