Animals in Translation: Using the Mysteries of Autism to Decode Animal Behavior
Animals in Translation Using the Mysteries of Autism to Decode Animal Behavior Author:Temple Grandin, Catherine Johnson Temple's professional training as an animal scientist and her history as a person with autism have given her a perspective like that of no other expert in the field. Standing at the intersection of autism and animals, she offers unparalleled observations and groundbreaking ideas about both. — Autistic people can often think the way animals th... more »ink -- in fact, Grandin and co-author Catherine Johnson see autism as a kind of way station on the road from animals to humans -- putting autistic people in the perfect position to translate "animal talk." Temple is a faithful guide into their world, exploring animal pain, fear, aggression, love, friendship, communication, learning, and, yes, even animal genius. Not only are animals much smarter than anyone ever imagined, in some cases animals are out-and-out brilliant.
The sweep of Animals in Translation is immense, merging an animal scientist's thirty years of study with her keen perceptions as a person with autism -- Temple sees what others cannot.
Among its provocative ideas, the book:
argues that language is not a requirement for consciousness -- and that animals do have consciousness
applies the autism theory of "hyper-specificity" to animals, showing that animals and autistic people are so sensitive to detail that they "can't see the forest for the trees" -- a talent as well as a "deficit"
explores the "interpreter" in the normal human brain that filters out detail, leaving people blind to much of the reality that surrounds them -- a reality animals and autistic people see, sometimes all too clearly
explains how animals have "superhuman" skills: animals have animal genius
compares animals to autistic savants, declaring that animals may in fact be autistic savants, with special forms of genius that normal people do not possess and sometimes cannot even see
examines how humans and animals use their emotions to think, to decide, and even to predict the future
reveals the remarkable abilities of handicapped people and animals
maintains that the single worst thing you can do to an animal is to make it feel afraid
Temple Grandin is like no other author on the subject of animals because of her training and because of her autism: understanding animals is in her blood and in her bones.« less
Peter P. (pwp7669) - , reviewed Animals in Translation: Using the Mysteries of Autism to Decode Animal Behavior on
Helpful Score: 4
A very well-written book by an autistic author who has become a nationwide expert on animal behavior because of some very interesting parallels between how animals and autistics view and respond to events. As the grandparent of an autistic youngster, I found the book hugely interesting.
tani reviewed Animals in Translation: Using the Mysteries of Autism to Decode Animal Behavior on
Helpful Score: 2
Absolutely fascinating. This is one of those books that open up a whole new world of ideas for you. Half-way through reading it, I just had to order more books by Grandin, and they have proven equally fascinating.
This book was an incredible journey. The author has an amazing story and her insight to animals is keen. I feel like I have a better understanding of my dog's perspective. This is a must-read for animal lovers.
Fantastic book! It is an unusual mixture of science, philosophy, heart, humor and imagination. If you care for animals and have a curious mind, you will love this book. I'd love to meet Temple Grandin to discuss her ideas in person.
This is an insider's view that offers real perspective on the mysteries of autism (at least as she experiences it). Grandin's understanding of animal psychology enables her to advise on slaughterhouse management and she is one of the world's premier designers of such facilities. But as an animal lover I take issue with Candace Pert's assertion that animal lovers will be "thoroughly charmed" by this book. While the author's personal story brings valued insights, this is mostly a book with lots of explanations and theory on animal behavior and how to extrapolate that to human behavior and autism. It's a valuable read in behavioral science, but it doesn't touch the deeper questions of animal sentience or the inherent ills (and associated social ramifications) of large scale animal production and slaughter.
Didn't finish. This might have been a pretty good book if the author had been able to get out of her own way. Grandin is so busy telling us how wonderful and clever she is that what seems to have been her original intent -- understanding animal behaviors -- gets lost in the ego-storm.
I really enjoyed re-reading this book! The first time I read it, I think I was a bit disappointed by how much of the information revolved around livestock. This time, maybe because I expected it, it didn't bother me as much. I was really surprised that some of the anecdotes were about Australian Cattle Dogs. Still, I think my favorite sections remained the same - the evidence linking wolves and men, and the section on animal language. I am very interested in reading her new book!
All of Temple's Books are great. I don't know if understanding autism decodes animal behavior but her reading about her experiences and man breeding for certain traits can do more harm than good. i.e. breeding the brains out of dogs and raping roosters. Fascinating.