Animals Make Us Human : Creating The Best Life For Animals by Temple Grandin and Catherine Johnson

Animals Make Us Human : Creating The Best Life For Animals by Temple Grandin and Catherine Johnson

Author: Temple Grandin and Catherine Johnson
View book: Animals Make Us Human : Creating The Best Life For Animals

The best-selling animal advocate Temple Grandin offers a promising exploration of animal emotions, comparable to the groundbreaking book The Hidden Life of Dogs.

In her innovative and widely praised work Animals in Translation, Temple Grandin leverages her experiences with autism and her esteemed career as an animal scientist to provide extraordinary insights into the thoughts, actions, and emotions of animals. Building upon this knowledge, she guides us on how to improve the lives of our animals, granting them the optimal and happiest existence based on their own needs rather than our own.

While physical pain in animals can often be easily identified, understanding their emotional distress is much more challenging. By drawing on the most up-to-date research and her own extensive work, Grandin identifies the fundamental emotional requirements of various animals. Furthermore, she outlines practical methods to meet these needs for dogs, cats, horses, farm animals, and zoo animals. Through her guidance, we learn to question our preconceived notions about animal satisfaction and to respect our connection with these fellow creatures.

Animals Make Us Human signifies the culmination of nearly three decades of research, experimentation, and personal experience. This book is crucial reading for anyone who has ever had, cared for, or simply felt concern for an animal.

Animal Thinking, Human Emotions: Temple Grandin’s Insights into Visual and Sensory-based Cognition

I have a unique way of thinking – my thoughts are mainly visual. I see pictures in my mind, much like how animals think. Animal thinking is sensory-based, relying on images, scents, and tactile sensations. Fear is a dominant emotion for me, as well as for many individuals with autism. It is also a significant emotion for animals, particularly prey species such as cattle. They are easily frightened, and I can relate to their behavior.

Contrary to popular belief, cows are smarter than most people think. They may appear unintelligent when they panic and flock together at the sight of something seemingly harmless, like a hanging chain. But in reality, small details can trigger fear in animals, and they are exceptionally sensitive to these sensory details.

While humans tend to overlook details, scientific research has shown that individuals with autism, like me, notice and process every detail. Animals also live in a world of sensory-based memories, which are more detailed compared to our word-based memories.

The central premise of my book is that animals indeed experience emotions. I introduce four core emotional systems that animals possess. Some people still doubt the existence of animal emotions, but evidence proves otherwise. For instance, if you administer Prozac to a dog, it affects them in the same way it does a human. Fear, located in the brainstem, is one of these core emotions. Rage and the drive to explore are also included, as well as panic.

Throughout my career, I have focused on making animal handling practices more practical. Bridging the gap between scientific research on animal behavior and welfare and applying it in the field has been my goal. I strive to find real-world solutions and implement them successfully.

Unfortunately, today I notice a growing problem that I call “abstraction.” Many individuals solely focus on policy and abstract concepts without consulting or visiting farms to understand the real-life implications. This disconnect between theory and practice is causing us to lose the practical implementers – the people who truly understand how things work in the field. This is a concerning issue that I address in my book, where I discuss the future of individuals dedicated to animal welfare and research. As I age, I am unable to work in the field as actively as before, and I wonder who will be the next Jane Goodall.

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