HomeGroupsTalkZeitgeist
Big news! LibraryThing is now free to all! Read the blog post and discuss the change on Talk.
dismiss
This site uses cookies to deliver our services, improve performance, for analytics, and (if not signed in) for advertising. By using LibraryThing you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your use of the site and services is subject to these policies and terms.
Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

Loading...

Animals in Translation (2005)

by Temple Grandin, Catherine Johnson

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
2,000685,662 (4.05)78
Animal behaviorist Temple Grandin, who is autistic, explains and demonstrates the parallels between the ways animals and autistic humans think and communicate. Her theory describes the differences between animal and human thought processes and suggests ways in which this can be overcome.
Loading...

Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

No current Talk conversations about this book.

» See also 78 mentions

English (66)  Italian (1)  Dutch (1)  All languages (68)
Showing 1-5 of 66 (next | show all)
A fascinating point of view that makes you wonder just how much of the world passes by unnoticed on a daily basis. I read this book before I wrote my novel "Dragonforge" and used some of the ideas from it to craft the character of Zeeky, to explain her ability to "talk" to animals. ( )
  James_Maxey | Jun 29, 2020 |
Just fascinating. The subtitle of this book is "Using the Mysteries of Autism to Decode Animal Behavior". Temple Grandin, who is autistic, made a career in designing humane systems for handling animals in slaughter houses, poultry farms, breeding stables and kennels, and other situations where the needs of production have often resulted in appalling, frightening conditions for the animals involved. She has also advised the operators of such facilities on behavioral issues because she understands the animal mind in a way "typical" humans do not. In this books she explains the ways in which animals and autistic humans see things similarly, and how this has helped her see the world through animal eyes. There is a lot of brain science, human and animal psychology, common sense and uncommon wisdom, humor and heart in this book. Grandin says people always wonder how she could work for the meat-packing industry when she loves animals. Her answer is that she doesn't see the human race converting to vegetarianism any time soon (and that she herself was highly motivated to do so but found herself physically incapable of sticking to it), that most of the animals we eat "wouldn't exist if human beings hadn't bred them into being"...and that therefore we "owe them a decent life and a decent death, and their lives should be as low-stress as possible. That's my job." "If we're interested in animals, then we need to study animals for their own sake, and on their own terms, to the extent that it's possible. What are they doing? What are they feeling? What are they thinking? What are they saying? Who are they? And: what do we need to do to treat animals fairly, responsibly, and with kindness?" She applies these questions to ALL animals---pets, dairy cows, egg-producing chickens, animals raised for food, animals studied in labs and in the wild, birds, squirrels, elephants, snakes---without limits. A formal review said this is "one of those rare books that elicit a 'wow' on almost every page." Ask my husband how many times I made him "just listen to this!" while reading it. ( )
  laytonwoman3rd | Jul 20, 2018 |
This is an easy to understand book just packed with interesting information about animals and their emotions, behavior, communication, and importance to humans. Connections are made between autistic brain function and that of animals especially about similarities seen by the author who is looking at this through the eyes of an autistic person. Grandin quite possibly jumps to conclusions, but her insights are generally backed up with studies she has seen or done herself. I learned a lot and time after time I was surprised and awed by what she presented. One of my favorites was a 30-year study of Alex, a parrot, by Dr. Irene Pepperberg. Her means of training using a 3rd party and the intelligence and communication shown by Alex were just amazing. I found a couple videos online of Alex and Pepperberg at work. ( )
  ajlewis2 | Jul 11, 2018 |
You know, I thoroughly enjoyed this book.

I read great swaths of it five years ago or more, enjoyed them immensely but never finished the book. It's been sitting on my to-read shelf forever and I finally picked it up to finish it. Oddly enough, I read [a:Temple Grandin|1567|Temple Grandin|https://d.gr-assets.com/authors/1241222068p2/1567.jpg]'s [b:Thinking in Pictures|103408|Thinking in Pictures My Life with Autism|Temple Grandin|https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1320507943s/103408.jpg|1775856] before finishing this book. Autism isn't an especially deep interest of mine, cognitive ehtology is. It's funny how life works.

[b:Animals in Translation|7366|Animals in Translation Using the Mysteries of Autism to Decode Animal Behavior|Temple Grandin|https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1426808115s/7366.jpg|10490] will likely forever be controversial. The idea that animals and autistic people have similar cognition is going to be controversial and politically charged regardless of who you are. Nevertheless, the observations that Temple Grandin makes are compelling and ultimately, not all that insulting. She's not comparing autistic people to animals in a negative way, instead she's stating that due to changes in brain chemistry and make up both perceive the world in a way that's different from normal functioning people. She then backs her statement up with personal experiences, observations, and what at that time were recent studies. I'd be interested to hear what she thinks of her hypothesis now, though I doubt much has changed in the intervening years.

She credits animals with being far more intelligent than we believe, simply intelligent in different ways. Is a dog's ability to predict a person's seizure before it happens a sign of intelligence? They are responding to signs too subtle for us to predict. What about a magpie pretending to have a broken wing to distract a predator? What about the way ravens and wolves interact? Or the migration patterns of birds? The social structure of horses? Did we domesticate wolves, or did they domesticate us? Did we learn music from birds or vice versa? Is music, ultimately, how animals communicate?

I found the book fascinating and a good starting point for anyone interested in animal thought and behavior. While it will likely forever remain controversial, as Temple Grandin rightly points out, this field is controversial to begin with. Very few people are willing to admit just how intelligent and emotional animals can be and give further ground to them in such a way. Humans want to remain special, and bit by bit these studies are making it more evident that humans, truthfully, aren't. I don't think many people want to deal with the ramifications of that. ( )
  Lepophagus | Jun 14, 2018 |
Temple Grandin is a professor at a college in Colorado. She is also autistic and through this disability she has the special ability to know how to help animals. she specifically is a consultant for feedlots/stockyards throughout the United States to help kill animals humanely. Very interesting. I really enjoyed it! ( )
  camplakejewel | Sep 18, 2017 |
Showing 1-5 of 66 (next | show all)
no reviews | add a review

» Add other authors (6 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Grandin, Templeprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Johnson, Catherinemain authorall editionsconfirmed
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Series (with order)
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
People/Characters
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
Epigraph
Dedication
For the animals
-- Temple Grandin
For Jimmy, Andrew, and Christopher
-- Catherine Johnson
First words
① MY STORY

People who aren't autistic always ask me about the moment I realized I could understand the way animals think.
Quotations
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Blurbers
Publisher series
Original language
Canonical DDC/MDS

No library descriptions found.

Book description
Haiku summary

Quick Links

Popular covers

Rating

Average: (4.05)
0.5 1
1 2
1.5
2 12
2.5 5
3 79
3.5 23
4 162
4.5 22
5 144

Tantor Media

An edition of this book was published by Tantor Media.

» Publisher information page

Recorded Books

An edition of this book was published by Recorded Books.

» Publisher information page

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.

 

About | Contact | Privacy/Terms | Help/FAQs | Blog | Store | APIs | TinyCat | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | Common Knowledge | 149,277,649 books! | Top bar: Always visible