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Temple Grandin's Animals in Translation speaks in the clear voice of a woman who emerged from the other side of autism, bringing with her an extraordinary message about how animals think and feel.

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 think -- 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.

Topics: Language, Autism, Animals, Dogs, Communication, Neurology, Horses, Cognitive Science, Stress, Birds, Music, Popular Science, Personality Psychology, Inspirational, Philosophical, and Essays

Published: Scribner on Aug 11, 2009
ISBN: 9781439130841
List price: $14.99
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Awe inspiring!!read more
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
Amazing eye opening book a must read for everyone read more
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
This is certainly an interesting book. Temple Grandin is an autistic woman who found a way to apply her specific autistic sensitivity toward the solution of real-world problems. She works as a consultant for slaughterhouse and placed where animals are raised, treated, and killed. She draws parallels between her experience with autism and her understanding of how animals think, and experience/feel the world. The book is written in a non-fluid English: each sentence sounds of independent from the previous and the next ones. But after a while I got used to that. What I didn't like was mostly her way of mixing scientific statement with her intuitions, hypothesis, and some anecdotal evidence. A more rigorous distinction between facts and non-facts could help to increase her credibility. Despite all the explanations she provided, I still have problem to understand how an animal lover can work for a slaughterhouse.read more
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Awe inspiring!!
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
Amazing eye opening book a must read for everyone
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
This is certainly an interesting book. Temple Grandin is an autistic woman who found a way to apply her specific autistic sensitivity toward the solution of real-world problems. She works as a consultant for slaughterhouse and placed where animals are raised, treated, and killed. She draws parallels between her experience with autism and her understanding of how animals think, and experience/feel the world. The book is written in a non-fluid English: each sentence sounds of independent from the previous and the next ones. But after a while I got used to that. What I didn't like was mostly her way of mixing scientific statement with her intuitions, hypothesis, and some anecdotal evidence. A more rigorous distinction between facts and non-facts could help to increase her credibility. Despite all the explanations she provided, I still have problem to understand how an animal lover can work for a slaughterhouse.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
For a book written by someone with a PhD, I was quite surprised at the lack of facts in this book. There are much better books on animal behavior out there, and they've been out there for a while. Especially about dogs. For example: "The other end of the leash" by Patricia McConnell, and "Culture Clash" by Jean Donaldson. I see nothing new or innovative about the ideas in this book.However, as a cute book of anecdotes about animals acting in concordance with the author's suppositions, this book is mildly entertaining.
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One of the best books I've ever read. It provides real insight into the behavior and management of animals from a unique perspective.
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Everything this book discusses is thought provoking. She makes strong arguments that challenge old paradigms about animal intelligence, language use in animals and how domesticated animals were crucial to our own survival. Her section on dogs and how they were instrumental in helping us survive and evolve was particularly interesting to me. I loved this book and I am sure everyone around me is happy I have stopped reading it because I couldn't stop quoting from it for about 2 weeks.
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