[[ Download ePUB ]] Animals in Translation: Using the Mysteries of Autism to Decode Animal Behavior Author Temple Grandin – Andy-palmer.co.uk

Animals in Translation: Using the Mysteries of Autism to Decode Animal Behavior Why would a cow lick a tractor Why are collies getting dumber Why do dolphins sometimes kill for fun How can a parrot learn to spell How did wolves teach man to evolve Temple Grandin draws upon a long, distinguished career as an animal scientist and her own experiences with autism to deliver an extraordinary message about how animals act, think, and feel She has a perspective like that of no other expert in the field, which allows her to offer unparalleled observations and groundbreaking ideasPeople with autism can often think the way animals think, putting them in the perfect position to translate animal talk Grandin is a faithful guide into their world, exploring animal pain, fear, aggression, love, friendship, communication, learning, and, yes, even animal genius The sweep of Animals in Translation is immense and will forever change the way we think about animals includes a Behavior and Training Troubleshooting Guide 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


10 thoughts on “Animals in Translation: Using the Mysteries of Autism to Decode Animal Behavior

  1. says:

    I had serious problems with the way this book is written Though Grandin s plainspoken writing style is refreshing, I often felt like she was oversimplifying very complex ideas in order to appeal to a scientifically illiterate audience or worse, to make her argumentsconvincing Statements such as Autism is a kind of way station on the road from animals to humans aren t just over dramatic and ultimately nonsensical , they re also potentially offensive Much of the book is purely specul I had serious problems with the way this book is written Though Grandin s plainspoken writing style is refreshing, I often felt like she was oversimplifying very complex ideas in order to appeal to a scientifically illiterate audience or worse, to make her argumentsconvincing Statements such as Autism is a kind of way station on the road from animals to humans aren t just over dramatic and ultimately nonsensical , they re also potentially offensive Much of the book is purely speculative, and I m left wondering whether it s really appropriate to write a popular science book that s mostly about completely untested hypotheses this seems to be a growing trend in popular science literature, but that s another discussion entirely.At the very least, Grandin could have been clearer in differentiating between 1 widely accepted scientific consensus, 2 well regarded schools of thought, 3 contested minority theories, 4 solitary experiments that have not been reproduced, 5 purely anecdotal evidence from her own life or that of friends, and 6 her own untested hypotheses As is, they all sort of blur together, and a reader not entirely familiar with how science works might be led to buy into Grandin s arguments with less skepticism than is warranted It certainly didn t help that many of the studies and facts she mentioned weren t even cited Those that were were often cited as news publications ABOUT scientific studies rather than directly citing the studies themselves It s important to remember that much of what is written about in the book is outside of Grandin s own area of professional expertise, and though I think it s perfectly fine to write about a topic you don t have a degree in, it was things like that that made me wonder whether Grandin herself could stand to be a littleskeptical, methodical, and cautious To put it simply, I trusted her when she was talking about farm animals and dogs, less so when she was talking about neuroscience and other kinds of animals, and not at all when she tried giving insight into stuff like politics or child rearing.One constant point of annoyance For someone with a PhD in Animal Science, I was astounded that Grandin seemed to have no idea whatsoever of what the word animal even means The book was littered with phrases like, Animals feel pain So do birds, and we now have pretty good evidence that fish feel pain too or I know dung beetles are insects, not animals, but Since distinguishing between the six taxonomical kingdoms is one of those things you learn in 9th grade bio class, I can only assume that Grandin is dumbing down for her audience This has the duel effect of insulting the intelligence of those readers who have a basic grasp of Bio 101, and spreading misinformation and confusion among those who don t.The confusion over the category of animal extends to talking about humans as well People were animals too, once, she writes And what we re not anyThroughout the book, Grandin condemns overgeneralizing a vice she associates with normal people and champions a pragmatic focus on specific details a skill she associates with autistic people and animals as the best way to handle any situation Yet Grandin is guilty of many massive over generalizations the aforementioned waystation idea being one example, her failure to treat autism as a spectrum being another And among the most frustrating of these for me was Grandin s view of humanity s relationship to the rest of the animal world, which is vague, romantic, and naive Statements like dogs and people belong together or people and animals are supposed to be together amount to nothingthan mushy utopianism What exactly would such a thing even mean Together how Grandin never elaborates.Her idea of nature is pretty unscientific as well At one point she asks, Is animal infanticide really what nature intended Or is it, at least some of the time, an aberration of what nature intended That question doesn t even begin to make logical sense What kind of mystical nature is Grandin talking about that has things like intention Nature doesn t intend There are no aberrations in nature These are human concepts Nature just is Even if she takes the classic anthropocentric view of defining nature as everything in the world except humans and things made by humans, the question still doesn t make any sense Animals have been killing their young long before humans even existed What Grandin really means to say is that animal infanticide seems to serve no evolutionary purpose This may be debatable But either way, plenty of animal and especially human behaviors serve no apparent evolutionary purpose Evolutionarily advantageous is not the same as natural and neither of those is the same as right, good, moral or what have you.All that having been said, Grandin s many anecdotes are entertaining and there s a lot of cool ideas to chew on throughout If you re an avid reader of pop neuroscience or animal studies books, you might already have encountered a good deal of this stuff, but the parallels Grandin draws are interesting even if I m skeptical of some of them and her emphasis on getting inside the black box of the animal mind is an important one Overall, I enjoyed reading this book, even if I was often frustrated with it


  2. says:

    Came for the autism, stayed for the Labradors Background Temple Grandin is an animal behavior specialist She s single handedly revolutionized the humane treatment of slaughter animals in the United States She s also a vital force in the neurodiversity movement This book argues broadly that animal cognition shares some key features with autistic cognition picture thinking, working memory shortages, detail fixation, etc It also takes a fascinating tour through what we know about animal emo Came for the autism, stayed for the Labradors Background Temple Grandin is an animal behavior specialist She s single handedly revolutionized the humane treatment of slaughter animals in the United States She s also a vital force in the neurodiversity movement This book argues broadly that animal cognition shares some key features with autistic cognition picture thinking, working memory shortages, detail fixation, etc It also takes a fascinating tour through what we know about animal emotion, consciousness, and cognition.Awesome, on multiple levels The animal psychology wasn t just interesting though it really is but also useful for those of us who handle a working dog And also, Temple Grandin is one of those people who manages to make her life a sustained act of advocacy, which is something I aspire to on my very best days This book spends some time explicitly explaining autistic cognition, but itsubtly is autistic in a way that just says, here s my brain It s not like yours Just so you know


  3. says:

    My mother gave me this book and I wanted to get it read before my next trip north I am very glad I did it was fascinating on many levels.Temple Grandin uses her own life experience as a person with autism to explore animal behavior She compares the way brains work normal human, autistic human, animal She talks about her own work and research with animals, but also mentions many research projects and publications that also deal with the ideas of why we animals and people are the way we a My mother gave me this book and I wanted to get it read before my next trip north I am very glad I did it was fascinating on many levels.Temple Grandin uses her own life experience as a person with autism to explore animal behavior She compares the way brains work normal human, autistic human, animal She talks about her own work and research with animals, but also mentions many research projects and publications that also deal with the ideas of why we animals and people are the way we are How similar are we How different Chapters range from How Animals Perceive The World to Animal Aggression to How Animals Think She talks about selective breeding and how it is changing not only dog breeds but pigs and cattle as well, because when one specific trait is encouraged, a lot of others are lost, thus affecting the overall disposition of the animal and creating health or behavior issues that were not around before I was tickled by the idea of prairie dog language, and the reason offered for why these little rodents seem to have developed the ability to use calls that correspond to nouns, verbs, entire sentences While Man usually congratulates himself for being the only creature intelligent enough to develop language, what if that ability actually came from being a prey animal If you are a prey animal and have no way at all to communicate to your fellows, you will all be eaten eventually Prairie dogs are every predators favorite snack Not hard to imagine how tantalizing early man would have been to all the hungry predators around those days Language in man would have made it easier to survive Apparently language in prairie dogs is doing the same thing I thought that was cool, and would love to readof the original papers written by Con Slobodchikoff about his research and findings.I don t usually take as many notes for a print book as I do when I am reading online, so I don t have specific examples handy to share But I have worked with animals dogs and cats at two veterinary clinics, and evenclosely later with horses I found myself constantly thinking yes, of course , or Oh, that makes so much sense I think anyone who observes, loves, and understands animals will appreciate this book And if a reader wants to develop better relationships with animals but would like some guidance, this an excellent place to begin, in my opinion During my four years living and working on a horse breeding farm, I often felt like one of the herd, as odd as that may sound But I had developed a connection to the horses that allowed me to wander around with them as if, in their eyes, I was just another horse This was a huge benefit when I was working with the babies Once I was able to figure out why one youngster freaked out whenever we walked past a certain pick up truck he was seeing his reflection in the shiny bumper and thought it was a horse eating monster I coaxed him up to the truck and had him touch noses with himself Whether he understood exactly what he was seeing at that point, I don t know, but he immediately relaxed, his entire body language revealing that he seemed very proud of himself right then, and he never was scared of that shiny truck bumper again.My experiences over the years on the farm is why I agree so strongly with Ms Grandin s final thoughtsI don t know if people will ever be able to talk to animals the way Doctor Doolittle could, or whether animals will be able to talk back Maybe science will have something to say about that.But I do know people can learn to talk to animals, and to hear what animals have to say, better than they do now I also know that a lot of times people who can talk to animals are happier than people who can t People were animals, too, once, and when we turned into human beings we gave something up Being close to animals brings some of it back


  4. says:

    This book truly is a must read for any pet owner, and I highly recommend it to anyone who just loves animals Temple Grandin offers fascinating insights to the animal world, which will confirm things long time pet owners always knew, and bring to light startling new information.One main thing this book brings to light is to not underestimate animals or those with autism because often times they re smarter than us Yet, that s one thing Grandin tries to avoid, saying things like animals are smart This book truly is a must read for any pet owner, and I highly recommend it to anyone who just loves animals Temple Grandin offers fascinating insights to the animal world, which will confirm things long time pet owners always knew, and bring to light startling new information.One main thing this book brings to light is to not underestimate animals or those with autism because often times they re smarter than us Yet, that s one thing Grandin tries to avoid, saying things like animals are smarter or humans are smarter Rather she just tries to point out that animals may do things differently but that doesn t mean they re stupid It s all about skill level that certain creatures are better at than others.This book never got boring, whereas many other animal books tend to get dry and scientific Grandin, while delving into scientific facts, puts them into words the average person can understand, and most always will support every fact or theory with an example Always there was some story to go along with everything she was telling the reader about, and every story was amusing and fascinating to read about.Another thing this book was wonderful at was pointing out autistic characteristics in a way that s not so harsh or right in your face of look at how similar they are It was gentle, casual, not making a big deal out of it It s also divided into easy sections so if you want to skip something or find something specific you can.I really enjoyed this book I want to try to get my roommate with the puppy to read it because it will teach her things about her dog that I m sure she never knew This is a very good book to have at your side when training animals, or even planning on getting one Even if you ve had your current pet for a decade, still get this book, it may help you when Fluffy starts doing something completely off the wall


  5. says:

    4.5 Stars for Animals in Translation audiobook by Temple Grandin and Catherine Johnson read by Shelly Frazier I find it fascinating getting to see the world through Temple s eyes Her understand of how animals think is amazing This book is a great resource for everyone who has animals in there lives From dogs and cats to horses and cows This book explains how to provide a proper environment for the animals and how to correct their behavior in a humane way.


  6. says:

    I liked this bookthan I expected For a long time, I d been reluctant to pick it up because I thought the premise wasor less, I m autistic so I m halfway between normal people and animals every other species I m sure I don t need to explain why that s offensive.Instead, Dr Grandin uses brain research, coupled with her experience as an autistic person, to try to explain how members of other species may experience the world.If you can disregard the sweeping generalizations abou I liked this bookthan I expected For a long time, I d been reluctant to pick it up because I thought the premise wasor less, I m autistic so I m halfway between normal people and animals every other species I m sure I don t need to explain why that s offensive.Instead, Dr Grandin uses brain research, coupled with her experience as an autistic person, to try to explain how members of other species may experience the world.If you can disregard the sweeping generalizations about animals which range from clams to humans , Dr Grandin has a lot to say For starters, she points out that we don t treat other animals very well and she goes on to explain how treating members of other species as if they were human won t really rectify the situation And some of the research she discusses is fascinating I, for one, never knew that prairie dogs language is so rich that it can be characterized in terms of nouns, verbs, and even adverbs.Where I do take offense is that this book starts from the major premise that animal liberation is a pipe dream and that humans will continue to keep other species in captivity to serve our most trivial whims for time immemorial The world Dr Grandin envisions is one that s infinitelyhumane than the one that exists now but I have hope that we can achieve even


  7. says:

    I have mixed feelings about this book, and I haven t finished it, so I m not sure if it s fair to write a review yet But one thing keeps annoying me throughout the text her constant use of the term animals when she really means mammals or specifically livestock She makes generalizations such as animals are visual creatures which is certainly not true for the majority of animal species She s specifically talking about livestock and hoofstock, but she s not using the specific term On pa I have mixed feelings about this book, and I haven t finished it, so I m not sure if it s fair to write a review yet But one thing keeps annoying me throughout the text her constant use of the term animals when she really means mammals or specifically livestock She makes generalizations such as animals are visual creatures which is certainly not true for the majority of animal species She s specifically talking about livestock and hoofstock, but she s not using the specific term On page 59, she uses dung beetles in an example of differing forms of sensory perception but then actually writes I know dung beetles are insects, not animals, but Um, what You have a PhD in animal science, but you don t think insects are animals In order to get through the book I find myself mentally replacing the word animal with mammal in order for the text to make sense but even then, there s too many gross generalizations that annoy me Also, Grandin comes across as somewhat smug and snobby about her talent , but I ll attribute that to her autism and difficulty with human social interactions.I agree with some of her perspectives disagree with others It s not a bad book, but it s certainly not the be all and end all of animal behavior


  8. says:

    I was actually really disappointed in this book It seemed like just a collection of anecdotes There was some science to back up her hypotheses but there wasn t that much I was hoping for some better insights.She also makes some crazy generalizations For example the paint horse that was crazy and had whole body twitches every 30 seconds or so She said it was Tourrett s like and was probably because he had a lot of white coloration She never explored that maybe he received a physical head in I was actually really disappointed in this book It seemed like just a collection of anecdotes There was some science to back up her hypotheses but there wasn t that much I was hoping for some better insights.She also makes some crazy generalizations For example the paint horse that was crazy and had whole body twitches every 30 seconds or so She said it was Tourrett s like and was probably because he had a lot of white coloration She never explored that maybe he received a physical head injury at some point or other nerve trauma She just assumed it was white I have never heard of this being common in any other paints or breeds that have a lot of white Appaloosas, Lippazzaners etc.I was expectingout of this book because of all of the hype.Read it for the few good ideas and some interesting parallels and correlations but there is actually very little concrete science or conclusions that could be drawn from any of this


  9. says:

    I have mixed feelings about this book On the one hand, it s almost worth the purchase price for the explanation of the difference between negative reinforcement and punishment, a distinction that escapes far too many pet owners, not to mention parents And there is a ton of useful information in it for people who are learning about how animals think.However, there are a few spots in it that give me cause for pause Grandin has some unique ways of looking at things, and once she has a hypothesis I have mixed feelings about this book On the one hand, it s almost worth the purchase price for the explanation of the difference between negative reinforcement and punishment, a distinction that escapes far too many pet owners, not to mention parents And there is a ton of useful information in it for people who are learning about how animals think.However, there are a few spots in it that give me cause for pause Grandin has some unique ways of looking at things, and once she has a hypothesis, she is going to prove it come hell or high water One fairly benign example is that she seems to be under the impression that only autistic humans think in pictures Of course, many humans who aren t autistic but are visually oriented think in pictures at least as much as in words, and in many casesso.More worrisome is her hypothesis that animals are mentally ill in direct proportion to the amount of white skin they have She contends that paint horses are crazier than solid colored ones, and thewhite they have, the crazier they are As anyone who has worked with very many examples of both knows, paints on average tend to be mellower than many other breeds which are solid colored, and the amount of white skin has nothing to do with it The most reactive paint I ever worked with had only a small splash of white on his belly and white stockings, while one of the most levelheaded ones was an overo with only a minimal amount of color other than white This kind of pants seat hypothesizing worries me, because readers who don t know better may take it as gospel.So this book it worth reading, IMO, but if something in it sounds off to you, check it out with a knowledgeable friend


  10. says:

    This was a GREAT book for anyone who wants to learn about the way animals process information and as a bonus, you learn about how humans do as well I love that the author puts things in terms a lay person can understand, and I love that she is honest and humble Grandin writes matter of factly about her own disability, and how it has enabled her to identify with the minds of animals in certain ways I came away with a deeper understanding of how to interact with my horses and dogs, and found This was a GREAT book for anyone who wants to learn about the way animals process information and as a bonus, you learn about how humans do as well I love that the author puts things in terms a lay person can understand, and I love that she is honest and humble Grandin writes matter of factly about her own disability, and how it has enabled her to identify with the minds of animals in certain ways I came away with a deeper understanding of how to interact with my horses and dogs, and found that many of the ideas I had suspected about their mentality, she confirms There were a few small very small theoretical points on which I disagreed with the author But these minor issues are entirely theoretical, and don t take anything away from the book.A very worthwhile read for any animal lover owner handler, or just anyone with an interest in the mind and how it functions


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