Animals In Translation by Temple Grandin
If all non-fiction was like this, I would never have promised myself that I never had to read any again. For those who love animals, Animals In Translation is one of those pleasant learning experiences in which you get to sit down in a comfortable seat and listen to an expert talk to you in detail about all the things you already believe.
Animals are intelligent, and this book explains exactly how and why and even where in the brain. Along the way you learn about autism too, because the author is autistic while at the same time being an animal scientist of international renown – the animal stuff was fascinating enough, the author’s own story just as much so. Much like Temple Grandin’s TED talk, it starts to ramble by the end, but perhaps only because she has so much information to put out there.
Temple Grandin’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 – Grandin sees 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. Grandin is a faithful guide into their world, exploring animal pain, fear, aggression, love, friendship, communication, learning, and 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 – Grandin sees what others cannot.