Animals in Translation: Using the Mysteries of Autism to Decode Animal Behavior

By Catherine Johnson, Temple Grandin, Temple Grandin, Catherine Johnson, Catherine Johnson
I 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. --From Animals in Translation

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 ideas.

People 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 clearlyexplains how animals have "superhuman" skills: animals have animal geniuscompares 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


Catherine Johnson, Ph.D., is a writer specializing in neuropsychiatry and the brain and is the author of three previous books, including "Shadow Syndromes" with John J. Ratey. She lives with her husband and three sons in New York. Two of her sons have autism.

"Grandin's focus in "Animals in Translation" is not on all the 'normal' things autistics and animals can't do but on the unexpected, extraordinary, invaluable things they can."
Dr. Temple Grandin has, in her own inimitable way, brought to us a no-nonsense account of her unique insights into animal behavior and cognition in her most recent book, "Animals in Translation." Temple sees it as it is, calls it as she sees it, and explains her rationale in scientific terms. Ably assisted by her coauthor Catherine Johnson, Temple has confronted many of the sacred cows of old school behaviorism and laid them to rest. This book is both entertaining and enlightening for those who would learn more about the way animals think and behave. Two thumbs up for this thoughtful and educational compilation. -- Dr. Nicholas H. Dodman, author of "If Only They Could Speak" and "The Dog Who Loved Too Much"
"Neurology has Oliver Sachs, nature has Annie Dillard, and the lucky animal world has Grandin, a master intermediary between humans and our fellow beasts . . . At once hilarious, fascinating, and just plain weird, Animals is one of those rare books that elicits a ''wow'' on almost every page. A."


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ISBN: 9780156031448

About the Paperback

Publisher Harvest Books
Publish date 01/01/2006
Pages 358
ISBN-13 9780156031448
ISBN-10 0156031442
Language English

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