Book #17 was one that I received from my Twitter friends @BlueberryCat and @KayakGal. They know how much I love animals and shared this book with me. It was "Animals Make Us Human: Creating The Best Life For Animals" by Temple Grandin and Catherine Johnson. I had seen it while browsing at a book store and had considered buying it, but never did. I'm very glad they sent it to me! Coincidentally, the same night I finished the book (Sunday, August 29, 2010) the Temple Grandin documentary won a ton of Emmys!
This is the second book I have read by Temple Grandin and Catherine Johnson. The first one was "Animals In Translation". This book was much easier for me to read. I'm not sure if this book had more of Dr. Johnson's voice in it or if the editing was different, but it is much less "staccato" as I described the first book and flowed much better.
The title, "Animals Make Us Human", is a bit misleading, in my opinion. The focus is not so much on how animals effect us, but how we can improve the lives of animals, whether they are our pets, our food, or under our care for conservation.
My favorite chapters in the book were: A Dog's Life (chapter 2), Cats (chapter 3) and Zoos (chapter 9). Obviously, this is because these are the animals that interest me the most. If you are interested in livestock, poultry, or wildlife, you will find chapters discussing these animals as well.
Dr. Grandin is very scientific, so this is not a warm and fuzzy book. She discusses the "Blue-Ribbon Emotions" and how they determine an animal's behavior. It was very interesting to me to see how humans, dogs and cats came to live together thousands of years ago and what drives our relationships today.
If you're up for a challenging yet educational read, check this book out. You are bound to learn something you didn't know before.