How is Animals in Translation different from every other animal book ever published?
Animals in Translation is like no other animal book because of Temple Grandin. As an animal scientist and a person with autism, her professional training and personal history have created a perspective like no other thinker in the field, and this is her exciting, groundbreaking view of the intersection of autism and animal.
Unlike other well-known writers in the field of animal behavior -- When Elephants Weep by psychoanalyst Jeffrey Moussaleff Masson, How Dogs Think by psychologist and dog trainer Stanley Coren, and The Hidden Life of Dogs by anthropologist Elizabeth Marsha Thomas -- Temple Grandin is an animal scientist who has devoted the last 30 years of her life to the study of animals. Animals in Translation is the culmination of that life's work -- a book whose sweep is huge, including just about anything that gallops, trots, slithers, walks, or flies.
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 her bones.
Animals in Translation ...
* redefines consciousness and argues that language is not a requirement for consciousness
* categorizes autism as a way station on the road from animals to humans
* explores the "Interpreter" in the normal human brain that filters out detail, creating an unintentional blindness that animals and autistics do not suffer from
* applies the autism theory of "hyper-specificity' to animals, meaning that there is no forest, only trees, trees, and more trees
* argues that the single worst thing you can do to an animal is make it feel afraid
* examines how humans and animals use their emotions, including to predict the future
* compares animals to autistic savants, in fact declaring that animals may be autistic savants, with special forms of genius that normal people cannot see
* explains that most animals have "super-human" skills: animals have animal genius
* reveals the abilities handicapped people, and animals, have that normal people don't