Book Review: Animals in Translation

Have you ever stepped at the sheep at the "Y" chute and wondered why the sheep shot out to the right or left instead of backing up like you had intended? Do you know why the ducks scatter to the four corners of the arena instead of trying to get back together like the sheep? Have you ever called your dog stupid because he did something exactly the opposite of what you had expected?

Try reading "Animals in Translations" by Temple Grandin. Temple Grandin is autistic. She compares how autistic people and animals see things in pictures of great detail. The details they see can trigger responses that are unique to their kind. If you are at a trial trying to figure out why the sheep won't do what you want, this book will help you figure out what the animal sees in a situation. Animals are aware of things which are so commonplace to us that we don't notice them, and yet, shadows, a rope swinging on a fence, a flapping shirt can all cause an animal to become easily spooked. The knowledge in Grandin's book gives you incredible insight into a world of what animals see that is critical to our interactions with, not only our dogs, cats, sheep, and horses, but the animal world around us.

Temple Grandin has designed most of the livestock handling facilities in the United States. She has shown livestock managers why animals will walk willing through one set of chutes to get vaccinated, and will refuse to walk through others. The book is enlightening in many aspects of what animals can do and why. Definitely on a must read list!