13 of 44 people found the following review helpful
Should be called: How to run an abattoir for dummies,
This review is from: Animals in Translation: The Woman Who Thinks Like a Cow (Paperback)What is so odd about the other reviewers is that they seem to think the author is an animal lover. How they could have made that mistake I have no idea, because she is, in the words of Jeffrey Masson (a true animal lover) "an animal science professor famous for devising methods of killing cows more humanely".
This is essentially a self-help book for abattoir owners on how to kill those annoying cows and other farmed animals that have the sheer nerve to kick up a fuss when they're about to be killed.
This really isn't a book about animal emotions, of which I've read a number. This isn't even well written. Its terrible although to be fair, I gave up on page 53. I appreciate its unfair to review a book after only 53 pages, but when on page 33 we're faced with an 18-point list entitled "Tiny details that scare farm animals" (ie. just before they're about to be killed) perhaps I'm allowed some leeway. Here are some examples from that list: air hissing, metal clanging, chains that jiggle, piece of plastic that is moving, drain grate on the floor. Each followed by lengthy explanations as to why farm animals are scared of these 'details'.
So please appreciate that the reason the author is so knowledgeable of the above "details" is because she is describing the problems abattoir owners face when slaughtering animals.
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Showing 1-10 of 11 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 8 Dec 2008 18:14:41 GMT
A. Slater says:
Temple Grandin answers every point this reviewer made in a chapter near the end, explaining clearly and precisely why her love for animals motivated her to design non-frightening abattoirs. Personally, I'd have put this near the start of the book, to avoid confusions like this, but it is there, and it is convincing.
One other important thing to know about this book is that it's not laid out in a conventional or obviously logical way. It's the kind of book that slowly builds up an overall picture, the kind where what she says on (say) p38 isn't totally convincing until you read what she says on (say) pages 85 and 102. I must admit, I thought a lot of her arguments early in the book were thin, weak and flakey, until I realised (towards the end) how they slotted neatly into a bigger picture and how they were supported by evidence that doesn''t make sense until you understand principles and other pieces of evidence that she doesn't explain until later.
You need to be patient with this book, and normally that's easy because her writing style is so readable. However, she does trust the reader an awful lot (in my opinion, more than it is wise to) and as a result there's several places where she leaves herself open to judgemental criticism.
If you can resist the temptation to jump to conclusions, you'll get a lot out of this quirky but brilliant book.
In reply to an earlier post on 26 Jan 2009 23:14:59 GMT
I appreciate your comments, but I come from an animals rights stance rather than an animal welfare one that you seem to. That is not to say I have no interest in the welfare of animals, of course I do. But I would rather see a total ban on the murder of all animals rather than a mere increase of (say) 2 square inches space for a battery hen to spend its pathetic life in.
As such, I found this book horrific and unpleasant, and I hope that explains the review I gave it.
In reply to an earlier post on 17 Mar 2009 23:40:21 GMT
Alan Urdaibay says:
This is somewhat puzzling as a comment. I find war horrific and unpleasant but will watch a documentary about a war or read a book by Keegan explaining the whys and wherefores of war. Read this book by Temple Grandin - you might learn something about animals. In fact, I think you will.
In reply to an earlier post on 12 Apr 2009 10:42:00 BDT
If I want to learn how to murder animals, you can be sure I'll read this book. Until then, I'll pass.
In reply to an earlier post on 7 May 2009 21:15:34 BDT
Last edited by the author on 7 May 2009 21:15:55 BDT
Jack, animals "murder" other animals. Mostly for food but sometimes even just for the joy of the hunt. That's nature and humans are part of it.
In reply to an earlier post on 29 Jun 2009 13:15:34 BDT
You can't be serious, humans destroy nature.
Posted on 6 Nov 2009 15:04:13 GMT
Mr. I. B. Mott says:
I appreciate Jack's insistence that he approaches this book from an animal rights perspective and that this informs his opinion, which is fair enough. Humans, he says, destroy nature, which is a bit of a tautology as humans are a part of nature, as a previous post suggests. I dearly look forward to the day when our primate species is able to go further than the excellent example set for us in the project for female emancipation, which is still far too far from completion, and can actually read a whole book without throwing one's toys out of the metaphorical pram.
In reply to an earlier post on 6 Mar 2010 19:39:00 GMT
Mr Mott, I hardly think writing a book review on Amazon qualifies as throwing one's toys out of the pram.
And of course humans destroy nature, why do you think the rain forests are disappearing? And do you really think factory farming is natural?
Posted on 19 Jul 2011 10:47:43 BDT
[Deleted by the author on 17 Sep 2011 12:14:56 BDT]
Posted on 14 Sep 2011 12:13:40 BDT
Dra wana says:
"I appreciate its unfair to review a book after only 53 pages"
You just said it all in those few words.
This book encompasses almost everything that was missing from my understanding of how my animals react. I can finally understand the apparent ilogical reactions of my horse and am able to see things as he does and help him out of his fears and worries with no problem at all sinse I read this! all the natural horsemanship in the world could not teach me as much as this woman did in this little book. I was marveled at finally reading a scientist backing up my opinion that humans are just another animal with a huge neocortex that makes it better at associative thinking but far worse at many other respects. as such, it throws down the drain all the misconceptions and scepticism as to people understanding their animal's feelings and such. They have the same facial expressions as we do, the same basic needs. They feel the same as we do, they just don't suffer as much as we do. Not because they don't feel the same but because they don't have a huge neocortex that fools them into imagining things are worse than they are, that the world is against them and the oh so human sense of self pity. Budhists spend their entire lives training their minds not to do that, and animals are lucky enough not to do it in the first place.
There are sooo many other useful information in this book, helping us understand our dogs and cats so they don't stare at us like we were mentally retarted! it must be very frustrating to put so much effort into comunicating and having the average human owner with it's perceptiveness clouded by their own brain make them see nothing, hear nothing and understand nothing.
This is NOT a book about animal slaughter. This is a book about the similarities and differences of the how humans and other animals think. This woman is realistic and knows no subjectivity (as she is autistic). Humans are ominourous and as such will continue to eat meat, eggs and milk. There are too many humans so we cannot hope to feed the world by hunting and collecting, so undustrial production of farm animals will continue. As such, she has done the greatest contribute that could be done: help such animals live as best that can be managed. The only other great contributor someone could make would be to convince the world that we do not need to eat SO MUCH meat! it's not just a matter of animal welfare anymore, the entire planet is warming up in good part due to cattle breeding!