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September 27, 2010

Communicating With Animals

Ever wonder how animals see the world? Did you ever wish you could communicate with your pet?

Maybe all of us....

...wish we could get a sense of how the animals around us think. Do you think we could learn anything from them?

Temple Grandin has written several books on these topics.

Her most recent book Animals Make Us Human: Creating the Best Life for Animals addresses what makes animals healthy - and happy.

Do you think humans are so different? Her point is that animals make us more human.

Consider this quote from an interview; "If you want to understand animals, you must get away from language. Animals are sensory-based thinkers; they think in pictures, they think in sounds, they think in touches."

Take a look at this quote from Amazon's review of Animals in Translation; Grandin considers "dogs, cats, horses, cows, pigs, poultry, wildlife and zoo animals based on a core emotion system she believes animals and humans share, including a need to seek; a sense of rage, fear, and panic; feelings of lust; an urge to nurture; and an ability to play. Among observations at odds with conventional wisdom: dogs need human parents, not alpha pack leaders, and cats respond to training. Discussions of why horses are skittish and why pigs are arguably the most intelligent of beasts—raccoons run them a close second—illuminate the intersection of people and more domesticated animals; chapters on cows and chickens focus more generally on animal welfare, particularly the horrific conditions in which they are usually raised and slaughtered. Packed with fascinating insights, unexpected observations and a wealth of how-to tips, Grandin's peppy work ably challenges assumptions about what makes animals happy."

For more on Temple Grandin, take a look at her website - http://www.templegrandin.com/.

TIME magazine selected her as one of the 100 most influential people in the world of 2010. You can see the article here - http://www.time.com/time/specials/packages/article/0,28804,1984685_1984949_1985222,00.html.

Grandin has done several interviews on NPR. You can hear one here - http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=123028845.

What are some questions you have about learning or teaching English - or any language?

Let me know what it is about English that you find confounding, infuriating or endlessly intriguing.

Listen, read and speak. Make your new language your own.

My best to you as you make your way through this intriguing , constantly shifting linguistic landscape.


About the author of this entry:

Morf has a B.A.from the Evergreen State College in Olympia, Washington and an MAT (Master's in Teaching English) from the University of Washington (Seattle). Morf prefers international and independent films, foods he can't pronounce, music no one else has heard of and riding his bicycle in foreign cities. Morf is currently a radio host (tacoma.fm) and a newspaper columnist http://www.thenewstribune.com/opinion/columnists/morf_morford/.

Posted by mmorf at September 27, 2010 10:57 PM

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