Friday, 22 June 2012

Zoobiquity: What Animals Can Teach Us About Being Human

Zoobiquity
What Animals Can Teach Us 
About Being Human
by Barbara Natterson-Horowitz and Kathryn Bowers
Hardcover, 320 pages
Also available as an unabridged audio CD 
and an unabridged audiobook download

Okay, are you ready for some raving?

This has to be one of the most fascinating books that I have ever read.

Written by a medical doctor and a science journalist, Zoobiquity explores the similarities between humans and animals and what we can learn from them.

We are animals, after all. No matter how fancy our shoes or floral our perfumes or esteemed our CVs.

But that all seems like an understatement to me. The book was inspired after some conferring with the medical doctor (Barbara) about a patient who happened to be a primate. And not the human type.
In the spring of 2005, the chief veterinarian of the Los Angeles Zoo called me, an urgent edge to his voice.

“Uh, listen, Barbara? We’ve got an emperor tamarin in heart failure. Any chance you could come out today?”
Fascinated by her experience working with this animal and the animal doctors, especially the similarities with human medical procedures, she began to research other similarities and wondered what all we could learn from the health, behaviours and lifestyles of animals and also what we could learn from the animal doctors.
Around this time I started working with Kathryn Bowers, a science journalist. A nondoctor with a background in social science and literature, she saw wider implications in these medical similarities. She urged me to view my overlapping experiences at the zoo and the hospital in a broader context. Together we began to research and write this book, bringing together medicine, evolution, anthropology, and zoology.
The book is filled with so much information but presented in a way that is very readable. Addictive, really.

Let me show you the chapters, so you'll have an idea of what the book covers:

1   Dr. House, Meet Doctor Dolittle   
Redefining the Boundaries of Medicine
2  The Feint of Heart   
Why We Pass Out
3   Jews, Jaguars, and Jurassic Cancer   
New Hope for an Ancient Diagnosis
4  Roar-gasm
An Animal Guide to Human Sexuality
5  Zoophoria
Getting High and Getting Clean
6   Scared to Death   
Heart Attacks in the Wild
7   Fat Planet   
Why Animals Get Fat and How They Get Thin
8  Grooming Gone Wild   
Pain, Pleasure, and the Origins of Self-Injury
9  Fear of Feeding   
Eating Disorders in the Animal Kingdom
10  The Koala and the Clap    
The Hidden Power of Infection
11  Leaving the Nest   
Animal Adolescence and the Risky Business of Growing Up
12  Zoobiquity 

It is astounding how much we have in common with our fellow creatures, not just physically but emotionally too. I guarantee you will learn tons and love every minute of it.

Browse and Search
Zoobiquity here: