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Animal Madness

Animal Madness

Laurel Braitman

Category

Non-fiction, Popular Science

Format

Paperback

Price

$450.00 $199.00

In Stock

Excerpt

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$450.00 $199.00

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(Paperback | ISBN 978-93-85288-84-5 | 384 pages | October 2015)

Summary

Charles Darwin developed his evolutionary theories by studying Galapagos finches and fancy pigeons; Alfred Russel Wallace investigated creatures in the Malay Archipelago. Laurel Braitman got her lessons closer to home—by watching her dog. Oliver snapped at flies that only he could see, suffered from debilitating separation anxiety, was prone to aggression, and may even have attempted suicide. Braitman’s experiences with Oliver made her acknowledge a startling connection: non-human animals can lose their minds. And when they do, it often looks a lot like human mental illness.

Thankfully, all of us can heal. Braitman spent three years travelling the world in search of emotionally disturbed animals and the people who care for them, finding numerous stories of recovery: parrots that learn how to stop plucking their feathers, dogs that cease licking their tails raw, polar bears that stop swimming in compulsive circles, and great apes that benefit from the help of human psychiatrists. How do these animals recover? The same way we do: with love, medicine, and above all, the knowledge that someone understands why we suffer and what can make us feel better.

Excerpt

Click here to read an excerpt from the book.


Reviews

Animal Madness is compulsively readable and thoroughly engaging: Laurel has the rare gift of being able to combine ideas, research and personal experience into a compelling narrative. Yet behind the engaging tone and the lightness of touch there is a deep seriousness, as indeed there should be. For the ideas that animate Animal Madness are of the greatest urgency and importance, especially in this era of climate change: to acknowledge that all living things exist within a continuum of consciousness is a vital first step towards the dissolution of that human-centred world view that has, ironically, led humanity as well as millions of other species to the brink of disaster.’ —Amitav Ghosh http://amitavghosh.com/blog/?p=6355

‘Braitman wants us to take animals seriously—to see them as individuals with life histories and psychologies as dramatic and intense as our own… [She] has an absolute, not a comparative, sense of the animal soul.’—The New Yorker

‘This is a marvelous, smart, eloquent book—as much about human emotion as it is about animals and their inner lives. Braitman’s research is fascinating, and she writes with the ease and engagement of a natural storyteller.’—Susan Orlean, bestselling author of Rin Tin Tin, Saturday Night, and The Orchid Thief

‘[A] stimulating mix of rigorous scientific research and moving tales about mental fragility and resilience in the animal kingdom.’—The Age

Animal Madness is the sanest book I've read in a long time. Laurel Braitman irrefutably shows that animals think and feel, and experience the same emotions that we do. To deny this is crazy—which is why this fine book should be required reading for anyone who cares about healing the broken inner lives of both people and animals.’—Sy Montgomery, author of The Good Good Pig

‘In this compelling and provocative book, Braitman shows us sides of the animal mind few have imagined, and in doing so, opens our eyes anew.’—Virginia Morell, author of Animal Wise

‘Illuminating…Braitman’s delightful balance of humor and poignancy brings each case of life….[Animal Madness’s] continuous dose of hope should prove medicinal for humans and animals alike.’—Publisher’s Weekly


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About the author

Laurel Braitman

Laurel Braitman has written stories about science, animals and other topics for Cabinet, Orion, The New Inquiry and other publications, and performs live for Pop Up Magazine in San Francisco. She received her PhD in the history and anthropology of science from MIT and is an affiliate artist at the Headlands Center for the Arts. […]

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