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A Discover Magazine Best Book of 2012
Finalist, 2013 AAAS/Subaru SB&F Prize for Excellence in Science Books
Do animals overeat? Get breast cancer? Have fainting spells?
Inspired by an eye-opening consultation at the Los Angeles Zoo, which revealed that a monkey experienced the same symptoms of heart failure as her human patients, cardiologist Barbara Natterson-Horowitz embarked upon a project that would reshape how she practiced medicine. Beginning with the above questions, she began informally researching every affliction that she encountered in humans to learn whether it happened with animals, too. And usually, it did: dinosaurs suffered from brain cancer, koalas can catch chlamydia, reindeer seek narcotic escape in hallucinogenic mushrooms, stallions self-mutilate, and gorillas experience clinical depression. Natterson-Horowitz and science writer Kathryn Bowers have dubbed this pan-species approach to medicine zoobiquity. Here, they present a revelatory understanding of what animals can teach us about the human body and mind, exploring how animal and human commonality can be used to diagnose, treat, and heal patients of all species.
“[Zoobiquity] will change medicine more than any new machine or drug.” —Randolph Nesse, M.D., Professor of Psychology, University of Michigan and author of Why We Get Sick
“[Zoobiquity is] a ground-breaking book and essential reading for anyone interested in the connections between human and animal medicine. [It] throws a gauntlet out to the biomedical scientific and clinical community, urging it not to delay further, but instead to set up an effective research and development infrastructure to pilot and test new hypotheses and clinical approaches using this enhanced comparative model. It will be fascinating to see who comes forward to accept this challenge.” —Peter Rabinowitz, M.D.,Yale School of Medicine, and Director of Yale Human-Animal Medical Project
"Full of fascinating stories. . . . I was beguiled.” —Atul Gawande, M.D., bestselling author of Complications
“Provocative. . . . It’s exciting to watch a doctor discovering just how much the animal kingdom has to teach her.” —Carl Zimmer, The Daily Beast
“Illuminating . . . [and] difficult to put down. . . . Reading Zoobiquity gave this reader a totally new perspective on his furred and feathered neighbors.” —Dennis Rosen, The Boston Globe
“[A] pacy, readable, and entertaining manifesto for a zoobiquitous approach to health and wellbeing, to be welcomed by vets and other human animals.” —The Observer (London)
“Not only [have the authors] presented a very credible argument for collaboration between disciplines, but she has done so in a most entertaining and beautifully written manner.” —New York Journal of Books
“[The authors] make a convincing case. . . . You will find the argument hard to resist. Plus you will have some killer dinner party gems.” —New Scientist
“Tremendously interesting and beautifully written. . . . At once entertaining and respectful of the reader’s intelligence.” —Winnipeg Free Press
“Profoundly illuminating. . . . As clarion and perception-altering as works by Oliver Sacks, Michael Pollan, and E. O. Wilson.” —Booklist (starred review)
“The book features countless intriguing anecdotes. . . . After finishing, you’re guaranteed to never look at your dog, cat, or any other animal the same way again.” —Publishers Weekly
“The authors provide solid evidence that humans are not as far removed from the rest of the natural world as we might have thought. Engaging [and] useful.” —Kirkus Reviews
“This beautifully written book is loaded with fascinating material that makes a compelling case for viewing human health and disease comparatively. We have more to learn from other species than I had ever suspected. Gripping and memorably engaging, it belongs in the hands of anyone with an ounce of curiosity about the biological sources of the human condition.” —Stephen Stearns, Ph.D., Edward P. Bass Professor of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Yale University
“Fascinating reading about the similarities in both the physiology and behavior of people and animals.” —Temple Grandin, Ph.D., author of Animals Make Us Human
“The connections we share with the rest of life on our planet are a source of beauty and, in Natterson-Horowitz and Bowers’ luminous new account, the inspiration for an emerging and powerful approach to human health.” —Neil Shubin, paleontologist and author of Your Inner Fish
“Zoobiquity uncovers the core connections that link our health with all other living creatures on the planet. Presenting a diversity of fascinating examples—from the companion animals who share our homes to wild animals we’ll never even see—this important book shatters barriers between disciplines and professions. Zoobiquity advances a ‘species-spanning’ approach to both physical and psychological problems that could vastly improve how we understand not only other animals but also ourselves. The book’s exploration of animal psychopathology demonstrates important links to, and offers key insights into, human mental illness. The book is a ‘must read’ for students interested in animals and evolution who are considering careers as biologists, ethologists, physicians, veterinarians, nurses, dentists, psychotherapists, nutritionists and many others.” —Marc Bekoff, author of Minding Animals and The Emotional Lives of Animals, and co-founder with Jane Goodall of Ethologists for the Ethical Treatment of Animals