I recently finished Temple Grandin's latest book, Animals Make Us Human. It's a really compelling book that covers a wide spectrum of interests. If you want to know more about how to keep your cat or dog happy, read this book. If you are interested in animal welfare for both domestic and wild animals, read this book. If you own or work in a slaughterhouse or eat meat, read this book. And if you don't eat meat and are an animal rights activist, read this book.
Temple Grandin thinks about animal welfare from all perspectives. She has designed the audit systems now in place for many slaughterhouses and used by places like McDonald's and Wendy's to ensure their product comes from humane sources, and humane devices to lessen animal trauma or fear in these places. Her top concern, at all times, is the welfare of animals. If we are going raise animals for consumption, companionship or entertainment (aka: farm animals, pets, or zoos) then we should at all points in the process be focused on ensuring that these animals are emotionally and physically in the best state possible.
Her previous book written for the public, Animals in Translation, focused more how language and sensory perception works in animals. It was a good book, but this new book is really groundbreaking, I feel, in being accessible to the public and touching on so many important concepts. My only wish is that she had focused a little more on backyard/small farm chickens, in her chapter on chickens, which focused primarily on larger operations. However, that is just because I have some ;)
Other chapters include Horses, Dogs, Cats, Pigs, Cows, Wild Animals, Zoos, What Do Animals Need, and Why Do I Still Work for the Industry?
So if you need a last minute gift for an animal lover, owner, farmer, lawyer or well, just about anyone, I highly recommend this book!