a New Perspective on What Makes Us Human
Why do humans all over the world take in and nurture other animals? This behavior might seem maladaptive, after all, every mouthful given to another species is one that you cannot eat, but in this study, the author, an anthropologist reveals that our propensity to domesticate and care for other animals is in fact among our species' greatest strengths. For the last 2.6 million years, she explains, humans who coexisted with animals enjoyed definite adaptive and cultural advantages. To illustrate this point, she gives a tour of the milestones in human civilization, from tool-making and agriculture to art and even language, and describes how we reached each stage through our unique interdependent relationship with other animals. She also offers a window on the process of anthropological discovery, describing how remains and artifacts can be translated into an accurate and enlightening narrative of our history as a species. The book reaffirms our love of animals as something both innate and distinctly human, revealing that the process of domestication not only changed animals but had a resounding impact on humans as well.
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