Written by Meg Daley Olmert
Nothing turns a baby’s head more quickly than the sight or sound of an animal. This fascination is driven by the ancient chemical forces that first drew humans and animals together. It is also the same biology that transformed wolves into dogs and skittish horses into valiant comrades that would carry us into battle. Made for Each Other is the first book to explain how this chemistry of attraction and attachment flows through—and between—all mammals to create the profound emotional bonds humans and animals still feel today. Drawing on recent discoveries from neuroscience, evolutionary biology, behavioral psychology, archeology, as well as her own investigations, Meg Daley Olmert explains why the brain chemistry humans and animals trigger in each other also has a profound effect on our mental and physical well being. This lively and original investigation asks what happens when the bond is severed. If thousands of years of caring for animals infused us with a biology that shaped our hearts and minds, do we dare turn our back on it? Daley Olmert makes a compelling and scientific case for what our hearts have always known, that we were, and always will be, made for each other.
Many people will attest to the happiness pets bring, but few are aware of the neurochemical basis. In one of those delectably synergistic books that tie together threads of science, history, and everyday life, Olmert explains the evolutionary processes behind what E. O. Wilson calls biophilia, our love and need for animals. The complex story begins with the hormone oxytocin. First identified as the agent for labor contractions and breast-feeding, oxytocin is now recognized as the biological factor in social bonding. Olmert tracks the far-reaching power of oxytocin back to our Ice Age ancestors’ transformation into hunters, the forging of communities, and the welcoming of wolves around the hearth. As wolves evolved into dogs, it is oxytocin that turned them into “man’s best friend,” and the same mutually beneficial oxytocin-enhancing chemistry makes possible the close bonds between humans and horses, cattle, and cats. Studies proving the remarkable therapeutic effects of pets bolster Olmert’s mind-stretching assertion that our close relationships with other species are organically necessary for our well-being. More proof of the astonishing intricacy of life’s interconnectivity. --Donna Seaman --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Patricia McConnell, theotherendoftheleash.com
"I’ve finished Made for Each Other, and do indeed recommend it for people who are interested in animal behavior in general, and specifically the biology behind the relationship we have with domestic animals....It's a great read."
Wayne Pacelle, President and CEO of the Humane Society of the United States
"Made for Each Other was, for me, the most stimulating book of the year."
Series: Merloyd Lawrence Books
Paperback: 312 pages
Publisher: Da Capo Press; Reprint edition (February 23, 2010)
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