Are We Smart Enough to Know How Smart Animals Are? (2016) Review

smartenoughcover

Sometimes I come across a book on GoodReads and think, yeah, I’d like to read that. I’ll click on it, give a quick look at the overall rating, then add it to the “want to read” list. There’s no real rhyme or reason at times. The cover art. The title. Could be a combination of the two big brother. One of these combination books lacking a specific reason is Frans De Wall’s 2016 release, Are We Smart Enough to Know How Smart Animals Are? I had no idea what I’d be getting, but I finished it. It took a while, and it’s not a bad book, but it’s not for everyone.

The author of Animals (as I’ll refer to this from now one) is a man Time listed as one of the “100 Most Influential People.” De Wall’s a primatologist, psychologist, and professor. Are we smart enough to understand his book? Yes, if we can get through it. As one might expect, it’s quite dry and in a way, boring. There’s not a lot of entertainment here, but a lot of information.

Animals is almost like a psychology, sociology, and philosophy book from the animal perspective. De Wall’s main goal appears to explain that animals aren’t dumb beasts. They have similar social structures and thought patterns as humans. Are we smart enough? Like many things in life, it depends on perspective and point of view. Do you see animals as dumb beasts or thoughtful creatures? Not just your pet, but every animal.

De Wall offers a thought provoking, intellectual look at animals being smarter than most people realize, or want to realize. Animals isn’t a book for everyone, and I struggled to get to the end. It’s not for entertainment purposes, but it’s not bad. Before reading, you should prepare yourself that you’re going into animal psychology dealing with their reasoning and understanding.

Copyright © Drew Martin 2017

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