I just finished a fascinating book exploring the link between human and animal well-being. Cardiology professor Barbara Natterson-Horowitz, M.D. and science writer Kathryn Bowers teamed up to write Zoobiquity: the Astonishing Connection Between Animal and Human Health. The pair offers examples of the myriad ways that animal and human healthiness correspond, and the simple fact that animals and humans share vulnerabilities to the same diseases, illnesses, behaviors, and injuries.
From dinosaurs suffering from cancer, to koalas with STDs, to depression in gorillas, to adolescent high jinx in horses, the book looks at how animals experience many of the same issues as humans. Presented in an easy to understand manner that draws the reader into wanting to read further, this book is hard to put down and thoroughly illuminating.
Throughout the book, Natterson-Horowitz and Bowers offer variations of the question, “Shouldn’t human and veterinary doctors be partnering, along with wildlife biologists, in the field, the lab, the clinic?” In spite of our physiological and cultural differences, there is much to be learned by the joint study of human and animal health.
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