The Emotional Lives of Animals & Children

Insights from a Farm Sanctuary

$15.95

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Imprint: Turning Stone Press
Availability: In stock
"In today's world, it is easy for us to forget how important contact with nature is for children's emotional and spiritual development. This profound and beautiful book reminds us and shows how contact with animals can foster children's compassion and enlarge their humanity."
John Robbins, author of The Food Revolution and Diet for a New America
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Book Details

Pages

158 Pages

Size

5.5 x 8.5

Format

Trade Paperback

Pub. Date

10/17/2014

ISBN

978-1-61852-082-1

Publisher

Red Wheel Weiser

Authors

  • Author William Crain

    William Crain is a professor of psychology at The City College of New York. He is the author of the textbook Theories of Development, now in its 6th edition, and Reclaiming Childhood: Letting Children Be Children in Our AchievementOriented Society. A social activist, Crain works to broaden access to higher education and to defend animals. He and his wife, Ellen, are founders of Safe Haven Farm Sanctuary in Poughquag, NY, and the East Hampton Group for Wildlife. Visit Bill, Ellen and their animals online at www.safehavenfarmsanctuary.org.

In 2008, Bill Crain, a professor of psychology at The City College of New York, and his wife Ellen, a pediatrician, opened Safe Haven Farm Sanctuary in Poughquag, New York. The sanctuary provides a permanent home to over 70 animals rescued from slaughter and abusive situations, including goats, sheep, chickens, turkeys, ducks, partridges, and a minihorse. It also has afforded Bill a tremendous opportunity to observe animals in all manner of emotional states and how their behavior casts light on the emotions of human children.

In The Emotional Lives of Animals and Children, Crain honors the work of John Bowlby a psychoanalyst who began his major writings in the 1950s. Bowlby drew on biologists’ observations of animals to provide a compelling account of children’s attachment to their caretakers. “Today, the study of attachment is extremely popular,” Crain writes, but “one would hardly know that the initial inspiration came from observations of nonhuman animals. Moreover, there has been little effort to extend Bowlby’s work – to see how the study of animals illuminates other aspects of child development.”

Crain suggests that the reluctance to follow Bowlby’s lead reflects the Western worldview that considers humans as different from and superior to other species. To think about children in the same category as animals seems to demean children. But Crain discovered that the farm animals’ emotional behaviors can help us understand those of human children.

The Emotional Lives of Animals and Children is divided into two parts. Part one discusses six emotional behaviors that are shared by animals and children: fear, play, freedom, care, spirituality, and resilience. Part two addresses the broader social theme of our Western culture’s disparagement of animals. Initially, children do not set themselves apart from nature, but experience it with an instinctive empathy. However, they are eventually taught by our society to detach themselves and to devalue animals.

Crain writes, “As people attempt to move beyond society’s dominant views of animals, they can also draw on a neglected idea that goes back to ancient times. This is the view that there is a special wisdom in the child’s ways of knowing. This view is found in the ancient Chinese Taoist statement, ‘wise souls are children.'”

About Safe Haven Farm Sanctuary
Safe Haven Farm Sanctuary is located in Poughquag, New York, about an hour and a half outside of New York City. Its focus is on the rescue of abused and neglected farm animals. In doing so, it hopes to raise awareness of the plight of animals raised for food and the benefits of a vegan diet for animals, human health, and the environment. Wherever possible, the sanctuary tries to implement environmentally sound practices such as solar heating and the use of reclaimed wood.

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"In today's world, it is easy for us to forget how important contact with nature is for children's emotional and spiritual development. This profound and beautiful book reminds us and shows how contact with animals can foster children's compassion and enlarge their humanity."
John Robbins, author of The Food Revolution and Diet for a New America
"Dr. Crain's short, uptodate, easytoread, wellresearched, and wellwritten book is a gem. . . I was continually fascinated by how his observations of the wide array of emotions displayed by the rescued animals informed his view of the emotional lives of young children."
Marc Bekoff for Psychology Today
"Society too often turns its back on the voiceless and the disenfranchised. With a powerful combination of tenderness and keen professional insight, William Crain peels back the veneer of social norms to explore how children and animals share a number of fascinating behavioral traits arising from their common sense of vulnerability. A series of poignant vignettes shows how the author's personal experiences have changed his own outlook. If you have children or animals in your life, you'll appreciate Crain's superb ability to explain the clinical underpinnings of their complex personalities in a way anyone can easily understand. Now let's hope we can heed his timely wisdom and better protect those entrusted to our stewardship."
David Robinson Simon, author of Meatonomics: How the Rigged Economics of Meat and Dairy Make You Consume Too Much--and How to Eat Better, Live Longer, and Spend Smarter
"Once again, Bill Crain has developed an original conversation that we all need to join. At last 21stcentury scientists and humanists are dedicating serious research to the souls of animals and our relationship to these earthly companions. Children can teach us about how to relate with innocence and empathy to the animated world. Magisterial yet modest in tone, this guide is filled with meditations, anecdotes, photographs, and scientific data that manifest our neglected powers to live fully."
Elizabeth Goodenough, author of Secret Spaces of Childhood
"Bill Crain takes us on a moving personal journey into the territory of our thought when we were young, a territory which most of us have not since taken the time to explore."
Roger Hart, Professor, Graduate Center, The City University of New York
" . . . will be of particular interest to parents, teachers, and anyone engaging with young children."
Robin Lamontb for Our Hen House
"William Crain reminds us that human beings share deep bonds with nonhuman animals and illustrates how our lives can be enriched through reawakening this connection. How we treat other animals is a reflection of who we are."
Gene Baur, President and cofounder of Farm Sanctuary and author, Farm Sanctuary,Changing Hearts and Minds about Animals and Food