Zoobiquity by Barbara Natterson-Horowitz


8 Critic Reviews

Engaging, useful account of the similarities between humans and other animals.


In the spring of 2005, cardiologist Barbara Natterson-Horowitz was called to consult on an unusual patient: an Emperor tamarin at the Los Angeles Zoo. While examining the tiny monkey’s sick heart, she learned that wild animals can die of a form of cardiac arrest brought on by extreme emotional stress. It was a syndrome identical to a human condition but one that veterinarians called by a different name—and treated in innovative ways.

This remarkable medical parallel launched Natterson-Horowitz on a journey of discovery that reshaped her entire approach to medicine. She began to search for other connections between the human and animal worlds: Do animals get breast cancer, anxiety-induced fainting spells, sexually transmitted diseases? Do they suffer from obsessive-compulsive disorder, bulimia, addiction?

The answers were astonishing. Dinosaurs suffered from brain cancer. Koalas catch chlamydia. Reindeer seek narcotic escape in hallucinogenic mushrooms. Stallions self-mutilate. Gorillas experience clinical depression.

Joining forces with science journalist Kathryn Bowers, Natterson-Horowitz employs fascinating case studies and meticulous scholarship to present a revelatory understanding of what animals can teach us about the human body and mind. “Zoobiquity” is the term the authors have coined to refer to a new, species-spanning approach to health. Delving into evolution, anthropology, sociology, biology, veterinary science, and zoology, they break down the walls between disciplines, redefining the boundaries of medicine.

Zoobiquity explores how animal and human commonality can be used to diagnose, treat, and heal patients of all species. Both authoritative and accessible, offering cutting-edge research through captivating narratives, this provocative book encourages us to see our essential connection to all living beings.

About Barbara Natterson-Horowitz

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Barbara Natterson-Horowitz, M.D., earned her degrees at Harvard and the University of California, San Francisco. She is a cardiology professor at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA and serves on the medical advisory board of the Los Angeles. Zoo as a cardiovascular consultant. Her writing has appeared in many scientific and medical publications. Kathryn Bowers was a staff editor at The Atlantic and a writer and producer at CNN International. She has edited and written popular and academic books and teaches a course at UCLA on medical narrative.
Published June 12, 2012 by Vintage. 320 pages
Genres: Other, Health, Fitness & Dieting, Nature & Wildlife, Professional & Technical, Science & Math, Self Help, Political & Social Sciences. Non-fiction
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Critic reviews for Zoobiquity
All: 8 | Positive: 8 | Negative: 0


Reviewed by Kirkus Reviews on May 01 2012

Engaging, useful account of the similarities between humans and other animals.

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Reviewed by Julian Baggini on Jul 01 2012

...by the pleasures provided by this pacy, readable and entertaining manifesto for a zoobiquitous approach to health and wellbeing, to be welcomed by vets and other human animals.

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The Boston Globe

Reviewed by Dennis Rosen on Jul 09 2012

It provides lots of information in an easy-to-understand manner that doesn’t feel overwhelming, perhaps because of the liberal use of humor throughout.

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The Daily Beast

Reviewed by Carl Zimmer on Jun 17 2012

It’s exciting to watch a doctor discovering just how much the animal kingdom has to teach her.

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The Bark

Reviewed by Claudia Kawczynska on Oct 01 2012

This is a truly fascinating look at the similarities between us and other animals. We are not alone in our experience of a spectrum of physical and emotional disorders—among them, chlamydia, depression...

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Reviewed by Christy Corp-Minamiji on Jul 23 2012

Full of lively, yet intensively researched anecdotes and examples, Zoobiquity pulls no punches in its exploration of the divide between the veterinary medical community and the medical establishment...

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Reviewed by Rick on Aug 20 2012

Anyone with a pet will experience a few revelations. I recommend reading a chapter a date to not overdose on the fascinating detail. It will be in many public libraries.

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Canadians for Ethical Treatment of Food Animals

Reviewed by cetfa

...it’s a fun read, and it’s so obviously entrenched in a compassionate understanding of other animals.

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