08 August 2012

'Gifts of the Crow' redefines the term birdbrain

Gifts of the Crow is a well-researched account of, and tribute to, a species of animal that has, for far-too-long, been demeaned and misunderstood. But thanks to Marzluff and Angell, the term birdbrain has taken on new meaning. Through their research and observation they have successfully documented the myriad behaviors that prove our winged brethren possess and utilize many of the same abilities and traits as us, including perception, emotional capacity and problem-solving abilities.

It is worth noting that there is nothing more frustrating (at least for me) than the still prevalent anthropomorphizing argument from those individuals who still believe non-humans animals to be inferior to animals of the human species. Although Marzluff and Angell note that the crows’ abilities allow them to behave like humans, I can’t help but wonder if we might in fact be behaving like them. Isn’t it at all possible that we share many of the same abilities and traits simply because we are in fact all animals? This is not about researchers humanizing birds. It is instead a testament to the remarkable abilities of all living beings, no matter how many of us possess one or the other.

Something to think about while you read, learning numerous bird facts you might never even imagined possible.

As a side note, and I do hope the authors will forgive this purely ethical vegan, I do wish that all research and observation had been done in the wild, where the animals are free to teach by example rather than through manmade experimentation.

Erica Settino | Twitter | Facebook | Website
New York Erica is the founder and executive director of the non-profit organization, Karuna For Animals: Compassion In Action, Inc. A long time vegetarian turned passionate vegan, she works tirelessly to educate others on the countless benefits of adopting a vegan diet. She currently holds a BS in Psychology with a concentration in Animal Behavior and an MFA in Creative Writing. Along with her work in animal advocacy, Erica works as an editorial assistant, freelance writer, certified and registered yoga instructor, nutritional counselor and health coach. She lives with her veg husband and their four rescued animal companions.

Photo credit: Gifts of the Crow | Disclosure: Review copy provided