Nothing turns a baby's head more quickly than the sight or sound of an animal. This fascination is driven by the same inclinations that first drew humans and animals together. It is also the same biology that transformed wolves into dogs and skittish horses into valiant comrades that would carry us into battle.
Made for Each Other is the first book to explain how this chemistry of attraction and attachment flows through – and between – all mammals to create the profound emotional bonds humans and animals still feel today.
Drawing on recent discoveries from neuroscience, evolutionary biology, behavioural psychology, archaeology, as well as her own investigations, Meg Daley Olmert explains why the brain chemistry humans and animals trigger in each other also has a profound effect on our mental and physical well being.
This lively and original investigation asks what happens when the bond is severed. If thousands of years of caring for animals infused us with a biology that shaped our hearts and minds, do we dare turn our back on it? Daley Olmert makes a compelling and scientific case for what our hearts have always known, that we were, and always will be, made for each other.
Meg Daley Olmert has developed and produced natural history and cultural documentaries for Smithsonian World, National Geographic Explorer, Discovery Channel and PBS. She and her husband live on the eastern shore of Maryland with their kayaking cats.
"A fascinating exploration into the foundations of the human-animal bond and of our relationships with animals."
– Temple Grandin, author of Animals in Translation
"An original, exceptionally interesting book. It is also a feel-good-about-ourselves book, and we surely need more of those in today's strife-torn environment."
– E. O. Wilson, Harvard University author of Biophilia
"A warm exploration of the bond that might just keep humans sane 'until our own species can settle down again and act civilized.'"
– Kirkus, 12/15/08
"Wide-ranging, fascinating, poignant and clearly heartfelt [...] Timely because if connects the human-animal bond to the latest work in neuroscience, animal behavior, and the relationship between these fields."
– Barbara Smuts, author of Sex and Friendship in Baboons and Primate Societies
"[A] heartwarming and fascinating book [...] Olmert makes a convincing case that we are better off with [animals] in our lives."
– Scientific American Mind, 1/27/09
"More proof of the astonishing intricacy of life's interconnectivity."
– Booklist, 2/15/09
"Made for Each Other turns a bright light on animal-human relationships, and raises provocative questions about the relationship of biology and behavior."
– Bookslut, 1/31/09
"[Olmert] comes to some fascinating conclusions."
– Sante Fe New Mexican, 2/8/09
"A nice companion volume to Grandin's [...] Olmert weaves together the evolution of the bond between people and animals with the latest science."
– Boston Globe, 2/15/09