“Animals and Psychedelics” by Giorgio Samorini

This new book by Giorgio Samorini, one of the world’s leading experts on the tribal, ritual use of psychedelics, observes the drug habits of dozens of animals, from elephants to goats, and even a few insects. He tells what they get high on, what they do when they’re high, and suggests tantalizing reasons for why they do it.
Samorini writes vividly; his 112 page book is like going on a stimulating psychedelic safari.

He tells how birds in the Western US, high on the fermented berries of the California Holly, engage in drunken orgies. He recounts how cats get high on catnip, an herb that gives male cats spontaneous erections and makes female cats adopt mating stances. Samorini reveals how mandrills in Gabon, Africa, dig up and eat the roots of the powerfully hallucinogenic Iboga Tabernathe, to prepare for combat to claim a female. The reader learns that, around the world, psychedelic animal orgies facilitate the continuation of many species.

Samorini suggests that getting high is an utterly natural behavior, one that helps animals and humans alike to adapt and evolve. Mind-altering plants can free us to modify otherwise rigid schemes and patterns and develop new and more useful ways to think and act.

After putting the book down, I became profoundly aware that somewhere off in the shrubby hills near my home, caribou were chewing psychedelic lichen and sprawling stoned under the stars.

? Animals and Psychedelics: www.gotoit.com/titles/anipsy.html

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