Who is Liviana Prola giving her book to this Christmas?
The nutritionist and Feed Me author tells us her personal highs and lows of 2018 and who’ll be getting a great gift
2018 has been a big year for Phaidon. Not only have we published monumental books by Lucian Freud, Annie Leibovitz, Magnus Nilsson, Mario Sorrenti, Andy Warhol and others. We’ve also branched out, beyond our human audience, to appeal to other constituents within the animal kingdom with Feed Me: 50 Home Cooked Meals for your Dog.
We couldn’t have made this jump without the wonderful Liviana Prola. She is a research scientist at the Department of Veterinary Science at Turin University, Italy; a doctor of veterinary science; and has a PhD in Animal Nutrition.
Read on to discover why she feels a little left behind, evolutionary speaking, why tiny insects will be big for her in 2019, and which old friend and fellow animal lover she plans to give her book to this Christmas.
What was the thing that inspired you most this year? It wasn’t really a source of inspiration, but more a source of consideration. Anyway, in 2018 my daughter celebrated her first Holy Communion. In preparation, she choose not to spend a nice day out, shopping for a dress, but instead sat in front of a PC, where she ordered a beautiful custom-made garment from China.
I don’t have any social-media accounts, but the experience with my daughter made me realise that avoiding any web presence, at this point, is no longer “a different option”, but really a way of resisting evolution. Natural history shows us that such resistance is detrimental to mammals! I still don’t have any social-media profiles but I’m seriously thinking about starting one.
What was your personal highlight? Getting the formal qualification enabling me to become a professor. I got it a few months ago. Now we’ll see if my university can find the money for my salary.
What annoyed you most? I’m really worried about the increasing amount of selfish people and lack of cooperation among people day-to-day. With the smartphone everybody communicates, continuously, with people across the world, but they don’t talk to the people who sit across from them at the same table.
What can we expect from you in 2019? I haven’t got another book planned. Instead, I will publish scientific data on the use of insects as a protein source for dogs. Turning insects into food is a subject that fascinates me. It’s a sustainable source of farmed food; it does not require much in the way of fertilizer; and, at least in Europe, it is still an aspect of animal husbandry that has yet to be truly discovered, improved and optimized.
Who will you give your Phaidon book to for Xmas and why? My best friend, who is English. We met at school when we were five-years-old and, now more than 35 years, we are still very close. Her family has always kept different types of hunting dogs: Afghan Hounds, Saluki, Spanish Greyhounds.
They never fed them regular dog food and so dog feeding time was always fun in their household. We all prepared carrots, green beans, pieces of meat, and so on. All the dogs then ate very well.
Now the family has moved to Cote d’Azur, but we still spend holidays together. So my Phaidon book for Christmas will go to her family, the Leaches, in order to give Maryan ideas for her dog’s recipes.