The Pig Who Sang to the Moon by Jeffrey Moussaieff Masson
The Emotional World of Farm Animals

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Jeffrey Moussaieff Masson’s groundbreaking bestseller, When Elephants Weep, was the first book since Darwin’s time to explore emotions in the animal kingdom, particularly from animals in the wild. Now, he focuses exclusively on the contained world of the farm animal, revealing startling, irrefutable evidence that barnyard creatures have feelings too, even consciousness.

Weaving history, literature, anecdotes, scientific studies, and Masson’s own vivid experiences observing pigs, cows, sheep, goats, and chickens over the course of five years, this important book at last gives voice, meaning, and dignity to these gentle beasts that are bred to be milked, shorn, butchered, and eaten. Can we ever know what makes an animal happy? Many animal behaviorists say no. But Jeffrey Masson has a different view: An animal is happy if it can live according to its own nature. Farm animals suffer greatly in this regard. Chickens, for instance, like to perch in trees at night, to avoid predators and to nestle with friends. The obvious conclusion: They cannot be happy when confined twenty to a cage.

From field and barn, to pen and coop, Masson bears witness to the emotions and intelligence of these remarkable farm animals, each unique with distinct qualities. Curious, intelligent, self-reliant–many will find it hard to believe that these attributes describe a pig. In fact, there is much that humans share with pigs. They dream, know their names, and can see colors. Mother cows mourn the loss of their calves when their babies are taken away to slaughter. Given a choice between food that is nutritious or lacking in minerals, sheep will select the former, balancing their diet and correcting the deficiency. Goats display quite a sense of humor, dignity, and fearlessness (Indian goats have been known to kill leopards). Chickens are naturally sociable–they will gather around a human companion and stand there serenely preening themselves or sit quietly on the ground beside someone they trust.

For far too long farm animals have been denigrated and treated merely as creatures of instinct rather than as sentient beings. Shattering the abhorrent myth of the “dumb animal without feelings,” Jeffrey Masson has written a revolutionary book that is sure to stir human emotions far and wide.

From the Hardcover edition.

About Jeffrey Moussaieff Masson

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Jeffrey Moussaieff Masson is the author of twenty-five books, including the New York Times bestselling When Elephants Weep and Dogs Never Lie About Love, as well as The Pig Who Sang to the Moon, The Face on Your Plate, and The Assault on Truth. An American, he lives in New Zealand.
Published December 18, 2007 by Ballantine Books. 304 pages
Genres: Health, Fitness & Dieting, Nature & Wildlife, Science & Math, Professional & Technical. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for The Pig Who Sang to the Moon

The Guardian

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The Pig Who Sang to the Moon by Jeffrey Masson Many years ago, Jeffrey Masson was a precocious controversialist whose Freud: The Assault on Truth placed him at the centre of a mini-cyclone of self-publicity, a place he has occupied, on and off, ever since.

Jan 11 2004 | Read Full Review of The Pig Who Sang to the Moon:...

The Guardian

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Ignoring rights and wrongs, we get an entertaining survey of the main emotional characteristics of farmed animals and a sobering account of how these have been ignored by farmers and, above all, by modern intensive agriculture or factory farming.

Jan 31 2004 | Read Full Review of The Pig Who Sang to the Moon:...

Publishers Weekly

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Arguing that all farming of animals for food is wrong (even eggs), Masson rebuts the fallacy that farm animals would die out without us, but doesn't say how we are to make the transition.

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