This is a book about farm animals - chickens, cows, sheep and goats - and what they think and feel. As with his previous bestsellers on animal emotions, Jeffrey Masson reveals that these creatures, so often despised or abused, feel complex emotions - among them love, loyalty, friendship, sadness, grief and sorrow. The domesticated animals living on our farms are very little removed from their wild ancestors, and keep the emotions that belong to those animals when they lived free. This means that the confinement farm animals are subjected to is painful and that those enduring factory farm conditions are suffering little less than torture. Thinking about the wild ancestors of farm animals allows us to answer many questions that were once considered unanswerable. Those answers, however uncomfortable, are at last providing insights into the personalities and needs of the animals on whom we depend.
An entertaining survey of the main characteristics of farmed animals and a sobering account of how these have been ignored Guardian Presents information and anecdotes without ever preaching Independent on Sunday Compassionate, compelling and often tear-jerking... Anyone who has a heart will be reduced to tears, if not to vegetarianism, by Masson's argument Daily Mail In this latest leg of Jeffrey Moussaieff's journey through the animal kingdoms, this perceptive writer peels back our prejudices to reveal the depth of feeling and thought in animals' minds and the leap we must make to be worthy of understanding them. Eye-opening, warm, thoroughly engaging -- Ingrid Newkirk, President of PETA Wrenching, yet vitally important... At last a voice for the domestic animals who need it most. While every attention is paid to wild animals and to pets, farm animals are systematically ignored because the fact that we kill and eat these sentient beings is almost unbearable to acknowledge. Yet if that is what we are doing, we must acknowledge it. We must understand our actions. This powerful, excellent book is not for cowards -- Elizabeth Marshall Thomas, author of The Hidden Lives of Dogs