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 which live 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 to them and that those enduring factory farm conditions are suffering little less than torture. Masson argues that an animal can only be happy when it is living under conditions that allow it to express its natural behaviour and to feel the emotions that accompany that behaviour.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.
Jeffrey Masson served as Projects Director of the Sigmund Freud Archives in London. He has written three bestselling books on animal emotions. He lives in New Zealand.