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About the book
  • Published: 4 June 2019
  • ISBN: 9781529111026
  • Imprint: Vintage
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 320
  • RRP: $28.00

The Secret World of Farm Animals

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The first ever book to tell us what animals think and feel - now reissued for a new generation

‘An unbelievably inspiring book’ Peter Wohlleben, author of The Hidden Life of Trees
Did you know that pigs frequently throw tantrums?
That chickens are capable of complex communication?
That sheep know their own names?
That cows grieve when their calves are taken away from them?

Jeffrey Masson delves deep into the mysterious world of farm animals and reveals just how sophisticated these creatures truly are - capable of joy, sadness, love and friendship - just like us.

  • Pub date: 4 June 2019
  • ISBN: 9781529111026
  • Imprint: Vintage
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 320
  • RRP: $28.00

About the Author

Jeffrey Masson

Jeffrey Masson graduated from the Toronto Psychoanalytic Institute and was briefly Projects Director of the Sigmund Freud Archives. The book he wrote with Susan McCarthy on animal emotions, When Elephants Weep (1994), became a bestseller in the United States. Since then he has published nine books on animals and their emotions, including Dogs Never Lie About Love, The Nine Emotional Lives of Cats and most recently, The Dog Who Couldn't Stop Loving. He lives with his family in Auckland, New Zealand.

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Praise for The Secret World of Farm Animals

“An unbelievably inspiring book”

Peter Wohlleben, author of The Hidden Life of Trees

“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

“An entertaining survey of the main characteristics of farmed animals and a sobering account of how these have been ignored”


“Presents information and anecdotes without ever preaching”

Independent on Sunday

“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

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