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Jeffrey Masson's new book, The Pig Who Sang To the Moon: The Emotional World of Farm Animals , is the subject of a stirring review, "Nasty, Brutish, and Short," by B.R. Myers, in the April 2004 issue of The Atlantic Monthly , now on the newsstands.
Excerpt: "If Masson's goal is to rescue animals from our hands, then it's easy to understand why his approach is as inconsistent as a police negotiator's in a hostage standoff: why he appeals now to our hearts, now to our minds; why he passes the megaphone to scientists when it suits him and yanks it away when it doesn't; why he urges the release of all the animals and then voices hope for even a small improvement in their situation; why he is ready to try anything he can to reach our souls through the walls of our selfishness - walls that in this case are reinforced by social convention and the law."
And "[Masson] seems genuinely excited about being able to tell us that pigs prefer to be clean, and that a mother hen is as protective of her young as, well, a mother hen. The familiarity of these revelations is both soothing and humbling, as is Masson's belief that 'in general, the more we know about something, the more we care.' Who's to say that this simple faith in human understanding and compassion won't induce some readers to justify it?"
UPC's review of The Pig Who Sang To the Moon (highly recommended) appears in the Winter-Spring 2003-2004 issue of PoultryPress and can also be read at:
http://upc-online.org/what s new/122003pigmoon.htm