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The Whole Hog: Exploring the Extraordinary Potential of Pigs
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The Whole Hog: Exploring the Extraordinary Potential of Pigs

4.06 of 5 stars 4.06  ·  rating details  ·  54 ratings  ·  16 reviews
Not all animals are created equal. For a start, pigs have it, sheep don’t; that is, that special quality of intelligence, a sense of play, and a gregariousness that make these tragically misunderstood—yet no less endearing—creatures more like us than any other animal. Best-selling author Lyall Watson takes a delightful look at the occasionally amusing, often instructive, a ...more
Hardcover, 256 pages
Published October 17th 2004 by Smithsonian Books (first published September 16th 2004)
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Community Reviews

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Mark Rice
'Pigs, wild and domestic, like it or not, are a force in our lives. They are everything, everywhere and ever ambiguous - massive or dainty, finicky or fat, stolid or effervescent, but never anything less than compelling. They are animals for all seasons, found everywhere except the continent of Antarctica. And wherever pigs may be found, the one thing that everyone agrees on is that pigs are far smarter than any cloven-hoofed ungulate has a right to be.'
- Lyall Watson,
The Whole Hog: Exploring
...more
Asa
Feb 22, 2008 Asa rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: farmers, origin of humans buffs, every one
Recommended to Asa by: father
I. In the Begining: Two theories of the ancient evolving humans stand out..

1. That beer was the root of all civilization. The early humans soaked and sprouted grains to soften them for consumption. Beer was discover as soon as humans started soaking there grains in water. IE right way. That Hogs were the first domesticated farm animals.
2. Swine herders played their trumpets, Horns, until the hogs came in from the wilderness, the hogs new the horns of their swine herders. Then they would feed
...more
Ben
It turns out that pigs are actually quite fantastic: they are smart, playful, and versatile creatures. Their development has supported man's development and they may hold further use in the realms of medical science.

The book is well written and strikes an approachable balance between informative and didactic.
Barbara
I got this book through ILL for an AP Human Geography class and wound up reading it cover to cover. Watson, an aficionado of wild pigs, imparts a surprising amount of information about their personalities and capabilities. It is interesting to know that many consider the pig to be anatomically closest to humans in certain areas: cardiovascular, teeth, liver, and immune systems to mention a few. Both species are omnivorous and like alcoholic beverages. Pigs are intelligent, gregarious, and, of co ...more
Clivemichael
Entertaining, well written and informative
Sam Berner
Makes you feel guilty of fratricide everytime you order bacon and eggs. Opened my eyes to the fact that pigs are as intelligent as dogs - maybe this is why G-d proscribed their eating in the Torah ;-) - and consider having one as a pet (if I move out of stupid QLD which shoots them on sight). I might even teach it to retrieve and do agility :-)
Ulla
I picked this book up in Dublin a few years back and had not gotten the chance to read it until last week. I could not put it down! This book was such a charming, marvelous read. I adored it! A fascinating combination of natural history, zoology and personal anecdotes. I fell in love with pigs all over again after reading this book.
Jonah
It was an interesting book BUT takes a number of positions without good factual support or makes statements that are not factually based. He also makes persistent claims about the humanity of pigs... but is very clearly in favor of pig farming. He does not resolve this difference at all in the big.
Adrian
A fun celebration of pigs by a biologist who loves them. Informative and interesting and amusing. Lots of pictures. I even read some of it to my kids, who also found it interesting. Great pictures.
Corrie
I love books about animals! So good! I want a pig now!! This really was a neat book. I've seen javalinas before here in New Mexico, and they're pretty cool. Go pigs!!
Pippin
Everything you ever wanted to know abut pigs. This non-fiction was a great read and made me want to make friends with warthogs in far reaches of the planet.
Tovah
if your ever interested in learning EVERYTHING there is to know about the best creatures on earth... this book is very informative and fun!
Annie
Loved it. All you ever wanted to know about Pigs, Peccaries and Hogs...and more. A must for the committed pig appreciator!
Max
Not what I expected - more of a history of pigs, than the psychology of pigs. Bit disappointing ....
Shawn Thrasher
The whole hoggish truth, and nothing but the hoggish truth, about the wonderful world of swine.
nobody
A whole hearted celebration of the porcine world. Greatly enjoyable.
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Lyall Watson was a South African botanist, zoologist, biologist, anthropologist, ethologist, and author of many new age books, among the most popular of which is the best seller Supernature. Lyall Watson tried to make sense of natural and supernatural phenomena in biological terms. He is credited with the first published use of the term "hundredth monkey" in his 1979 book, Lifetide. It is a hypoth ...more
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