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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

4.01  ·  Rating details ·  79 Ratings  ·  22 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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Mark Rice
Jan 01, 2012 rated it it was amazing
'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
Hall's Bookshop
Jun 22, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: lucas
"In the fifteenth century King Louis XI of France, whenever he felt gloomy, chose to be cheered up by a troupe of pigs festooned with pants and ribbons, who danced for him to the accompaniement of bagpipe music."

A work of great erudition, that does its damndest to overturn the use of the word pig as an insult. Intelligent, social, highly successful and adaptive, the pig is a lord of creation, or so Lyall Watson persusaively argues.
Oct 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I love pigs and I have always wanted one as a pet. This book makes me want one even more!
Maiko Morii
Mar 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Do you know how difference between pig and peccary, babirusa?
They are clever and charming rather than you think. too cute!
Feb 22, 2008 rated it it was amazing
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
Feb 03, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: animals
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
Sam Berner
Aug 12, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: i-own
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 :-)
Jun 21, 2015 rated it liked it
I enjoyed this study, which looks at the evolutionary history, biology and behaviour of the pig family as a whole, but also looks at how the pig has been represented in various cultures, including some which revile it, some which considered it primarily and perhaps even only as a food stuff, and some which venerate and adore it as a figure of worship.
Sheri Smith
Sep 21, 2016 rated it it was amazing

Was a little put off by this book as it looks like a text book, but really, the reading was great! Interesting and entertaining at all times. I also have new respect for pigs. They are smart, intelligent, gregarious, and really, their most enduring quality is that, well, they just love being, Pigs!
I highly recommend this book

Jun 07, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
Feb 08, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Nov 24, 2013 rated it liked it
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.
May 28, 2013 rated it it was amazing
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.
Shawn Thrasher
Oct 22, 2013 rated it really liked it
The whole hoggish truth, and nothing but the hoggish truth, about the wonderful world of swine.
Jun 13, 2012 rated it really liked it
Loved it. All you ever wanted to know about Pigs, Peccaries and Hogs...and more. A must for the committed pig appreciator!
Oct 10, 2007 rated it it was amazing
if your ever interested in learning EVERYTHING there is to know about the best creatures on earth... this book is very informative and fun!
Oct 26, 2011 rated it really liked it
A whole hearted celebration of the porcine world. Greatly enjoyable.
Apr 08, 2013 rated it it was ok
Shelves: non-fiction
Not what I expected - more of a history of pigs, than the psychology of pigs. Bit disappointing ....
Entertaining, well written and informative
Jan 22, 2008 rated it really liked it
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!!
Jul 21, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A strangely enjoyable romp through the world of wild and domestic pigs, that turns out to be rather fascinating. A natural history mixed with the author's musings that is both quirky and heartfelt.
Apr 10, 2008 rated it really liked it
Shelves: cookbooks-food
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.
rated it it was amazing
Sep 28, 2011
Harry Lynch
rated it really liked it
Oct 27, 2015
Marcia Zuvanich
rated it it was amazing
Dec 13, 2016
rated it liked it
Nov 08, 2012
Paul Friedman
rated it it was amazing
Dec 18, 2012
rated it it was ok
Jan 23, 2016
Jessica Willis
rated it really liked it
Dec 07, 2012
rated it liked it
Dec 18, 2015
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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
More about Lyall Watson...