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The Inner World of Farm Animals: Their Amazing Intellectual, Emotional and Social Capacities
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The Inner World of Farm Animals: Their Amazing Intellectual, Emotional and Social Capacities

4.30  ·  Rating details ·  342 ratings  ·  44 reviews
Chickens can count. Pigs are smarter than poodles. Cows form close friendships. Turkeys know one another by their voices, and sheep recognize faces—of other sheep, and of people. Far from lacking thoughts and feelings, barnyard creatures demonstrate sophisticated problem-solving abilities, possess rich social lives, and feel a wide range of emotions. In other words, they’r ...more
Hardcover, 168 pages
Published April 1st 2009 by Harry N. Abrams
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Average rating 4.30  · 
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Lisa Vegan
Aug 14, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: everybody!; anyone who has ever known & loved a non-human animal
Recommended to Lisa by: Chrissie
I cannot sufficiently extol the contents of this book. I’ve read so many animal books over the years, but this one presents a truly unique perspective. The photos are exquisite. The information provided is important. The book is truly inspirational. It’s full of happy stories of animals living in sanctuaries and therefore living lives normal for them, and it was disturbing only when I considered (which I couldn’t help thinking about) how these animals are normally treated.

I received this book as
Sep 10, 2011 rated it really liked it
This was definitely not a book written for someone like me, and yet I loved parts of it. The book's premise is that farm animals are so much more complex and intelligent than we previously thought, so we should stop using cruel and inhumane methods to raise them for food. I know I can't speak for all farmers, but as the daughter of one, I can tell you that my dad has always said a happy healthy animal is ultimately a more profitable one when it comes time to sell. But I guess if you're a vegetar ...more
Ginny Messina
Sep 25, 2009 rated it it was amazing
A beautiful book! The pictures of former farm animals now living in sanctuaries are just exquisite. The text shares their stories as well as research into the habits, emotions and intellects of different animals. (Who knew that ducks have regional accents?) It's a fast read--about an hour--except that every photo is such a delight that it's kind of hard to turn the page.

This is a perfect gift for anyone who loves animals and particularly for someone who needs a little nudge toward ethical eatin
Feb 24, 2010 rated it really liked it
When animal advocates talk about farm animals, it is usually in the context of the suffering these animals endure. However, there's a flipside to all of this that deserves to be heard--who these animals are, and how they behave in situations where their personalities can shine through--such as at a farm sanctuary.

Packed with beautiful, color photos and stories that range from illuminating to adorable, this is the perfect book to share with "don't tell me that!" omnivores. Through a combination
Barbara Hoff
Apr 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A beautiful picture book for adults that describes and extols the intellectual and emotional capacities of farm animals.
Susan Grodsky
Jan 05, 2017 rated it really liked it
Exquisite visually. Each page is beautifully designed, with photographs that range from charming to adorable. Each chapter ends with a double spread photo. Quotations from researchers and philosophers are sprinkled throughout the book. The tiny icons next to the page numbers are silhouettes (cows, pigs, sheep, goats, chickens) that indicate graphically the content of the chapter. And the silhouettes are flipped so (for example) the cows on odd numbered pages gaze across the book at the cows on e ...more
Aug 12, 2009 rated it liked it
Shelves: nonfiction
Absolutely phenomenal photographs abound. Intensely cute stories about adorable animals are scattered among the photographs. Among those are short narrative blurbs describing the results of various studies showing that these animals are smart, sociable, have feelings, learn, and are generally all around awesome. It's a powerful arguement for veganism, or at the very least "humanely raised" farm animals. I found myself wishing for more substance but I did enjoy this. ...more
Wendy Wagner
May 29, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: animals
A charming work that explores advances in animal intelligence and communication. It also includes ADORABLE photos and lots of cute anecdotes. Every page tugs the heart strings, and the prose is accessible and engaging. A great entry into animal minds.
Jul 26, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
Beautiful photos and copious quotes accompany the basic text of this book which skims the surface of animal emotions and responses. A good primer, and appropriate for any age, research progress and scientific studies are peppered with anecdotal stories of rescued sanctuary animals.

Sections include: Chickens; Geese, Ducks, and Turkeys; Cows; Pigs; Sheep and Goats.

There is a very good reference section in the back including farm sanctuaries, recommend readings/viewings, and animal rights organiz
Roots & Shoots
Aug 19, 2009 rated it it was amazing
This article was published on the website for Jane Goodall's Roots & Shoots.

Roots & Shoots Book Club: The Inner World of Farm Animals

Can a sheep tell you apart from your friends? Can chickens help with your math homework?

Amy Hatkoff¿s The Inner World of Farm Animals uses the latest research to answer these and other questions about our barnyard friends.

Just like Dr. Jane's research at Gombe Stream National Park taught us that chimpanzees are smart, curious and have their own personalities, this
Sep 12, 2010 rated it really liked it
This book presented how farm animals respond emotionally and intellectually with the world around them. It is very easy to read with the text interspersed with beautiful photography. After reading the text, the reader is left with little doubt as to how similar animals and humans are in their desire to form relationships and to be treated with kindness and respect. There are many delightful examples of animals' personalities shining through with my favourite stories being those of inter-species ...more
Lily So-too
May 08, 2011 rated it really liked it
I found this book used at Ravenna Third Place Books
and knew that I would give in to my book addiction & buy it
when I read this sentence:

"Research shows that cows enjoy solving problems."

It goes on to say that some young cows had accelerated heart rates and some of them even jumped when they successfully learned to unlatch a gate to get food. Other cows in a test group that could just get to the food without unlatching the gate, did not show a change in their behavior or heart rate.

This book is n
Savannah Avery
Jul 15, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I gave this book 5 stars! It was beautiful. I loved this book so much! Everyone needs to read this book. I'm a big animal rights advocate and I'm also a vegetarian, so I know a lot about the farm animal rights movement, however this book gave me a look into the actual animals that I'm trying to fight for. This book taught me so much about their personalities and intelligence. I had no idea how smart animals are and how much emotion they have.

Everyone needs to read this book, I recommend it to e
reading is my hustle
Nov 17, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Goats are the animals that act most like dogs.

Sheep can read and respond to emotional cues from both human and sheep faces.

Cows have excellent memories.

Pigs are smarter than dogs.

Turkeys are affectionate with humans.

The avian brain is similar to the human brain and processes information in much the same way.

The photos in this book are some of the best I have ever seen.
Dec 14, 2009 rated it really liked it
There's not a lot of text in this book, but that's okay. There are plenty of books and other sources that can give you miles and miles of information. It does have beautiful, true life stories of the interactions between some farm animals. Short, simple stories that speak volumes. And without lecturing. The touching and exquisite photographs perfectly capture each creature's reverence for life. ...more
Dec 17, 2010 rated it it was amazing
This book is full of amazing examples of how animals are individuals with emotions, personalities, complex social structures and intellect. I adored it. Since I've read a lot on animal behaviour, none of the research findings cited in this book surprised me but I had my firm beliefs about animals reconfirmed. This would be a good book for someone new to animals rights and/or vegetarianism...but I also gained somethings from the stories along the way. A good read...prepare to cry! ...more
Mar 07, 2010 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book. I think it's important for people to think about where their food comes from, and how the animals are treated before they hit your dinner plate. I'm not a vegetarian, but I don't eat a lot of meat, and when I do, I buy local, organic meat from humanely-raised animals.

The photos are lovely too.
Apr 20, 2011 rated it it was amazing
A beautiful book -- well written, informative, lovely photos, good layout -- and interesting! Farm animals are sentient beings and why some scientists do not want to believe this fact is beyond me. Amy has both anecdotal and scientific information to demonstrate that farm animals are just as aware as our household pets. I recommend this book to everyone!
Sep 09, 2011 rated it liked it
An easy read with lots of beautiful photos, quotes, and true stories! The book is about how researchers have found out that other living creatures have cognitive abilities. I actually found the little snippets of true stories to have affected me more than the research. This book is good but I believe there are better books out there.
Aug 10, 2012 rated it liked it
Not quite as in-depth as other titles I've read. The books of Jeffrey Moussaieff Masson go much further. Still, I appreciate that the author was trying to make a difficult subject (difficult in that many people still don't think animals have intelligence or emotions, or they don't want to think so because of the implications) more approachable. The photographs are beautiful and engaging. ...more
Oct 15, 2009 rated it liked it
Who knew that chickens were capable of affection or that turkeys could dance and entertain folks? This tell all book about the lives of farm animals was a quick and fascinating read. I enjoyed the lay-out of the book as well.
Jan 09, 2011 rated it it was ok
i liked the little personal stories about the emotional and sweet connections between animals, but the rest was eh. Felt like they were telling me these big facts about the inner complicated minds of animals without really giving me any facts.. cute photos though!
Jul 22, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I liked this, even though I am not a vegan. It made me re-think eating meat, and was a fascinating perspektive about how sentient the animals around us really are, how can we kill and eat them without beeing evil?....we cant...and that is worth pondering over.
Jul 16, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Everyone should read this book! It will make you a better person.
Sep 14, 2009 rated it really liked it
Amazing how we underestimate all creatures excpet for ourselves for their capacity to think, feel and form relationships. Take a bite out of that burger why don't you. ...more
Sep 25, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Lee by: Lisa Vegan
This is a beautiful book full of surprising facts about the cognitive abilities and emotional lives of farm animals. I was very moved by many of the heartwarming stories.
Oct 11, 2010 rated it did not like it
Mostly pictures and very little writing. I did enjoy what I did read.
Nadin Boegelsack
Sep 28, 2014 rated it it was ok
I expected more of this book. It's mainly anecdotal and only scratches the surface, but the pictures are amazing and it's quite amusing overall. ...more
Hallie Huffman
Feb 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites, animals
Such a good book! And some amazing pictures.

This book does not preach a vegan lifestyle or offer only anecdotal evidence. It offers many examples of researched evidence from around the world.
Danielle Palmer
Apr 07, 2018 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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