“I did not want to fail, because the stakes were too high. After all, I was after nothing less than the secret of human harmony.”
The challenge that bestselling author Jeffrey Moussaieff Masson set for himself was formidable: to create a true interspecies peaceable kingdom within his own household. He hoped to learn if several different species–some, natural enemies–raised together from an early age could live peacefully side by side. So he took into his home seven young animals–a kitten, a rabbit, two rats, two chickens, and a puppy–and set about observing the whole process of socialization (or non-socialization) from the very beginning.
The initial results were mixed. Tamaiti, the kitten, made herself instantly comfortable, but Hohepa, the Flemish giant rabbit, remained inscrutably reserved. Kia and Ora, the rats, slept all day and became active at night. Moa and Moana, the Polish frizzle chickens, bonded with each other but to no one else. Mika, the stray pup, barked much too much. But as the hours and days passed in this never-before-attempted environment, the animals began to change in startling ways, as Masson wondered which animals would bond, and which would recoil from one another? Can animals, including humans, truly change when direct experience tells them it’s safe to do so? Would the experiment end in triumph, or in tragedy?
Raising the Peaceable Kingdom poses universal questions we’ve all had about relationships, social strife, and peaceful coexistence. In its intimations of the potential for planetary harmony, this elegantly written book is a work of major significance. As a unique account of life in an interspecies community, it offers unmitigated enchantment, joy, and delight.
About Author Jeffrey Moussaieff Masson:
Masson has had at least four lives: first as a boy raised to become a “spiritual leader” (see his denunciation of such a life in My Father’s Guru). While in the middle of his disillusion, he became a professor of Sanskrit at the University of Toronto. At the same time he trained to become a Freudian analyst. Upon graduation he became Projects Director of the Freud Archives, and was scheduled to move into Freud’s house in London when fate intervened: Masson found documents which seemed to show that Freud was right in believing that many women had been sexually abused as children, and that he was wrong to give up this belief, perhaps impelled by societal displeasure at his discoveries. Saying this publicly turned Masson into a psychoanalytic pariah, and he gave up both his professorship and his analytic career to delve into the far more fascinating world of animal emotions. Two of his books, When Elephants Weep and Dogs Never Lie About Love, were New York Times best-sellers. He became vegetarian as a result of his research, and later, when he looked into the feelings of farm animals, he became even stricter, and no longer eats or uses any animal product (vegan). He lives on a beach in New Zealand with his two sons, Ilan and Manu, and his German wife, Leila, a pediatrician who works with children on the autistic spectrum (using the bio-medical approach), Benjy, a golden lab, and three cats. They often travel to the States, Europe, and Australia. He is now fascinated in the “us/them” phenomenon, between humans but also between humans and animals.
Untreed Reads will be publishing most of Masson’s previously-published print titles in ebook format throughout 2012 and 2013.
How to Purchase Raising the Peaceable Kingdom:
Raising the Peaceable Kingdom is $4.99 from The Untreed Reads Store. When you purchase from our store, you receive five of the most popular formats all for the same price: EPUB (compatible with Nook and most other readers), HTML, MOBI (for Kindle devices), PDB (for Palm Reader) and PDF.
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