We often consider dogs to be our enduring sidekicks but the truth is domestic pigs have played a role in our lives for nearly as long.
Pigs are highly social and smart. They like to play. They're inventive, crafty and belligerent - and incredibly singleminded.
Ultimately, we have far more in common with these creatures than we like to admit.
Here is a charming ode to one of the most common, yet surprisingly intelligent, animals populating our landscapes. In this gentle and illuminating study, Matt Whyman embarks on a journey to uncover the heart and soul of an animal brimming with more energy, intelligence and playfulness than he could ever have imagined.
In his bid to understand what makes a pig tick, having climbed a steep learning curve as a keeper himself, Whyman meets a veterinary professor and expert in pig emotion, as well as a spirited hill farmer whose world revolves around hogs and sows.
Packed with fascinating research and delightful anecdotes, this entertaining and informative celebration of all things porcine covers everything from evolution, behaviour and communication to friendship, loyalty and broken hearts - uncovering a surprising notion of family along the way.
Matt Whyman had no intention of becoming a pig expert. When his wife set down the cat basket and welcomed minipigs Butch and Roxi into their family home, he barely registered their presence. Several years later, with the garden all but gone, Matt watched their two twenty-five stone hogzillas leave in a horsebox for a new life turning the soil on an organic sheep farm. In that time he'd learned the truth about minipigs (there is no such thing), got to grips with their upkeep and fallen in love with an animal brimming with more energy, intelligence, playfulness, sociability, spirit and soul than he ever could've imagined. Matt Whyman is also the author of several novels and two bestselling comic memoirs, OINK: MY LIFE WITH MINIPIGS and WALKING WITH SAUSAGE DOGS. He is married with four children and lives in West Sussex.