chapter  11
16 Pages

Alec Irwin Talking to the Animals

Under these circumstances, adesire to extend talk beyond the boundaries of the human species would seem to be a doubtful, even a dangerous impulse. Talk already causes enough problems within human society, even as it confirms our species' privileged status. If talk were to slip out of our control and begin to impart its ambiguous power to other parts of nature, the results could be catastrophic. Homo sapiens ought to be vigilant in preventing the pharmakon of talk from circulating (even imaginatively) outside our own kind.2 Yet a glance at his tory (not to mention our embarrassing behavior with our pets) shows that human beings aren't-and never have beencontent just to talk to each other. We yearn, in Dr. Dolitde's words, to "converse in Polar Bear and Python, to curse in fluent Kangaroo."