When I first picked up the book How Animals Talk written by William Long, I felt hesitant from his language, typical of the late 19th century. He was truly an intellectual figure of the times: male, white, economically privileged. And he used words like “civilized Man” and “savage” and “beast” and “negro.” Not to mention, he was a sport hunter (though after reading, I later learned that he was of the sympathetic type, in juxtaposition to President Teddy Roosevelt, an avid trophy hunter and conservationist). At the time, I couldn’t handle this worldview and had to put the book down for a couple of years until I was mature enough to read it through his lens and maintain open critique to this vastly different worldview from my own.
The foreword and preface, written by two revolutionary and radically different scientists/philosophers (Rupert Sheldrake and Marc Bekoff, respectively), introduce the work as a piece that provides great insight into animal psychic abilities and animal emotions. However, neither the foreword nor the preface give any indication to the actual theses and details of the book. Continue reading