For more than fifty years, Ralph Nader has been a political activist, known particularly for his work in consumer protection, environmentalism, and government reform causes. In his new book, Animal Envy, Ralph Nader uses a fable to warn that if humans continue on their present path of conquering nature, they are not simply soiling their own nest, but destroying their future.
Animal Envy is a fable set in the near-future, in which a linguistic software developer creates a digital translation application that allows animals to speak with each other and to humans.
“One day an Elephant—a majestic matriarch—proposed to a Crocodile and a Dolphin that, using a remote, they convene (with dozens of species) a global assembly whose purpose would be to talk to human animals. Having carefully observed human actions and suffered pain and anguish at the hands of humanity, the animal kingdom could see that human animals were themselves depressed, self-doubting, and shrinking in self-esteem, though this inner unease was partly covered up by their aggressive behavior, which reflects a violent outward arrogance that has no equal on earth. . . .
Soon one hundred hours were reserved for the great talkout, as they called it, in which mammals, reptiles, fish, and birds from all over the planet would concisely speak to human animals of what they’ve wanted to tell them forever but could not, until the Human Genius came along. . . Animal strategy was to lift up the spirits of their human masters, flatter them, then show that both sides had mutual interests in protecting wild habitats, and that this involved reducing arbitrary violence and other genocides inflicted upon the animals, sometimes to the point of extinction, such as happened to the passenger pigeon.”
What follows is: “A tale of two kingdoms, mirroring the reflective insight of animals and closing eyes of human kind. Animal Envy is a clarion call!” —Patti Smith