Monday, November 29, 2004

The Remarkable Voiceless

[This is a Hopefully-Remarkable in my Remarkables series. I don't know anything more about this organisation than what appears below, but am willing to cheer in anticipation.]

Today’s Sydney Morning Herald has an article* about an Australian animal-rights organisation called Voiceless, set up this year by Brian Sherman and Ondine Sherman to promote “a world in which animals are treated with respect and compassion”.

In a nice handshake between real life and fiction, Brian says he's moved by the words of a character in Elizabeth Costello, a book by Voiceless patron, J. M. Coetzee: "Animals have only their silence left with which to confront us".**

Voiceless will award grants to projects supporting animals. The first round of awards will be presented today by one of the judges, Hugo Weaving (who also has a rather famous day job).

*Sorry, the Sydney Morning Herald site requires you to register, and then treats you to a barrage of cookies. Not nice.

**I’d argue that animals are not silent at all, we humans just don’t listen; but I haven’t read the book, and maybe that was the point. And look, while I’m at it - we humans are animals too, aren’t we? I’m presuming the answer to this, but aren’t we just one species in a world of millions? The idea that other species are not communicating unless they use our particular forms of language - catering to our particular senses - is just ludicrous. Isn’t it?