About the Name, and the Story.
A few people have questioned my decision to call the Trilogy ‘Animus Pharma.’ Most ask me what the hell it’s supposed to mean?
Animus means hostility; pharma means drug. Seems appropriate. As a bonus, I felt that it paid tribute to the classic and highly esteemed ‘Animal Farm.’
Animal Farm was a fantasy about a singular farm, suddenly devoid of humans, and how the animals banded together to improve their lot in life. On another level, it is a morality play, a clever way to expose the flaws and foibles of human nature, without actually using any human characters.
My book, on the other hand, is an attempt to describe what would happen in the real world if all of the animals were, for some reason, intelligent.
This idea stems from my belief that animals are more intelligent than we give them credit for. In recent years, research and random videos have provided numerous examples of inexplicably intelligent behavior in animals. From dogs who vocalize and the parrot who could discern the difference between individual items, colors, shapes and had an extensive vocabulary, to signing apes that learned to use verbs; to videos of elephants grieving over lost relatives, to the obvious distress of a mother Orca being separated from her calf.
Dogs dream, cats learn from one another, birds solve problems, lions remember and feel affection for people who have been kind to them: these are facts, not fictions.
My trilogy takes the concept of animal intelligence and forces the reader to accept it as fact, in a fictional sense, and then lays out the consequences of such a fictional reality, for both humans and animals.
More important to me than conceiving the consequences of such a reality, is that the story gives the animals something they’ve never really had: A voice, options, self-actualization, a seat at the head of the table. And why not? After all they’ve done for us, after all they've endured?
There is a monument in Port Elizabeth, South Africa that honors all of the horses that suffered and died during the Anglo-Boer War (1899-1902). More than 300,000 horses died in that war alone. Stop and consider then, all of the horses that have died in all of the wars throughout human history; all of the fallen and forgotten steeds who galloped gallantly to their deaths in the service of their human masters.
If you're like me, perhaps you too are a little skeptical of the prevailing belief that humans are inherently superior to all other life forms. Their massive brains, social structure, and opposable thumbs gives them an amazing advantage in the unending quest for global dominance. What if, by some fluke of errant bio-engineering, humans undid themselves, like letting a genie out of a bottle, they created an intelligence pill, but it only worked on animals. What if that happened? What would happen then? That is the question behind all intriguing works of science fiction.