Animals: silent or screaming?

Moving blog on animal consciousness and Man’s inhumanity to his fellow creatures.

That's How The Light Gets In

The other day I wrote about John Gray’s The Silence of Animals. The silence of animals, says Gray, is not the same as the silence pursued by human beings.  The silence of animals is not a literal silence, for most sentient animals inhabit vivid sound worlds. It is, however, a world without the kinds of turmoil and torment that humans experience.

But today we listened to ‘The Roaring Crowd’, an episode from the excellent Radio 4 series Noise: A Human History.  In the programme Professor David Hendy, in the ruins of the Colosseum, conjured up the power of the roaring Roman crowd and told a story of animals in torment.

On days when there was a big event at a Roman arena, mornings were reserved for the venatio, or animal hunts. Since an important object of the entertainment was to celebrate the superiority of Roman power over enemies, in…

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