Writing about the animals in Shallow Breath allowed me to indulge in one of my favourite pastimes - observing and learning about all the strange and wonderful creatures with whom we share the planet.
I am fascinated (and often horrified) by how animals get caught up in the consumerism, symbolism, and much more of an increasingly complex and conflicted humanity. Animals are stocks, products, entertainment, food, trinkets, modes of transport, pests, decoration, companions, fashion pieces, workers, slaves, medicinal remedies - all purposes given to them by our species. Somewhere in the midst of all that, undeniably, they are individual, sentient beings who share our world but who experience it differently. Their senses might be sharper, much of their communication indiscernible, but each creature, given the opportunity, has everything it needs within it to fulfil its own journey through life. All they need from humankind, is space, habitat, and freedom. And yet, every day, the human population takes more than it can ever replace. When we hear so much about the perils of the world it is hard not to grow complacent. But sympathy doesn't make a difference, responsible action does - however small it may be.
You can select the links underneath the 'Animals' tab to learn more about why I chose certain species of animals to write about in Shallow Breath, and to read about some of the things I discovered along the way.