Drive Your Plow Over the Bones of the Dead

A whodunit chalked full of astrology and animal activism. Worth the read but start with Flights (also by Olga Tokarczuk).

“Its Animals show the truth about a country,” I said. “Its attitude toward Animals. If people behave brutally toward Animals, no form of democracy is ever going to help them, in fact nothing will at all.

The nastiest criminal has a soul, but not you, beautiful Deer, nor you, Boar, nor you, wild Goose, nor you, Pig, nor you, Dog.’ Killing has become exempt from punishment. And as it goes unpunished, nobody notices it anymore. And as nobody notices it, it doesn’t exist. When you walk past a shop window where large red chunks of butchered bodies are hanging on display, do you stop to wonder what it really is? You never think twice about it, do you? Or when you order a kebab or a chop—what are you actually getting? There’s nothing shocking about it. Crime has come to be regarded as a normal, everyday activity. Everyone commits it. That’s just how the world would look if concentration camps became the norm. Nobody would see anything wrong with them.

In fact Man has a great responsibility toward wild Animals—to help them to live their lives, and it’s his duty toward domesticated Animals to return their love and affection, for they give us far more than they receive from us. And they need to be able to live their lives with dignity, to be able to settle their Accounts and register their semester in the karmic index—I was an Animal, I lived and I ate; I grazed in green pastures, I bore Young, I kept them warm with my body; I built nests, I performed my duty. When you kill them, and they die in Fear and Terror—like that Boar whose body lay before me yesterday, and is still lying there, defiled, muddied and smeared with blood, reduced to carrion—you doom them to hell, and the whole world changes into hell. Can’t people see that? Are their minds incapable of reaching beyond petty, selfish pleasures? People have a duty toward Animals to lead them—in successive lives—to Liberation. We’re all traveling in the same direction, from dependence to freedom, from ritual to free choice.

– Olga Tokarczuk
Drive Your Plow Over the Bones of the Dead