A man is about to kill a cow. He discusses life and death and his right to kill with the compliant animal. He begins to suspect he may be about to commit murder. But kills anyway ... It began when the animal rights movement injected domestic animals with artificial intelligences in a bid to have the status of animals realigned by the international court of human rights. But what is an animal that can talk? Where does its intelligence end at its machine intelligence begin? And where might its soul reside? As we place more and more pressure on the natural world and become more and more divorced Adam Roberts' new novel posits a world where nature can talk back, and can question us and our beliefs. Roberts is an award winning author at the peak of his powers and each new novel charts an exciting new direction while maintaining a uniformly high level of literary achievement.