- The Washington Times - Monday, March 10, 2014

A real-life Dr. Doolittle says he has the secrets to talking to animals and will unveil the mystery at a conference set for Washington next week.

The Scottish scientist, Ian Duncan, insists his method is “strictly scientific,” and that he’s spent years developing the method by which he communicates with pets and livestock, The Daily Mail reported. He doesn’t deny, however, that his talent seems similar to that depicted by the fictional Dr. Doolittle, the main character of a penned story line from 100 years ago.

“We are devising ways of ‘talking’ to animals and putting questions to them about their welfare and happiness,” he said, to The Sunday Times. “Each species has to be treated differently, but the common factor is to devise tests where the animals are offered a choice. If they make the same choice repeatedly … it shows what they want from us.”

The doctor is known internationally as fighting for animal rights and actually changing the way that battery farms that develop hens and pigs for food are allowed to operate. He’s also been critical of the religious slaughter of animals, especially those used for kosher and halal meats.

“It used to be thought that animals were ‘dumb,’ driven by programmed instincts and responses, but now it is clear they live a much richer life than we ever realized and can remember the past and think about the future,” he said, The Daily Mail reported. “We can use that knowledge to ask questions about their care and then improve it.”