Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Rethinking wildlife relations

A recent post on KenElwood: Rewilding in Japan about crows reminded me of a TED talk that a friend had sent to me some time ago--also about crows.

In the talk, Joshua Klein speaks to the intelligence of crows; and to the lack of intelligence on the part of humans in "dealing" with crows. Klein's point about taking time to rethink our relationships with other animals is well taken. What's the use of evolving such large brains if we're not gonna use them.

Some more fodder for thought is an article in Orion Magazine by Susanne Antonetta in which she describes her experiences meeting Chantek, an orangutan capable of using sign language to communicate.

Many humans in modern society arrogantly dismiss the intelligence and depth of other animals--especially wild animals. KenElwood began his post by alluding to an elder who might reference a crow story. Many cultures have stories concerning animals, there wisdom and connection to humans. Many people in modern societies tend to shirk these stories and give little attention to relationships with other animals, which often become nuisances or pests.

I know in my country, the U.S., we often "battle" things: nature, terrorism, depression, cancer, wildlife, . . .on and on. Perhaps we need to rethink this. Is there a way to "cooperate" with these things? Adding the word to those listed above sounds strange at first: "cooperate with cancer"; "cooperate with terrorism". However, the exercise may also open some new pathways that we might walk down.

This post is somewhat off topic from my research here in Otaki. But, here too I am constantly seeking new ways of thinking that might blossom into new ways of doing. Also, we are close to many animals here--and these relationships are becoming problematic. People seem to be shifting into a defensive mode, which is not sustainable. How might we rethink it all?

1 comment:

Carmelo Cannarella said...

"No other situation seems to me more tragic and more offensive for our hearts and intelligence than this humanity co-existing with other living beings with which cannot communicate. Once Nature had a meaning everyone, in his heart, can perceive. Having lost this meaning, mankind today destroy Nature and condemn himself".

Claude Levi-Strauss