By Rod Preece
Western conceptions of objectivity and individuality have ended in a readier appreciation of the value of the animals and nature than has been famous. This provocative ebook takes factor with the preferred view that the Western cultural culture, not like japanese and Aboriginal traditions, has inspired attitudes of domination and exploitation in the direction of nature, really animals. Preece argues that the Western culture has a lot to commend it, and that descriptions of Aboriginal and Oriental orientations have frequently been misleadingly rosy, simplified and codified in keeping with present stylish techniques. Animals and Nature is the results of six years' in depth research into comparative faith, literature, philosophy, anthropology, mythology and animal welfare technology.
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Additional info for Animals and Nature: Cultural Myths, Cultural Realities
Montaigne acknowledges both the cannibalism and the broader carnivorousness of the Aboriginals whereas, in the classical Golden Age, a principled animal-respecting vegetarianism was the rule. " In the classical version, humankind gathered the existing abundance of food, which they ate raw. Now, for sustenance, the Natives hunted with bows, killed animals, and cooked. Likewise, in the Utopian past, humankind lived at peace both with each other and with other animals. Now, the Natives went to war with their neighbours.
While it was the Spanish missionary Bartolome de las Casas who represented the interests of the mistreated and maligned American Indians before the Spanish crown, and who described their culture sympathetically in some detail in his writings, it was humanist historians such as Gonzalo Fernandez de Oviedo and Peter Martyr (1) who described them in the most fulsome yet unilateral terms, following the initial (and rather less unilateral) idealization of the "noble savage" by Christopher Columbus himself.
She remarks: "The primitivistic ideology bade men look for their model of excellence to the first stage of society before man had been corrupted by civilization, the idea of progress represented a point of view that looked forward to a possible perfection in the future. The primitivistic teaching, again, extolled simplicity, the faith in progress found its ideal in an increasing complexion. " Having presented some of the literary evidence, Whitney concludes: "That either group should ever have thought that they could look, Janus-like, in both directions at once, hold both their primitive simplicity and evolutionary diversity within the same system, cling to permanence and change at the same time, would seem to be an impossibility outside of a logician's nightmare.
Animals and Nature: Cultural Myths, Cultural Realities by Rod Preece