Mythology

Download Animals and Nature: Cultural Myths, Cultural Realities by Rod Preece PDF

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By Rod Preece

Western conceptions of objectivity and individuality have ended in a readier appreciation of the price of the animals and nature than has been well-known. This provocative e-book takes factor with the preferred view that the Western cultural culture, unlike japanese and Aboriginal traditions, has inspired attitudes of domination and exploitation in the direction of nature, rather 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 based on present trendy techniques. Animals and Nature is the results of six years' extensive learn into comparative faith, literature, philosophy, anthropology, mythology and animal welfare technology.

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The contradictory nature of the rejection of Western culture must be apparent, for those who reject it will often desire its fruits. Frequently, they stake their claims to the wealth derived from its technology but fail to understand that the wealth and the technology are the very foundations of the culture they reject. The spoils of capitalism and the spirit of capitalism are interdependent. We simply cannot acquire the benefits of Western technology - including broad higher secular education and an effective health system - without becoming immersed in the values of Western culture.

Influenced by the writings of Martyr and Giralome Benzoni,25 Michel de Montaigne went even further in his idealization of the American Natives and criticism of his compatriots. In his essay "Of Cannibals" (1580), he wrote of the "naturalness so pure and simple" of the Aboriginal peoples, "whose countries never saw one palsied, bleary-eyed, toothless, or bent with age ... "26 How seriously are we to take such Golden Age representations? Perhaps not too seriously. 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.

Equally contradictory was the theme in eighteenth-century fiction. Explaining how she came to write her 1934 book Primitivism and the Idea of Progress in English Popular Literature of the Eighteenth Century, Lois Whitney tells us she was casually reading some novels of the period and was "astonished at the curious mixture of ideas [she] met there - theories of the superiority of primitive man" competing with theories of historical progress "all huddled 15 16 Advocacy Scholarship together ... " 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.

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