This unit’s required reading was chapter 2, and although I love Tom Cowan, he couches something in the same terms as other folks that really gets under my skin. He says, ‘…a brief period when humans and animals share the same language.’
This is WHY this gets under my skin: humans ARE animals. We’ve just FORGOTTEN this. We’ve arrogantly deluded ourselves into thinking we’ve transcended nature and don’t need to live within the interdependent web of life. We’ve literally gone into denial about this. I found myself thinking in response as I was reading the entire chapter ‘no, humans and OTHER animals…’ each time he used that construct. Humans are part of the animal kingdom. We’re primates, folks.
He goes on to state things like ‘….agree that animals have been on the planet longer than we have…’ yikes. Yes, many other animals have been on the planet longer than we have. And yes, we predate some other animals, too, or at least, their modern iterations.
I also have a problem with the idea of ‘Paradisal Age’ and ‘Fall’. Yeah, well, it was Man as a species who decided he wasn’t an animal and didn’t have to live in an interdependent manner with the rest of the physical Worlds. Man kicked HIMSELF out of that arrangement. His screwy, unnatural environments and teachings that fly in the face of our very biology, his arrogance in thinking he can actually engineer food or tamper with natural systems – we are paying a horrible price for just enough knowledge to get us into deep ka-ka. The other animals are watching and waiting – and I hope we don’t annihilate them along with us as the price for our arrogance. If we take ourselves down, so be it. We earned it. But, it would be sad for all the other animals to lose their places in the world because of us.