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 publication takes factor with the preferred view that the Western cultural culture, unlike jap 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 trendy recommendations. Animals and Nature is the results of six years' in depth learn into comparative faith, literature, philosophy, anthropology, mythology and animal welfare technology.
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Extra resources for Animals and Nature: Cultural Myths, Cultural Realities
If we are willing to second guess a Celia Haddon or a Percy Shelley, if we are to be intellectually honest, we must be equally willing to second guess Aboriginal and Oriental thought. The current clarion call in much naturalist literature is to recapture the essence of "primitive" human culture, to become once more at one with nature. Oriental pantheism is also depicted as a superior alternative to traditional Western attitudes. And Western civilization is depicted as one which, in its concern with "progress," has come to treat nature, including the animal realm, without the respect to which it is entitled, and without which respect civilization is doomed.
Gilbert and Sullivan's patriotic audiences would have nodded sagacious approval. A sizeable portion of today's social scientists and, indeed, intellectuals in general would disavow Gilbert. "45 The question of whether the Inuit may have their own cultural prejudices is settled by never being raised. The answer is merely assumed. Wenzel, in fact, employs prejudice to combat what he perceives as the prejudice of others. We read in another recent work on Canadian Native cultures by Alan D. "46 Why?
He ignores, of course, the vast amount of evidence he himself offers - there is still no better compendium today - about those in the Western tradition who have shared his views. He also conveniently forgets, or is ignorant of the fact, that Hindus engage in animal sacrifice, and that only the Brahmin caste is vegetarian by principle. He conveniently forgets, too, that the Turks whom he compliments for their animal hospitals and the Arabians whom he commends for their kindness to horses are devout Moslems, and that many of the Japanese whom he condemns for their cruelty practise an ecologically sensitive Shintoism.
Animals and Nature: Cultural Myths, Cultural Realities by Rod Preece