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 well-known. 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 based on present trendy innovations. Animals and Nature is the results of six years' in depth research into comparative faith, literature, philosophy, anthropology, mythology and animal welfare technological know-how.

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Additional resources for Animals and Nature: Cultural Myths, Cultural Realities

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Thomas Berry, The Dream of the Earth, 1988 5 The Bird has always been a favourite with man ... In the fable of the Greek as in the saga of the Norseman, in the polished odes of the Latin as in the more spontaneous lyrics of the English, it is the image of all that is light, and innocent, and graceful. Especially is it the embodiment of human aspiration; of the desire of the human heart, when oppressed with the burden and the mystery of this unintelligible world, to take to itself wings, and flee away, and be at rest.

But to describe such claims as a recognition of the "equality of life forms" is to misrepresent Hinduism. For example, the Kamasutra of Vatsayana, written somewhere between the first and sixth century, exhorted women to join men in learning the "art of cockfighting, quail-fighting and ram-fighting" - scarcely egalitarian (or even considerate) sporting traditions! There is undoubtedly a worthy respect evidenced in Hinduism for other species. M. "4 Thus the use of animals by humans was permissible.

Chief Seattle almost certainly made an environmentalist speech of a kind, somewhere on or near the west coast of the United States sometime between 1853 and 1855. We cannot be more precise than that. A Dr. Henry Smith witnessed the oration and it is said he made copious notes on it. However, Smith probably did not understand Seattle's native tongue. Presumably his notes were a derivative rendering. Smith did not write up the speech from the notes probably based on a translation until more than thirty years after the speech was delivered.

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