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Excerpt from Thought To Exist In the Wild

Humans Evolved Embedded In the Natural World (p. 89)

Humans evolved embedded in the natural world. It is our real and only home. Deep, abiding, and embodied relationships with wild and wildly varied intelligences are part of who we are, part of who we must be. They form us, teach us how to act, how to think, how to perceive, how to be. They are and have from the beginning been who we are. What is true for sea lions and wolverines is no less true for human beings. We are our habitat. We need our habitat. If we are removed from our habitat, if living, breathing, wild, intelligent habitat is replaced with walls, we will go insane, no matter how much phony “enrichment” we have. We will exhibit strange repetitive behaviors. We might, for example, fabricate 13.5 quadrillion lethal doses of plutonium-239. We might build two million dams in the United States, and across the world we might erect one dam per hour, every hour, day and night, compulsively stopping rivers. We might change the climate. We might destroy the ozone layer. We might contaminate every stream in the United States with carcinogens, and then continue to fabricate and distribute more. We might destroy life on the planet, yet pay more attention to professional sporting events and the romantic liaisons of famous people—the enrichments provided for us in our walled cells. We might destroy our children; it is no wonder that civilized humans—those deprived of deep and daily relationships with their natural habitat—abuse their children. Placement in zoos, or forced removal from one’s natural, necessary habitat, which includes one’s natural, necessary social nexus, causes reproductive disturbances. What’s true for pandas and flamingos is true for humans.