THE ANIMAL NATION

We as humans are quite proud of the fact that we are the dominant species, the most sophisticated, and that we have accomplished more than any other creature on the planet. While there is an element of truth in all of that, there is also the reality that we have lost a great deal in the process.

Zebra

A Lost Connection

Our ancestors, primitive as they may have been, were deeply connected to nature. They lived in it, they lived from it, and they learned from it. In the process of our growth and sophistication, we have become removed from the natural world. We live in concrete buildings with florescent lights, drive air-conditioned vehicles, and interact electronically with one another via all of the communications that tie us together. In exchange, we’ve lost many of the innate connections that bound us to nature. We are not aware of the lunar cycle, of the time of day, of storms, of natural growth, or the many natural things from which our forefathers drew great wisdom. The truth is our forefathers saw in the natural world things that they did not have and things that they wanted in their own life. That's why they decorated their dwellings with images and pictures of animals. They used the feathers and the claws as highly significant ornamentations to derive and channel the animal’s spirit. It’s why they named their children, many times, after creatures in the animal kingdom. The totems were religious instruments, recognizing the great worth of individual animals and how they behaved. They saw the bravery of animals, the courage, and they sought to emulate that natural part of the world. Unfortunately, today, that’s largely been lost, and now we are living in a synthetic world. While it’s still tenuously connected to nature by necessity, we as humans are not aware of it at all. We have lost a great deal, and because we have lost it, we are destroying that natural world at a ferocious rate. Even now, the pandemic is a result of the loss of the natural habitat in which the animals lived. Whatever virus or symptoms they had are much more connected to us and we have no resistance to it.

Looking Ahead

Can this reality be reversed? I am not hopeful. The human population continues to explode — at 7.5 billion now — and as demands for food and shelter accompany it, there is little hope of a reckoning and a recognizing of the value of the natural world. In a very small way, one of the things I love about hunting is that it puts you back on the Earth and in deep connection with the animal kingdom.