“For the animal shall not be measured by man…Henry Beston

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“We need another and a wiser and perhaps a more mystical concept of animals. Remote from universal nature and living by complicated artifice, man in civilization surveys the creature through the glass of his knowledge and sees thereby a feather magnified and the whole image in distortion. We patronize them for their incompleteness, for their tragic fate for having taken form so far below ourselves. And therein do we err. For the animal shall not be measured by man. In a world older and more complete than ours, they move finished and complete, gifted with the extension of the senses we have lost or never attained, living by voices we shall never hear. They are not brethren, they are not underlings: they are other nations, caught with ourselves in the net of life and time, fellow prisoners of the splendour and travail of the earth.”

Henry Beston 1925

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Bottom Photo: Courtesy Pinterest

Posted in: Biodiversity

Tags: Animal lives matter, biodiversity, Henry Beston

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Published in: on October 5, 2015 at 6:49 pm  Comments (20)  
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20 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. The Outermost House by Henry Beston. A moving and wonderful read for that deep connection and reverence for all life. He is one of my favorites.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Reblogged this on MyPositiveDogTrainingBlog and commented:
    I wanted to share this beautiful truth with my blog readers. Animal lives matter. Your dog deserves the best life a dog can have.

    Like

  3. Reflecting the native American and First Nations traditional views.

    Look to those traditions, teaching stories, and public expressions in order to find more support for what has come to you intuitively and ethically.
    From Chief Arvol Looking Horse:
    Today it is so important for people to understand that Unci Maka, our Grandmother Earth, is speaking to us through the Wámakaškaŋ[In our language we have no word for “animal,” we say Wámakaškaŋ, the living beings of the earth, and we respect each as members of their own
    nations – Pte Oyate, the Buffalo Nation, Wanbli Oyate, the Eagle Nation, and so forth.] We, as First Nations’ people, still understand that we
    are connected to makoce, the land. The Wámakaškaŋ are also connected to this land, and so we must realize that what happens to them, happens to us.”

    You see the reverence and respect shown to all others in this; When the Dakota/Lakota/Nakota say “mitakuye oyasin”, remembering “all my relatives” they mean that these other Oyates, these other nations are as valued as are our own loved ones.

    i have had conversations even in the “speak for Wolves” event, in which others asked me about why I did not subscribe to (believe in or use) the common human conventions when interacting with a Wolf.
    My immediate thought was, the Wolf has a powerful integrity, and a mind that recognizes the minds of others, human, canid, ungulate, and every other creature of size enough to notice.
    You cannot call a wolf by a name, cannot expect it to drop what is of most interest to it. Wolves respond to emotional significance, and evaluate other lives in their own terms, not those of humans. When observing something in motion, they first seek cues as to whether it is alive – the invariate inanimate is quickly sorted from interest.
    Wolves are above all communicators, seeking to assess even inadvertent sensory stimuli, learning from everything. This does not mean that they will attend to what humans socially feel is of import, as their own sociality is more immediate and fused to choice – a prerogative never abdicated. They will never be “tame.”

    This integrity constitutes a massive, quick intelligence, flashing through only a decade or so of life. Humans so rarely get to this speed of cognition that it is foreign to, and absent in, almost all I have met in this culture.
    In this immediacy of cognition and response, the wolf, and to an extent most other sentient or neurally-based organisms, tends to surpass humans, who are constrained often by imagined mental constructs.

    So man surveys others not through Beston’s “glass of knowledge”, but of a limited and weak imagined construct.

    To respect the integrity of another, as female humans so often demand of males (while of course demanding socially normative behaviors. This is where they go so often and deeply wrong about the wolf. You cannot possess this life that is Wolf, nor any other but your own.).
    this integrity is complete, never to be judged, and is something further and more important as understanding than present cultural human practices seem to allow. I even had to correct the best of Beston in this.

    Wolves are not “cute” not “cuddly”, but encompass the fire of metabolism and physical life, beyond human moral or social assessments or knowledge.
    Only when one has sufficient humility and generosity to revere this and other life as equal to their own, does one even reach the beginning of the path to understanding – and the proper and sufficient ground from which to act around the wolf.

    All less will lead one astray, lost in the human fantasy of mind.

    Without traveling this path of openness, respect, attention to the senses, a human may come at the end of their time, and often during a life, to feel as if they have not lived completely.

    The wolf, you see has something to show you, something to teach you about life.

    Like

  4. Reblogged this on Voices and Visions.

    Like

  5. Stop killing our wolves. Wolf lovers have rights too and we want that you protect the Wolves!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Please keep our wolves safe from the politician’s greed, and the psycho’s hands.

    Like

  7. Reblogged this on Wolves in California.

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  8. […] Source: “For the animal shall not be measured by man…Henry Beston […]

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  9. These words are brilliant, devine, and yes, animals are something superior than that humans have supposed so far. I admire Henry Beston’s inspired words, although the word “admire” is so poor to express this great mind and soul. Thank you!! Allow me to share these words with other in FB.

    Like

    • Morgana, I’m always moved by Henry Beston’s about animals, we need more people like him in this world.

      For the wolves, For the wild ones,
      Nabeki

      Like

  10. Beautiful post today, and the comments exceptional. Thank you all!

    Like

    • Glad you enjoyed it ida. I love that sentiment.

      MY hand is slowly healing but I’m getting faster at typing with it..lol.

      For the wolves, For the wild ones,
      Nabeki

      Like

      • Yes. Glad to hear your hand is getting better too.

        Like

      • Thanks so much ida (:

        For the wolves, For the wild ones,
        Nabeki

        Like

  11. I love “The Outermost House.” Reminds me in some ways of Thoreau’s “Walden Pond” and of Loren Eiseley’s essays. I wish more people would read it, think about it, and take it to heart. The world would be a better. Beston’s belief that animals are part of another nation is so good. It means that are not like but they are not inferior. That is so true.

    Like

    • I love “The Outermost House” too ahimsaforever. It’s one of the most beautiful statements about animals, as you said the “other nation” concept is so profound.

      For the wolves, For the wild ones,
      Nabeki

      Like

  12. So much truth in these beautiful words. Thank you for posting Nabeki.

    Like

  13. the very sad and disturbing part is that many so people who claim to care about non-human animals in the ways outline in the quote exclude farmed animals from their sphere’s of compassion and continue to consume flesh, dairy and eggs. i am reminded of another quote which speaks to this directly:

    “So many people insist they are against animal abuse, cruelty, suffering and the inhumane treatment of animals, yet they don’t understand they are actively engaging in and supporting egregious suffering, abuse, cruelty and inhumane treatment when they eat animals and their ‘by-products.’ If you are against cruelty, suffering and inhumane treatment, then you go vegan. It’s just that simple.” – Sarah Kiser

    Like

  14. WOW!
    Where did Henry Beston come from, and why don’t I already know
    about him? He KNOWS animals and to think of animals as another
    nation is amazing and profound. I wonder if his concept could reach
    law makers? evil lobbyists? And people that just don’t have a clue about wildlife and THEIR IMPORTANTANCE in our world. Headed to the library as soon as I log off.
    (you haven’t heard from me. as my husband and I have been dealing
    with the loss of both our parents, a brother, and two close friends)

    Howl with your friends
    Christy Heise

    Like

  15. I live in the western suburbs of Chicago, Illinois, and I was not aware of there being any wolves in Illinois.  Your list of poachings shows two. could you please educate me on when and where these wolves were killed?   Thank you for your information,   Diane M. Kastel Wheaton, IL

    Like


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