“Other Nations”

I’ve just returned from a weekend at my old “stomping grounds”, reviewing in-hand and groundwork techniques.  When I have time to digest and pull out key points I will share.  In the meantime, I will share a quote posted at the facility that is a long time favorite of mine.

“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 the incompleteness, for their tragic fate of having taken form so far below ourselves.  And therein we err, and greatly 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 extensions 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.”

The Outermost House, Henry Beston

The book this quote is from was originally published in 1928, but it’s important to realize that this view of animals as inferior to us in every way has only just begun to change in any material way.  Delightfully, one of the themes of this weekend was that horses aren’t stupid – they’re rather bright, they just don’t operate the same way we do.

Be good to the “other nations”!

Lia

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