This is so beautiful, and so incisive:
“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 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.”
From “The Outermost House,” a brilliant book that is a must-read in my universe.
One thought on “Quote Of The Day: Henry Beston On Human Perception Of Animals”
I echo the pure love of Henry Beston’s astonishingly beautiful prose reminding us anthropocentric humans we are not over & above all other creatures we share our earthhome with. When 1st reading HB’s incomparable quote I knew I wasnt alone in my deep lifelong adoration & respect of animals. He spoke to what has always been in my heart & soul, a deep reverence for the nature world & all who walk & crawl on it, swim in,it fly around it. As an Environmental Ed teacher, this book & quote are always integrated into my class. I make copies for all my students, actually everyone I know gets one sooner or later, (usually framed). Eternal gratitude to HB for his elegant prayerful reminder about our beloved brethren!