Re: Why are eagles such a priority? (A letter to the editor asks (The NEWS, March 31).
There are stories that go back thousands of years that are associated with the land we occupy. They tell us things like “Look after and venerate eagle and everything else will look after itself.”
Others say “Look after Frog — same result.” They’re not quite that direct, in their message, but that’s what they mean.
Western culture has a very humano-centric view of the world. There are other ways of seeing. It can be hard to understand different views, when you are completely immersed in your own culture’s way of being.
One way to gain insight into different viewpoints is to look to the thoughts of somebody, from your culture, who does understand other ways of seeing, somebody who has gained respect, through their endeavours, and has the capacity to see beyond the western view of the world that they inhabit.
Emile Zola had this to say, about the relative importance of animals, to humans: “The fate of animals is of greater importance to me than the fear of appearing ridiculous; it is indissolubly connected with the fate of men.”
The same can be said of venerable, old trees, which provide a connection to the way things used to be.
We can also reference, Albert Schweitzer, who had this to say: “Compassion, in which all ethics must take root, can only attain its full breadth and depth if it embraces all living creatures and does not limit itself to mankind.”
Trees do not undergo the same death experience that humans do. What we call dead, in regards to a tree, is actually just a transitional phase, a different way of being.
I agree that constructing a memorial to the tree might be a bit over the top, but if somebody wants to celebrate that transition, what’s the big issue?