The Noah Project

Rebuilding a sustainable world.

The Inner Lives Of Animals, Ctd

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The Dish

“Do elephants have souls?” asks Caitrin Nicol, who describes how the beasts demonstrate an unusual appreciation for mortality:

For man, his sense of self, sense of history, and sense of the intemporal, however inchoate, are gestured at with his remembrance of those who have passed on. But here he is joined by the elephants, the only other known creatures that — whatever it may mean to them — purposively commemorate their dead, in a way [Coming of Age with Elephants author] Joyce Poole calls “eerie and deeply moving”: “It is their silence that is most unsettling. The only sound is the slow blowing of air out of their trunks as they investigate their dead companion. It’s as if even the birds have stopped singing.” Using their trunks and sensitive hind feet, the ones they use for waking up their babies, “they touch the body ever so gently, circling, hovering…

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Author: Daniela

I was born in Croatia, at that time Yugoslavia. My family moved to the US when I was very young, but I still treasure the memories of my grandfather teaching me how to protect myself against the "evil eye," my grandmother shopping early every morning, at the open air market, to buy the freshest vegetables for the day's meals, and the traditions that were the underpinnings of our society. Someone once noted that "For all of us that want to move forward, there are a very few that want to keep the old methods of production, traditions and crafts alive." I am a fellow traveler with those who value the old traditions and folk wisdom. I believe the knowledge they possess can contribute significantly to our efforts to build a more sustainable world; one that values the individual over the corporation, conservation over growth and happiness over wealth.

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