Wednesday, January 30, 2008

I am cow

Today in lecture when discussing chronological primitivism, Professor Tantillo mentioned that the transition from vegetarianism to meat-eating could be described as a sin or fall of humans. In response to this, (and after hearing the Ape Man song), I am posting a link to a song that kind of highlights this point. It's called "I am cow" by the Arrogant Worms.

I think this song (aside from having pretty good harmonies) highlights some of the important environmental consequences of eating meat. For example, the second verse talks about cows' contribution of methane gas to the atmosphere and its effect on the ozone layer. A 1988 article writes, "Humans are responsible for increased methane levels because they are raising more cows, growing more rice and chopping down tropical forests, which provides food for more termites".

A more recent report shows that methane gas accounted for 14.3% of the anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions in 2004 while CO2 fossil fuel use consisted of 56.6%.
IPCC Report:

The third verse also hints at the fact that there are a lot of cows living on the land. From an environmental perspective, this would mean that land needs to be cleared for the cows to have pastures to graze on, etc.

I hope the song and NYT article give a perspective to the concept of "chronological primitivism" being " the primitivism that looks backward to a “Golden Age” and sees our present sad state as the product of what culture and society have done to them". (definition taken from

Check out the Joe Knowles picture gallery

As mentioned in lecture, on the old course web page. Enjoy.

Monday, January 28, 2008


I was interested in the Epic of Gilgamesh and wanted to learn more, I found this website if anyone else is interested.

Also I was wondering what other people thought about the encounter between Enkidu and Gilgamesh and their teamwork in destroying a cedar forest and travels between wilderness and the city of Uruk?

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Sacred precincts- strictly Greek?

Sacred grove of Zeus, Olympia Greece

On pg. 172 of "Pan's Travail", Hughes states,
"The rules protecting land reserved for the gods [in ancient Greece] were strict and numerous, and followed a consistent pattern although specific laws varied from place to place and in different periods. The underlying principle was that the groves were property of the gods and ought not be damaged in any way. First was a definition of the boundary of the sacred area and a prohibition against trespass. To step over the line, however it was marked, was to pass from ordinary ground to holy ground, and was allowed only for those who were prepared and would not pollute it."

Read the post below. How does the idea of a sacred precinct relate to Roxanne Quimby's nature ethic? Is the idea of a "wildlife sanctuary" unimpeded by human impact a new concept, or unique to America? Why is it that 'nature' remains a "contested moral terrain"?

Friday, January 25, 2008

Roxanne Quimby and Maine land protection

Here is an article about Roxanne Quimby, who purchased the 24,000-acre Township 5 Range 8WELS in Maine several years ago.

The article describes Quimby's land management philosophy:
Quimby’s intent for her latest property will be "wildlife sanctuary" -- a designation that will mirror the management of the adjoining Baxter township, T5R9. "I'm interested in creating wilderness to allow natural processes to evolve" and where human impacts are as minimal as possible, she said. In keeping with her policy for her other conservation lands, there will be no timber harvesting and no hunting in T5R8. Motorized access will be limited, Quimby said.

The article further goes on to state, "The environmental organization RESTORE: The North Woods is working to establish a 3.2 million-acre national park and preserve around 'forever wild' Baxter State Park. Quimby has been a public advocate of RESTORE’s effort."

Great term paper topic!!

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Voluntary Human Extinction

Hi everyone,
today in class we mentioned the Voluntary Human Extinction Movement, or VHEMT.

The VEHMT web site summarizes the movement's philosophy: "Phasing out the human race by voluntarily ceasing to breed will allow Earth's biosphere to return to good health. Crowded conditions and resource shortages will improve as we become less dense."

You can check out more of their philosophy on their web site at . Enjoy.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Welcome to Spring 2008!

Hi everyone,
welcome to the class blog for NTRES 232, "Nature and Culture"! Enjoy.