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sameness wears another face

December 28, 2009

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.

Henry Beston

2 Comments leave one →
  1. January 1, 2010 1:13 am

    Hello – such a beautiful and touching tribute to animals. I was very moved by it and totally agree with how man has viewed them.

    I would very much like to share this w/ my readers – whose permission should I ask – Yours or Henry Beston’s?

    May you have a productive, happy & healthy 2010. Thanks, Jerelyn

  2. January 1, 2010 9:49 am

    Happy New Year Jerelyn.

    Henry Beston died in 1968 (he was 80 yrs old), so i don’t believe you need anyone’s permission to post a quote of this length. In fact, if you are interested the complete excerpt can be found at

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