Life Everlasting

Life Everlasting

The Animal Way of Death

Book - 2012
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How exactly does the animal world deal with the flip side of the life cycle? And what are the lessons, ecological to spiritual, raised by a close look at how the animal world renews itself? Heinrich focuses his wholly original gaze on the fascinating doings of creatures most of us would otherwise turn away from--field mouse burials conducted by carrion beetles; the communication strategies ravens, "the premier northern undertakers," use to do their work; and the "inadvertent teamwork" among wolves and large cats, foxes and weasels, bald eagles and nuthatches in cold-weather dispersal of killed prey. Heinrich reveals, too, how and where humans still play our ancient and important role as scavengers, thereby turning--not dust to dust--but life to life.
Publisher: Boston : Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, ©2012.
ISBN: 9780547752662
Characteristics: xiv, 236 pages :,illustrations ;,22 cm.


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Nov 15, 2017

The curiosity, childlike playfulness, compassion, and wonder that the author has is reflected and glows through every chapter. (And he is also a serious scientist!) I was most surprised by the mention of there being 84 000 chemicals in industrial use in the USA, one fifth of which has unknown environmental effects because the chemicals themselves are considered trade secrets (page 95); that means that one can invent a chemical (or just use an already known chemical), call it a trade secret, and never have to worry about environmental regulations (easy money!). I left out a couple of qualities: courage (would you pick up roadkill and put it in your yard to see how the birds and insects react?), and patience (would you be watching and counting and carefully noting the behaviors of insects?). Altogether it gives one encouragement to undertake such research oneself.

Ham625 Sep 03, 2014

Almost a religion. Profound.

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