...As I age I feel more and more obsessed by simple. Doing without rather than getting more. One of my favorite authors, Ursula K. LeGuin, writes "Owning is owing; having is hoarding." Very true, very wise.The author isn't writing from an animal rights perspective but rather about ways of living and being that human animals once embraced but have now (for the most part) moved away from or lost. We seem to have destroyed some critical connection to our planet and her other beings and the stories in this book attempt to describe some of what we have lost.
The human world is not simple. The world we made is a tangled disaster of rules and regulations forcing us to be what we were not born to be. We may think we can but we cannot own this planet. We are as much part of the planetary ecology as a virus or a tree. What we call civilization is a top down system designed to acquire always more. Obviously impossible. We invented power we can no longer control. And with that power we abuse and destroy this planet, our only home. Poisoning its precious soil, the water, the air all humans need to live. Our destructions are eradicating thousands of species; gone forever. An impoverishment we cannot restore. Mother Earth needs to be honored and nurtured -- today it seems we cannot stop (trying to) control...
We seem to be on some mad power trip that is insatiable and when we encounter a difficulty we attempt to overcome that difficulty by applying more power and control.
Many years ago I ran across Sheldon Kopp's Eschatological Laundry List and was struck by the wisdom in many of its formulations especially the one that says: "We must learn the power of living with our helplessness." I sometimes think that much of western culture is an avoidance of and a denial of that truth. And the denial has made us monstrous.
At the heart of the concept of animal rights is the notion that living and letting live is a pretty good guide to how to behave. We seem to have a lot of trouble with leaving the other beings to themselves. We're big on the idea of control...and we can see where that has gotten us.