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To Save the Environment: End the Philosophy of Dominion

An editorial in Pacific Standard says the earth and our own bodies can be improved if humans form a new relationship with the planet.
June 14, 2016, 11am PDT | James Brasuell | @CasualBrasuell
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"America was founded on the principle that man should exert dominion over the Earth, the animals, and his fellow men. We’re still struggling to rid ourselves of this pernicious theology, and the planet is telling us to hurry up," according to the premise set by an article written by J.T. Roane.

Using examples like the spraying of agricultural crops with pesticides, Roane argues for "[re-making] human social connections and human relationships with the Earth in the aftermath of what is becoming ever more clearly the toxic 20th century."

Though some people are unwittingly participating in a "destructive and exploitative relationship with the Earth," the roots of such practices can be traced to "the Western-Christian ideology of dominion — the notion that the Earth is to be conquered, that its resources are the province of man and should be exploited." Roane explains that concept, as originally defined by anthropologist Wende Marshall.

Roane also cites the work of Audrey Lorde, author of The Cancer Journals, who also created models of "new collective and political identities" necessary to "survive life after dominion."

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Published on Monday, June 13, 2016 in Pacific Standard
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