Book of the month – Feral

Happy August everyone! Our monthly appointment with the “Book of the month” comes back today.

Book cover

This month the book I would like to propose is titled Feral – Rewilding the land, sea and human life, by George Monbiot.

The world “feral” may stimulate different reactions in people, depending on what it refers to. For plants and animals, a feral species is one that descends from domesticated species but then goes on living in the wild. Similarly, a feral child is one who was brought up in an environment without human contacts: experiments, brutalities and everything monstrous you can think of make their way into this example.

In this book, the concept of feral is applied to the way we approach and engage with the natural environment. The author does not spare to share moments of his professional and personal life, showing how his career and his passions have made him become a more “wild” human being.

A concept that I think about every day ever since I had the pleasure of reading this book is the “environmental boredom”. George Monbiot explains how his interaction with the natural world made him become “bored” of nature: to explain this, the author proposes a series of example that will show you how, even though living in Wales provides you many possibilities to actively engage with the environment, he soon realised that he needed much more.

I believe many of us will find comfort in these words and reading through the pages will be much like a self-reflection exercise on how we try to lead green-lifestyles but our actual connection to Nature itself is resolved with a few picnics every now and then.

After the initial self-reflection on these themes, the author goes on explaining the concept of rewilding, a concept that lately (probably also because of this book and some other) is becoming increasingly popular, at least in Europe.

In a few words, rather than “managing” an ecosystem, the best way to encourage biodiversity blooms in certain areas would be to let them be and in some cases that would require us to reintroduce some species that have been removed for human safety/needs.

Example for terrestrial ecosystems in the UK is the reintroduction of wolves in the forests. Wolves would keep under control the number of deers, reducing in return their grazing and the consumption of vegetation. All the possible side effects are taken into consideration and some successful rewilding projects with the reintroduction of wolves in Europe are presented in support of the thesis.

Sheep grazing, the importance of beavers, land management, agricultural policy, rewilding of the Sea: you will find everything in this that looks more like a manual than a book, for a vision of a wilder but richer future for our Lands.

Get the book on Amazon (but consider buying it locally)

Get the book on eBay (But consider buying it locally)

Did you miss our previous appointments? Catch up here -> Link.

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