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189 midterm - Maia Kazaks ES189 MIDTERM Note Professor...

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Maia Kazaks ES189 MIDTERM Note : Professor Talamantez I would like to remind you that you agreed I could substitute one of the three short essays of the midterm with my extra credit assignments. In place of one essay, I am submitting 1) an official voter stub, 2) one page about the personal results of Focus the Nation 3) one page on my reasons and thoughts about the peace rally Feb 12 th and 4) one page about the movie shown Friday Feb 1 st . THE WATCHFUL WORLD Humans live. We must live somewhere, whether that place is warm or windy, bright or buggy, permanent or pastoral. The natural world surrounds us all. Some cultures have developed a more harmonious accord with the environment than others have. The Koyukon people, described in Richard Nelson’s chapter “The Watchful World,” rely on the natural world so intensely that they must have a close relationship to the land for survival. They have love for their surroundings that manifests itself as deep respect. Westerners are so far from the Koyukon mindset that I feel safe to say we have the opposite viewpoint. Elie Wiesel was quoted that “The opposite of love is not hate, it’s indifference.” The average American does not hate their environment, but instead are indifferent or passive. After being brainwashed, effectively, from birth by television commercials and airbrushed magazines, we are trained to be aware of completely different values and culturally resounding effects. Generally, Americans are not conscious of the effect our natural surroundings have on us, and perhaps more importantly, the effect we have on our environment. The Koyukon regard their environment with deep respect. In the Distant Time, animals were human- that is, they shared the human form, society and language (p16). When the new order was established, humans could not simply ignore or move away from our fellow beings. The Koyukon know that if they offend the animal, and therefore the animal’s spirit, then they will feel the vengeance of the offense on a direct, personal level. Additionally, it is important to note that the Koyukon would be able to recognize that the clumsiness of their son was a punishment because he ate a red-necked grebe (p25). Many Americans would not make this connection, setting aside the fact that the majority of Americans cannot identify any birds, let alone one specified for elders only. The Koyukon are intensely aware of their fellow beings, which is not limited to animals. Talamantez ES189 Maia Kazaks
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Respect must be paid to the lynx and the influential river, the great bear and the berries who draw their power directly from the mighty earth. The Koyukon have a pervasive respect for living creatures and the carcasses. Living creatures must not suffer, and the remains of the hunted must be stored and disposed of in a respectful manner depending on the animal. The Koyukon interact with nature with a complex “code of respect and morality” (p 31) which is only possible after much observation. Americans have a
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