I don’t have the time, but lately I have been thinking and wondering about the health of our society. Civil discourse has been on the decline for a year now, and divisiveness and friction are the order of the day. Much of this corresponds with Trump’s disastrous presidency.
Succinctly, leaders set the tone, they create the climate, and it’s true, people look to leadership for cues. So yeah, things are pretty messy right now.
What I am wondering about lately, as the winter continues to beat me down in Montana, is how animals and their treatment in society correspond to different epochs in society.
For example, how did people relate to nature, animals, and household pets in Nazi Germany, Communist Russia, Fascist Italy historically? How do people relate to animals, nature, and household pets in Nordic countries today, versus countries with authoritarian leadership.
I think what I am getting at is I wonder if there has been a meta study done that predicts, based on our relationship to nature, animals, and household pets, what our society is moving toward on the political, economic spectrum.
I’ve mentioned, I am a dog lover. I have three dogs. Well, they are not all mine, but our family has three dogs. I love other animals too, my favorite being elephants, hummingbirds, dolphins, wolves, and polar bears. Oh, and Eagles, too.
I live in Montana and I have never shot a deer, elk, or other big game. I don’t consider myself a “pussy,” as it were, but I simply don’t feel the need to kill animals. Perhaps the Buddhists have had an impact on my life, as I do believe all beings are connected, that a thousand million fibers bind us.
I read a story recently on Huffington Post, whereby a Democrat on the campaign trail returned home to find their family cat bludgeoned with the word, “Liberal” written on it. After some research, turns out the story is true and not made up.
My line of thinking is twofold. On the one hand, I can see that as public and civil discourse breaks down in society, people are more likely to turn to pets for comfort and companionship. On the other hand, I see less regard for animals as nastiness increases.
In any case, I am tired of winter. There is too much time to think, to wonder, and to process a lot of my angst about the trajectory of society. One thing Montana has taught me, though, I do like being removed from the mass of humanity and being closer to nature.
Living in Montana does make for an isolated experience, as there are no massive cities nearby and one necessarily learns to be self-reliant.
My closing thought is that I have a hypothesis, my hypothesis is that I could study various societies over history and based on the society’s relationship to nature, animals, and pets predict with some accuracy where we are at and where we are going in relationship to political and economic models.
Only thing is, I don’t have the time to research this.
If you know of any articles along these lines, please comment and let me know.