Look Pretty For Me! A Book Review “Of A New Garden Ethic” by Benjamin Vogt

October 2, 2018

A few pages into Benjamin Vogt’s new book, A New Garden Ethic: Cultivating Defiant Compassion For An Uncertain Future, Vogt talks about two fundamental ways human beings think about ecology and engage with nature and the environment.

The first is deep ecology which involves “…challenging personal and societal values.” This includes changing the way we think about other species in relation to ourselves and letting go of the idea that human culture is the primary culture for which other species exist.

The second is shallow ecology which promotes the idea that we can fix the environment without reconceptualizing the currently accepted hierarchy in nature; one where humans are at the top.

A few pages later Vogt states”…the world is not here to look pretty for us.” According to Vogt, we treat nature as a commodity that is here to enhance our lives. Whether by providing gas for our cars, a beautiful vista to paint or farmland to raise cattle, our attitude toward nature is one that is selfish and short-sighted.

These principles form the foundation of this interesting and informative book that tackles tough questions about how to stem the tide of climate change as well as reconnect with a natural world so many of us have taken for granted.






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