Engaging with nature

  • Created by: melissa
  • Created on: 07-05-15 12:08

Biocentric, ecocentric, anthropocentric, instrumen

Biocentric ethic: the view or belief that the rights and needs of humans are not more important than those of living things. Often associated with traditional societies. All living things have an intrinsic value- a right to exist. Biodiversity is important (variety of plant or animal life).

Ecocentric ethic: serious concern for environmental issues. Humans and their environment are interdependent so environmental harm hurts humans. planet= a single ecosystem- humans and other species are interconnected and interdependent. e.g. radioactive fallout from chernobyl nuclear reactor disaster 1986 spread thousands of miles-  banning sheep farming in england and wales.

Anthropocentric ethic: humans are centre of the universe; humans=most important. Often a western modern view- Specisism= assumption of human superiority leading to the exploitation of animals. 

Instrumentalist ethic: environment important because of its use to us- provides food and goods we need to survive. e.g. sacred cow India- means of acquiring wealth by ownership of land e.g. logging in amazon, gaining wealth and status, e.g. london house prices. 

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Social and political movement which unites environmentalism and feminism- relationship exists between oppression of women and degradation of nature. Male ownership of land has led to patriarchy, manifesting itself in food export, over-grazing and the exploitation of people and an abusive land ethic- animals and land are valued only as economic resources. 

Vandana Shiva- a forest may well be productive, protecting groundwater, creating oxygen, allowing villagers to harvest fruit, fuel and craft materials and creating a habitat for animals. However, for many if it isnt for export for contributing to GDP, without a dollar value attached, it cannot be seen as a productive resource. 

Shiva criticises the western lifestyle choices, e.g. consuming food that has travlled thousands of miles, golf etc. For example, in kenya, capitalist driven export economy caused most of the agricultural productive land to be used for cash crops- intensification of pesticide use, resource depletion, marginalisation of subsistence farmers, especially women to the hillside and less productive land where deforestation and cultivation led to soil erosion, furthering environmental degradation. 

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Marvin Harris: India and the sacred cow

Connected with God or dedicated to a religious purpose and so deserving veneration. 

Part of Hinduism. The cow produces what they need to survive- dung for fertilisation, milk and meat. The farmers who decided not to eat their cows saved them for procreation to produce oxen, these were the ones who survived natural disasters. 

Taboo on eating beef- prevent population from consuming the animal on which Indian agriculture depends. 

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Chikpo movement: Hindu

Organised resistance to the destruction of forests. 

Hindus believe that every living creature has an atman- a sould and should therefore be respected. Linked to their belief in karma- how they protect the environment could create good or bad karma for rebirth. 

The forests of India are a critical resource for the subsistence of rural people due to their direct provision of food, fuel, and fodder and because of their role in stabilising soil and water resources. 

The Chikpo carry out non-violent protests, the villagers hug trees, saving them from being cut down by interposing their bodies between them and the contractor's axes. 

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