What’s interesting about animism or paganism—the pre-monotheistic religions—is that the world is, if you like, enchanted. That is to say, every hill, every stream, every rock has a spirit of its own. Every river, every natural object has a spirit that has to be somehow taken account of or placated. Of course hunters and gatherers pay close attention to nature in a way that agriculturalists don’t have to. But I would argue that the world of spirits in nature in pre-monotheism is a view of nature that is more likely to be respectful of the limits of nature, that is to say, foragers will only hunt males, or will preserve small fish so that they will be around for a sustainable yield much later. There’s a sense of respecting the natural limits and rhythms of the natural world, both out of self-interest and out of a respect for its own agency.

via On Foraging and Freedom | aNtiDoTe Zine

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