I’ve been reading a lot of adventure stories lately and one of the most striking things is the contrast between the flourishing wildlife and resource of the bygone eras and the pollution and shortage of the world of today.
It wasn’t that long ago when people could drink from streams without special straws, catch fish without a care about toxins, while animals, trees, birds and bees, with few exceptions, thrived. People took from nature what nature could cope with losing.
I read these parts of these novels with a mix of joy about the plentiful world that was described, but also sadness. It’s definitely been one of the biggest eye-openers – not that I needed it – so let’s say illustrations – of where we were and what we have lost.
In Robinson Crusoe, he is afraid to land in a specific part of Africa because wild beasts rule the land there. This is the single most memorable part of that book to me. It’s fascinating to contemplate a world where humans had not quite enslaved wildlife and made it cuddly.