Sustainable Book Club no.3 – Feral by George Monbiot
It’s the third meeting of the Sustainable Book club today, otherwise known as #susbc and we are discussing Feral, by George Monbiot! It is all online and everyone is welcome to join in the conversation between 12.00 and 13.00 and then 20.00 and 21.00 either on Twitter, using #susbc or on Facebook at the group which can be found here. Plus of course you are welcome to chat in the comments section of the blog or send me an email with your comments to email@example.com.
I really enjoyed reading Feral. I didn’t really have a clue what to expect before I read it and now I am seeing the outdoors in the UK in a whole new light. I think George makes his points very clearly and succinctly, which are basically that much of our land and sea has been overly interfered with and we need to leave large connected tracts of it alone (with the exception of reintroducing large predators like wolves and restricting some species that would otherwise entirely take over) to allow eco-systems to regenerate, move around and to have abundance again of wild flora and fauna. Don’t take my word for it though, read the book (if you haven’t already) and let him drum his incredibly important message in loud and clear – we need to let the wild back in in the UK!
Interesting he talks about how fearful we are of the wild here and I can totally relate to that. Growing up I always felt I was lucky not to have to worry about snakes, spiders, bears, crocodiles and lions. Basically everything feels very safe, neat and tidy here. What I didn’t realise was the price that safety and neatness comes with – the price is both a lack of a fully functioning eco-system in many parts of this country and also a feeling of disconnect with nature. I have no clue what the countryside should look like. I have no clue how many and what type of creatures and plants should be living in my garden. When I went swimming soon after reading Feral, I went in the local swimming pool, right next to the beach, because it seemed safer and easier than going swimming in the sea. Somehow we need to let go of this fear of the wild and find a way to enjoy it and embrace it and let it be!
Anyway, I hope you all enjoyed the book. I have the following questions for you:
1. Do you think rewilding is the right way forward and if so what impact do you think you can have on the rewilding campaign (read more here)
2. Would you consider eating Venison after reading the book and is it a sustainable option?
3. How often do you go for a walk in the woods and how close is your nearest woods?
4. What do you do or think you could easily do to bring the wild into your life?
5. How has the book changed your outlook on the British countryside?
6. How do you relate to wild spaces and creatures? Are they something you enjoy or would you rather avoid them?
7. Given the choice of a swimming pool, river or the sea where would you go swimming?
8. What wildlife changes have you noticed over the years e.g. if you’ve been fishing have you noticed it getting harder or if you have been spotting butterflies have you noticed any changes?
9. What changes (if any) would you consider making having read the book?
10. What message from the book sticks with you the most?
Thanks for joining in the book club. If you think we should be considering any other questions feel free to throw them in as well!
The next book will be This Changes Everything by Naomi Klein and we will be tweeting / Facebooking between 12.00 and 13.00 and then 20.00 and 21.00 on the 16th September. I look forward to chatting about it with you all then!