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Feral summary

George Monbiot

Rewilding the Land, Sea and Human Life

4.1 (27 ratings)
24 mins

Brief summary

Feral by George Monbiot explores the idea of rewilding and its potential to regenerate the natural world. By reintroducing species, we can restore ecosystems and improve the health of our planet.

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    Gold mining in the Brazilian rainforest endangers the environment and harms indigenous tribes.

    Big claims regarding the environment are a dime a dozen, and the author himself will make some wide-ranging arguments over the course of these blinks. But to lend credence to his views, he knows that a little background information is necessary.

    Monbiot was working for an environmental organization in 1989 when he was dispatched to the gold mines of Brazil to monitor their impact.

    It was quite the adventure. It started with the author and a Canadian friend breaking through a police cordon near Boa Vista airport. From there they headed to the Amazonian rainforest, where they were witnesses to an ugly horror: large tracts of forest had been felled and uprooted to allow easier access to the gold-rich river sediment.

    Violence was also endemic. During the six months the author spent there, more than 1,500 miners were shot in confrontations involving gold supplies and mining companies.

    But the local indigenous Yanomami tribes suffered even more, as their very survival was at risk. To begin with, some 15 percent of the Yanomami fell victim to diseases brought in by the miners; they simply hadn’t developed immunity to them. Many more were shot, and several Yanomami villages were destroyed.

    Intrigued and appalled, the author went in search of the Yanomami. It took a long jungle trek, but he eventually found a community living in malocas, traditional round houses thatched with palm leaves.

    As so many of the elders had died or been killed, the role of village chief had been taken on by an 18-year old boy. The sick lay sprawled upon hammocks, while old women performed ritual dances to repel the sickness.

    The author, as one of the few able-bodied men around, was also called upon to perform these ritual dances himself. He also helped out by fixing roofs.

    But, in the end, there was little that could be done. Despite belated international calls for protection, the Yanomami's population dwindled by 20 percent during the gold rush.

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    What is Feral about?

    Feral (2013) is both an analysis and a manifesto. Author George Monbiot addresses what people are lacking in their day-to-day lives: nature and true wilderness. The book argues that certain areas should be left to nature and rewilded, and that the benefits of doing so – to both the planet and people – will soon follow.

    Feral Review

    Feral (2013) by George Monbiot is a thought-provoking exploration of our disconnection from the natural world and a compelling call to reclaim our wild instincts. Here are three reasons why this book is worth reading:

    • With in-depth research and powerful stories, it challenges our conventional understanding of nature, offering fresh insights into the importance of rewilding.
    • Monbiot's passionate advocacy for restoring ecosystems and reintroducing extinct species makes the book a rallying cry for environmental action.
    • Anchored in science, this book also delves into the psychological and emotional benefits of connecting with nature, reminding us of the profound impact it can have on our well-being.

    Who should read Feral?

    • Environmentalists looking for different perspectives
    • Anyone interested in human interactions with nature
    • Land and property administrators looking to broaden their horizons

    About the Author

    George Monbiot is a trained zoologist, and has worked as a nature journalist as well as for environmentalist organizations. He has long been based in the United Kingdom and is a regular contributor to the Guardian. He has published several books, including Captive State and The Age of Consent.

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    Feral FAQs 

    What is the main message of Feral?

    The main message of Feral is that rewilding and reintroducing natural processes can restore ecosystems and bring about positive environmental change.

    How long does it take to read Feral?

    Reading time for Feral varies, but it typically takes several hours. However, the Blinkist summary can be read in just 15 minutes.

    Is Feral a good book? Is it worth reading?

    Feral is worth reading for its insightful exploration of rewilding and its potential to restore balance in ecosystems.

    Who is the author of Feral?

    The author of Feral is George Monbiot.

    What to read after Feral?

    If you're wondering what to read next after Feral, here are some recommendations we suggest:
    • Entangled Life by Merlin Sheldrake
    • The Order of Things by Michel Foucault
    • Tiny Habits by BJ Fogg
    • Common Sense by Thomas Paine
    • The 3-Minute Rule by Brant Pinvidic
    • The Inner Life of Animals by Peter Wohlleben
    • How Highly Effective People Speak by Peter Andrei
    • Not the End of the World by Hannah Ritchie
    • Material World by Ed Conway
    • Green Illusions by Ozzie Zehner