14 January 2012

A Creaturely Life

In this interview on WFIU Public Radio, Wendell Berry discusses some of the changes he's seen over his life:
Up until the end of the Second World War, the life that I experienced in my part of the country, and on the farms I visited and played on and worked on, our life was predominantly creaturely. After the war, it became dominantly and increasingly mechanical. And I think the change from a creaturely life to a mechanical life is a profound change, and in many ways it has been devastating -- not to me, but to the country itself.
Asked to elaborate, he says:
We've tried in the sciences and in other ways to understand the creatures as machines. But I think that's a failure. There is no real resemblance between creatures and machines and there is no resemblance between the relationship that a person has with a machine and the relationship one has with an animal -- particularly a working animal, draft animals, or working dogs, or hunting dogs for that matter. It really is a radically different order of life.