The Rights of Na­ture

A Le­gal Revo­lu­tion that Could Save the World

Foreword Reviews - - Spotlight Reviews Audiobooks - DIANE PROKOP

David R. Boyd, Tan­tor Au­dio­book, 978-1-5414-1317-7

At first glance, the prob­lems of de­for­esta­tion, fac­tory farm­ing, coral-reef dec­i­ma­tion, and the ex­tinc­tion of an­i­mals seem com­plex and un­re­lated. Though there are fac­tors that make each sit­u­a­tion unique, there is an over­ar­ch­ing theme that con­nects them and lends it­self to a vi­sion­ary so­lu­tion, which is the premise for David R. Boyd’s im­pres­sive book, The Rights of Na­ture.

Draw­ing on the writ­ings of sci­en­tists, philoso­phers, and the­olo­gians, Boyd, an en­vi­ron­men­tal lawyer/ac­tivist, demon­strates how mankind’s an­thro­pocen­trism, the be­lief that hu­mans are su­pe­rior to the rest of the nat­u­ral world, has led to the degra­da­tion of life forms on the planet. He puts forth the con­cept of liv­ing in­ter­de­pen­dently with other species while ac­cept­ing that they have rights on par with hu­mans.

To this end, Boyd and many other pi­o­neer­ing ac­tivists ap­peal to court­rooms, leg­is­la­tures, and com­mu­ni­ties around the world to change the way hu­mans think of them­selves in re­la­tion to na­ture.

The book ad­dresses the rights of an­i­mals, species, na­ture, and con­sti­tu­tional and le­gal foun­da­tions. While each sec­tion con­tains vol­umes of land­mark en­vi­ron­men­tal law in­for­ma­tion, Boyd also in­cludes nu­mer­ous fas­ci­nat­ing anec­dotes to sup­port his premise. These range from poignant de­scrip­tions of close-knit fam­ily units of killer whales, to stud­ies of oc­to­puses who use tools, and ac­counts of ded­i­cated ac­tivists who are chang­ing the way gov­ern­ments ad­dress the need to pro­tect the en­vi­ron­ment.

The Rights of Na­ture is com­pelling and thought-pro­vok­ing, and will be an im­por­tant re­source for any­one in­ter­ested in en­vi­ron­men­tal law or with a de­sire to save the planet.

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