early 15c., “without vital force, having lost life,” from Late Latin inanimatus “lifeless,” from in- “not” (see in- (1)) + animatus (see animation). The Latin word closest corresponding in form and sense is inanimalis. Meaning “lacking vivacity, without spirit, dull” is from 1734. Inanimate as a verb meant “infuse with life or vigor” (17c.), from the other in- (see in- (2)).
We must be the only living thing that falls into the above category; namely, we’re disconnected from nature — i.e. something that’s vibrant, alive and (yes) animate.
Why is that?
Because we’ve ‘taken’ (everything) for so long and taken for granted the earth’s natural resources, we no longer feel the depth of feeling that would come if we were truly connected to all living things.
And, of course, I generalise like hell but it’s true.
I know it’s a cheap point (but that doesn’t make it any less valid) but look at our relationship with food. Who in their right mind would spend months and months growing vegetables and rearing livestock only to throw 30% of it away? Throw it away. What’s that all about? It probably intersects with or is part of our consumerist mindset.
But, hey, who am I to decry the fact that you’ve earned sufficient money to buy whatever you like and if you want to throw it in the bin, well, that’s your prerogative.
And then there’s our relationship to fish — wild and farmed. Since when did they become British Fish or our stretch of waters or our industry? It all seems so febrile and devoid of merit. We don’t own the fish, the sea or in fact anything. We might think we do because we’ve paid something for it, but that doesn’t make it right. Just imagine if nature had the same rights as we stress over. I’d love to see all living creatures and nature more generally bite back and seek reparations from every country that has robbed her of her resources. You might think I’m joking but there are places in the world that already recognise the rights of nature, but it’s just a shame that it’s not a Universal right and enforceable at the International level.
One last thing. The monotheistic culture we’re born into, even if we don’t recognise or practice one of the many religions, has pushed out and isolated any idea that we’re connected with nature in a deep, spiritual way. Instead, and I can’t say this is universal — but it sure looks that way — we see nature as something bestowed on us, to be used in whatever way we see fit. It could be otherwise if we recognised, not unlike the rights of nature point above, that every living was our sister, brother, aunt, uncle, cousin etc. Again, I’m deadly serious in making this point. I see all of nature as no different to us and if only we saw that imagine what the world look like.
Anyhow, as I’ve said so often said, it’s Monday and it’s time to get suited and booted ready for another day of fronting up and showing my legal metal.