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  The Ishmael Community: Exerpts from Daniel Quinn

Quotes from Daniel's Works

"All this comes about because there is a law that is followed invariably within the community, and without this law the community would indeed be in chaos and would very quickly disintegrate and disappear. Man owes his very existence to this law. If the species around him had not obeyed it, he could not have come into being or survived. It's a law that protects not only the community as a whole but species within the community and even individuals. Do you understand?"

"I understand what you're saying, but I have no idea what the law is."

"I'm pointing to its effects."

"Oh. Okay."

"It is the peace-keeping law, the law that keeps the community from turning into the howling chaos the Takers imagine it to be. It's the law that fosters life for allC life for the grasses, life for the grasshopper that feeds on the grasses, life for the quail that feeds on the grasshopper, life for the fox that feeds on the quail, life for the crows that feed on the dead fox."


"The community of life on this planet has worked well for three billion years-has worked beautifully, in fact. The Takers draw back in horror from this community, thinking it to be a place of lawless chaos and savage, relentless competition, where every creature goes in terror of its life. But those of your species who actually live in this community don't find it to be so, and they will fight to the death rather than be separated from it. It is in fact an orderly community. The green plants are food for the plant eaters, which are food for the predators, and some of these predators are food for still other predators. And what's left over is food for the scavengers, who return to the earth nutrients needed by the green plants. It's a system that has worked magnificently for billions of years. Filmmakers understandably love footage of gore and battle, but any naturalist will tell you that the species are not in any sense at war with one another. The gazelle and the lion are enemies only in the minds of the Takers. The lion that comes across a herd of gazelles doesn't massacre them, as an enemy would. It kills one, not to satisfy its hatred of gazelles but to satisfy its hunger, and once it has made its kill the gazelles are perfectly content to go on grazing with the lion right in their midst."


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