From ANIMAL PEOPLE, October 2008:
(Actual publication date 11-5-08.)
Elephants & Ethics:
Toward a Morality of Coexistence
Edited by Christen Wemmer & Catherine A. Christen
Johns Hopkins University Press (2715 N. Charles St., Baltimore, MD 21218), 2008. 483 pages, hardcover. $75.00.
We have been defining our relationships with the elephants for as long as we have been people, opens John Seidensticker in his preface to Elephants & Ethics: Toward a Morality of Coexistence. When discussing the ethics of human/elephant relationships, he adds, we should keep in mind a historical reality: In any confrontation, elephants almost always lose.
Seidensticker in the next several paragraphs traces the 3,000-year retreat of wild elephants from Beijing to the Myanmar border. As rice cultivation enabled the rise of civilization in China, the conversion of former lowland forests to paddies steadily reduced elephant habitat.