John Muir



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William and Maymie Kimes Annotation

Muir observes that "the barbarous notion is almost universally entertained by civilized men, that there is in all the manufactures of nature something essentially coarse which can and must be eradicated by human culture." Believing otherwise, Muir was elated to find that wool of the wild sheep of Mt. Shasta was much finer than that of the domesticated ones. Muir then discourses at length on the values of wildness as opposed to those of cultivation. He writes: "To obtain a hearing on behalf of Nature from any other standpoint than that of human use is almost impossible .... No dogma taught by the present civilization seems to form so insuperable an obstacle in the way of right understanding of the relations which culture sustains to wildness, as that which declares that the world was made especially for the use of man .... I have never yet happened upon a trace of evidence that seemed to show that any one animal was ever made for another as much as it was made for itself."


The Overland Monthly, v. 14, no. 4


pp. 361-366



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