Plant’s Bioregionalism Quote

“Bioregionalism means learning to become native to place, fitting ourselves to a particular place, not fitting a place to our pre-determined tastes. It is living within the limits and the gifts provided by a place, creating a way of life that can be passed on to future generations,” (81).

I found this quote interesting because, it appears, that bioregionalism gives ultimate dominion to “place”. I also like to think of humans appreciating nature in a greater sense. Instead of destroying nature, or manipulating nature to fit our wants and desires, bioregionalism pushes people to find their own place within nature. Becoming “native to place” is pivotal in preserving nature. We must accept nature, and understand that we have all that we need from the landscape. There is no reason to destroy what we have, to attempt to create an environment that fits our desires because we cannot always create what we perceive.

I also like how Plant states how we need to create this brand of living in order to pass on the lifestyle. If we want to preserve the beauty in the world, we must encourage future generations to believe in “bioregionalism”. Obviously, this idea has not been a long-standing theory. I say this because of previous readings and discussions that we have covered so far this semester. During the first stages of colonialism, nature was seen as a never-ending supply of resources. We may have never specifically read those words, but we have definitely seen a trend of overuse. This includes the destruction of the plains and forests, along with the overhunting of buffaloes, among other animals.

I do not believe Plant wants the idea of bioregionalism to localize itself in America. As Earth’s population continues to rise, we must all take responsibility for our actions. This idea does not confine individuals to a particular part of the world, but it causes awareness among people. If we leave our native country, we do not have the right to change another place on what we originally perceived it to be. Plant’s argument is for existing within nature. We cannot consistently fall back on the idea that we have dominion over nature and squeeze out all the “necessities”. We have to accept the natural order of nature, and appreciate “the gifts provided by a place”.

Plant, Judith. Home! A Bioregional Reader. Ch./Art: Revaluing Home: Feminism and Bioregionalism; Searching for Common Ground: Ecofeminism and Bioregionalism p.21-23, New Society Publishers 1990


2 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by yribaf on October 5, 2011 at 8:18 pm

    I agree with this quote along with your argument. When Europeans first came to this continent, they began changing the landscape to fit the preconceived ideas they had from Europe, altering the natural landscape to fit their desires. This idea of altering natural landscapes anyway we so choose has spread throughout the world, causing tremendous amounts of devastation. Instead of altering the earth, we should allow our minds to be shaped and changed by the differing landscapes around us. This idea ties in with bioregionalism since we will become tied to nature itself by allowing the natural world to shape us instead of us shaping it to fit our limited world view. If we can accept the natural world as it is, then we may be able to save ourselves and begin to create new ideas and cultural systems that coexist with an ever evolving planet.

  2. This quote spoke to many people in the class, perhaps because (like bioregionalism, itself) it is so straightforward. I agreed with your interpretation and saw many examples of your analysis in Sigourney’s Fallen Forest. As you stated, we often see humans try to manipulate their surroundings to no avail, this is seen in the poem when “[man] builds a stately mansion, but it stands unblessed by trees” only to find the “burning noon maketh his spirit faint” because he is no longer shielded from the sun. With this example it seems that Sigourney is advocating for a bioregionalist lifestyle to, as you said, exist within nature. Furthermore, the aspect of the quote about leading a lifestyle that can be passed on to future generations can be seen in Fallen Forest as well when Sigourney bemoans that “[mans’s] children’s children shall [not] behold what he hath swept away” when he rashly cuts down trees and manipulates his environment. She clearly would have agreed with Plant that nature is not full of endless resources and if we want future generations to enjoy it, we must work to preserve it now.

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