God’s Country: The New Zealand Factor

Written by Michael Charles Tobias and Jane Gray Morrison
A Dancing Star Foundation Book for 2011
Published by Zorba Press

This robust consideration of 21st century conservation and animal protection utilizes New Zealand as a primary case study in conflict resolution. With New Zealand history, economics, art, conservation biology and contemporary industry, technology and environmentalism as the working sweep of metaphors, the book examines numerous instances of success and failure throughout the world, where the goal is non-violence, as well as the fruitful reconciliation of human life with the rest of the biological creation. Issues involving animal rights, animal liberation, ecological islands, new advances in immuno-contraception for controlling non-native invasive species and the evolution of a paradigm that can embrace large ecosystem protection, as well as that of individuals, are just some of the issues discussed in the book.

Other areas of focus concern the conversion of one way of life, one industrial or cottage industry paradigm to another based upon compassion, prudent long-term thinking and a salient recognition of what the authors describe as “destruction in increments” (or, in traditional terms, the “tragedy of the commons”). Choices, patterns and precedents are examined in detail which collectively define the challenges and moral tensions inherent to achieving ecological peace on earth for all concerned – from New Zealand to Bhutan; from Greenland to the United States; throughout the European Union, South America, Russia, China, India; and in extraordinary instances gleaned from past and present anthropological and ethological record

The book outlines, in sum, a new revolutionary vision for human collectives based upon compassion and pragmatic idealism. It argues that New Zealand is one of those extraordinarily complex, and inspired nations that can lead the way.