Peter Wohlleben on the Secrets of Trees, Animals and Humans
It's it's it's like like a child which has watch and put out every wheel and sword in vox and say, okay, no, I know how a clockworks no, you have destroyed but you don't know how it works and perhaps those planations destroy our our view that animals are just wonderful. Hi I'm Mark Lena welcome to scanner a podcast but oceans equal ethics and the environment for fans effect based reality and reality based Bax. Was On tour a few years ago with my book, the killer whale who changed the world I was invited to the coury raiders. Festival Word Fest to Talk Wales and it was lucky enough to find myself on a panel of several then tastic writers including German forester and Eko philosopher Peter Bulletin. I was so excited about Peter's book about the amazing secret lives of trees. That is we sat backstage waiting for bent. I kept asking question after. About his experiences and his writing. At the time I was kind of obsessed with description of fungi. Mushrooms and how they are a plant that share some of the same characteristics as. So impede and I were both in Vancouver at the same time. I had to talk to him I can't. Thinks the magic of disappearing hard drugs. I. Feel like we've been promising to share this interview forever. The biggest thing I remember for a conversation was lovely. It was to talk with them. We met at his hotel in downtown Vancouver and Peter. Pretty much never stopped smiling also. He's really free consult. Peter Stories about trees and animals become global game changer we talked plants, fungi, animals, emotions, and so much more. As always scan is brought to you by our POD PATRIOTS DOT COM. So if you were up to an WanNa hear more about equal ethics environment and of course, orcas. If he likes jess future guests questions, we should be asking them. Please join our POD and sponsors et Patria We've got all sorts of perks members an even dollar a month is a huge help as we try to deliver scan on more platforms than ever. As everyone deals with strange new reality. You'll love just a little more time to listen to podcasts. We've also been workman updating our website at Scana. Dot Org it looks beautiful and that's where we hide this show every episode we've got lots of show notes on every upset including this one also please subscribe so you don't miss upcoming episodes or we'll be sharing ocean stories of Orcas Otters, sea lions, elephants, seals, and sharks with guests from around the world. Were also planning to cover a certain election. Skinny brought to you by Orca publishing the publisher of my three books about Wales for younger readers orcas everywhere or Orcas of the sailor sea and for babies. Big Whales small world. You can find out more by all of these books, e books, audio versions at orcas everywhere dot com or Scana dot org, and they are all available at your local bookstore and please please please support your local bookstores right now. During these crazy times a lot on her delivering and now. Peter Velvet. On plant rights. Fruit Fly Dreams. And scientists and denial. would. Really to see again. Less time we needed to you write us this. Yeah I remember you told me that your next book was going to be about the animals on your farm and I thought how are you going to turn the admirals on your farm into anywhere near as cool a book as you did with trees and you did it. Thank you. So I'm going to start by asking you questions that I've wondered about all summer where you follow in the story of Tala the whale was carrying her daughter for seventeen days. No. Sorry. Oh no no I know what you mean. Yes. Yes. Yes. A I read about that. Was Very, very sad story. What were your thoughts on people arguing less the whale grieving and I'm like, what else would she be doing? Yeah I think. I mean, you talk about. and. That that many animals are able to laugh you we we know actually by researching the hormones which drive our emotions. And one of the hormones oxytocin. Which drives laugh Mullah strongest love of all which you have an our wins also father laugh for sure. And you find that also in? Goats and horses even goldfish. And If you know that someone can laugh you should also grief because. That means that you can lose the the other the band that connects you because otherwise, for example, when you're a Our parents and the Wilderness. Let's say a deer and your cal stat that you wouldn't abandon it you you're one day you'll have to go. From this place, because otherwise you'll will be eaten by wolves. When you stay at your baby so if someone loves, the also has to have the ability to relief. Now you talked about the science of that and mirror neurons. Can you explain that the science behind the scientific aspects of love? Is the scientific aspect of the problem preps to? Avoid the answer to your question but I think. What we all also trying to find a mechanism behind it because we that's Way of thinking that is three hundred years old that we think we are working like machine today would say we're working like a computer, our brain. And it's like a program computer and the program are genes. That isn't the case the case our brain is not understood so far for example, new new. Compared. With the hardest drive, which many do say Brian is like heart destroy like a computer. Then, it should be the case that the more you learn of the fluid gets one day it's overload and then that's it. You can learn anymore or you have to forget something instead. The case? The more? You learn the begets the capacity of your brain. How that works no one knows now we could become too lounges even more complicated than learning something. You know that we have hormones which which drive enough we know what what's going on in the new runs. The English words for for this sin ethical back which it is. Yeah. When he goes from electricity to chemical the metro electricity, but that means. that that we would regard it as a machine and to understand that we don't even understand little terms. So and that's the smallest unit and we go deeper and deeper deeper in it, and we came to come to one point where we say we don't understand it. Why don't we stay outside and say we don't understand the whole complicity, but we know that it is their love this everywhere. Can you talk about why it is humans? WanNa shy away. From giving these attributes to other animals because fascinated by anthromorph isn't being treated as a sin and I love how you get into that can you talk about these that? Comes also from this. Look on by by scientists. which are educated in this sense, for example, to go more than three hundred, spank. Any most were brought to court and they were judged for having stolen grain. For example, that means that they were in this sense treated like humans and then three hundred years ago. And the age of enlightenment, more more scientists regarded nature as as a big machine. For example, they cups dogs living Doxa native on planes, cut them open and the docks began to scream and the the scientists for some of them whilst clot by now from friends. Is said. The see pain it's just like machine. Of Oil. Also screaming and. We have that too nowadays because otherwise you couldn't explain industrial enema keeping. Say? I. If you feed them and they have enough space to to lay down and it works like this and like that a of that thinking industrial keeping possible and scientists which which say. That as a something like. To into promote. It's like word. To pronounce it. It's it's not a nice word because it means that is something you shouldn't do it something. It's like something nerdy and. That, because it means that you explain things emotionally that's it's not to enter Promo face it. It's the problem. Are the emotions then have? Been People. Emotions for animals for plans for whatsoever. then. The erect in a different way and the scientists who criticize that. Most, many of them. Have Connections to industry. Let's that's the point. It just seems. So phenomenally dodgy to me, I read a story about. This is the grieving wail that said, the whale appeared to be grieving and I thought I have seen people at funerals who appeared to be grieving and we don't know what's in their hearts. I've seen people at funerals were very happy. The person in the box was dead, but they appeared to be grieving. I don't think talked about was faking her grief. So I think it's fascinating. We're prepared to say how another humans feeling, but we're not prepared to go there with an animal and what are we? We're supposed to make a new word to avoid. I don't know I think. Yeah I think I think again to. What try to figure out why people think that animals are In things like that. and. Say. It's it's comes from from our cultural heritage and science, which isn't good. Which means that we bring nature into a ranking. I are humans than we have the most higher animals lower than than we have plans and and this ranking has nothing to do with science. Because when you're by biologist, you can sort. Animals and plans categories. You can do that if it ever ever case makes sense of another question, but consorted but consort on the same level. But when you bring it into a ranking that that has nothing to do with nature because who wants to judge which. Any. More or less than other we we bring it into ranking. For example, you won't. You won't eat a Shin Pansy. Because it's ranks very high. With a pick okay. Most people would eat a pick but. Many people owned many comes down for example, fish many people eat fish no pick because fish slower. Look at how fish are captured the net nets they. What would you say if picks were captured the nets and? Drawn into. A. Lake. To the day they starve to the middle so that. I. If they don't get a breath. At suffocating. Face suffocating. Thank you. Yeah. We do that was fish. Bring them that's out of the water, and then they can breath anymore and afterwards we sell them when people say, oh, that's good. Stuff because they won't never do that with picks was with fishes they long law ranked lower and insects rang lower than fish plans ring lower than insects trees perhaps sling rank higher than sell it. And that's ranking. But a really really truth that's an. Ranking. Or ranking scientists say that that's science. Well part of where I ended up getting really lost but I was working on my book was I assume there was a scientific reason we were considered a higher being and I kept asking people and what I was told was well, it was brain size, and then it wasn't because we found out the ORCAS had bigger brains and then it was a stratification it was the complexity of the brain. Well, no ORCAS and dolphins have as beep for complex brains and every time you know it was tool use but no better tool used because crows can use tools. And at the goalposts cap moving. So what is the goal poster is through one? Of. The biggest problem is when any most come too close to Earth to. That that causes fear because then you have to think about what you're doing to nature. When when you keep them in distance and he can use them as raw material and when they when they come close to. Where we have Bravo sisters nature and for for many people, that's a problem because it disturbs business. Disturb, stay alive because you have to look what you have on your plate You have to look what what you buy and so on and so on and everyone knows now that's true but. If. Scientists would re the whole building. What's what's go down and? I think the the main problem is really to keep the whole animal and plant kingdom in distance, and that has nothing to do with. The best example is the neanderthal man. IT WAS CONSIDERED TO BE IN A. Different species. Now we know perhaps, isn't it an the NFL? Many Different species preps. It's Homo. SAPIENS. With with. Perhaps, a little different for example, What we know they know which scientists long denied that we mixed with 'em tom and perhaps it isn't even extinct. Because just mixed up in in in the modern. Homo sapiens in the NFL man is still there. For example when you have. White skin color blue is that's Nanto man. So which scientists. Lung. United denied that neanderthal man could speak good. At, a culture I think. Was five months months ago. They discovered wonderful cave paintings Spain. which were to consider to be from modern mankind. And they prove the H. of the pigments found ever run about sixty, six thousand years old and at that time there were just anatole man in this region and before that. Men were considered to make us Mexico as a sign so F okay. Nanto man homeless happens purpose. It's the same. We don't know but it's a good example to see. I. Don't know why. But perhaps it's a religious thing. To say homes options, it's the crawl of evolution and all other creatures are servants. Talked, about. Animals having criminal charges. I. Find It fascinating trying to figure out why we have rights and no animals do and I'm getting again I keep looking for. A legal explanation and all I'm really getting his it would be very inconvenient. Executive and look for example in the. Constitution the Swiss people are regarded to be very conservative and are not very flexible. Assorted for that's. One Country and they have in the constitution plant rights. Rights for plans in the Constitution. You never think that this regard plans. Birth dimension the Constitution so There are people are thinking about that but I think that's a process which is twenty years behind the discussion on animal rights and we don't have real animal rights so far you look at the Keeping when you look how clever Pixar for example, or or hence describe in the book that that's our rooster. Lies Not too often not as able to lie and he's able to think what what what she's doing. Just get sex what it's all about. Basic sample is the our. Emotion. Emotions are more important than our minds. For the Clinton, any ski I think that was clever too. But that's another another story to tell don't want to compare Clinton with a rooster but but. Having a risk very interesting. No but. That's what it's about. It's interesting to me that all of the fights person had for apes or or. All. Seem to focus on captivity I'm going why aren't we fighting for Rights on different levels? Why not? Yeah, right it's. What we discuss is in the moment is the conditions under we keep animals, but we don't talk about general rights. If we talk about writes on animals which animals orcas. Okay. We know thanks to you work that ORCAS are very close to us. They are different some times types of behavior better prep some some I I don't know. Beside that that doesn't mean that we don't have that we have to give up our rights. We have just have to respect otherwise that's that's that should be possible. But the question is when we have right for ORCAS and chimpanzees and perhaps peaks what about flies we know that for example, that fruit flies are able to dream to dream With two, hundred, thousand euros a we have I don't know ten billion whatsoever. Dream in this this very little brain. We don't know what's going on there. We we just see that they're moving their their legs but. What about the rights for fruitflies and when we re respect fruit flies what about Chinese because finally, our inbetween animals and plants closer to animals on their animals and we know that that they're the Frankly with A. Geographic mind they know with their funding which are able to to move slime molds, for example. What about them and when you have rights for them, what about trees and finally what about Senate and that's I? Think that's the fear behind when we give all those creatures rights. Than we have starved to death. Just can say, no, that's not what it is about. It's about to be more respectable. That's it's. It's funny that I think my favorite line in your first book or or sorry I know not your first book in your book about. His life of trees was fungi are amazing. And follow that story and I thought of my friends, the worms and their son carrot juice is murder I'm not sure. Maybe, it is necessary. Confusing. How do you decide what to eat? How do you juggle? That is the person who who's. Basically said, yet you know what carrots me have feelings. Fungi have feelings funding funky of intelligence. How do you decide what you're going to put on your plate? I decided more According to the way how the food is produced But? That is among hand environmentally friendly among the other hand if we need that and. I say, for example, I eat meat just just a little from organic animal keeping. But I don't think blast were on prep site to be completely very children vegetarian. But that doesn't release me in the sense because when we talk about planned feelings and there is planned feedings communication for example, when when you plan solid, there's communication between the senator when you to one, I don't know what the others are telling you eligible bed but I'm hungry I'm living being. I have also writes. What it is about I can also regard my rights I can enjoy life but. Every case where it is possible. I take care about other creatures. And what the Dolphin in Ireland. Yeah. Can you talk about that a little bit this? Dolphin Island Yeah it's a tourist attraction and It comes to tourist lonely Dolphin and. Perhaps, it just like to be amongst humans and. It's for decades. It's a very odd ocean on hope it's the Sephora thinks is I think so and? What Some scientists say. Because this is a really heartwarming story because this is really a very gentle dolphin and she likes it to be immense. The boats are spending people and so on. And without being being feed that that would be another story the no, he really loves. What scientists say, perhaps, this dolphin has gene defect. Set Okay laugh is a gene. Thank. That's a that's a strange explanation for that. That's all scientists. are talking about this case where say when when you look at nature just in this way, you don't discover anything. There's a a lovely term that Franz divall came up with and throw denial. And I'm quite fascinated by the the idea that scientists go out of their way to deny that animals have emotions, feelings intelligence, and try to reduce them to biological machines and I just don't get it. Yes. That's that's very good because. This is executive. What many not all they're very good scientists because otherwise we wouldn't all those wonderful things. You write about but. in most cases, scientists say we haven't discovered that we have improved that so it doesn't exist. That's that's. Being mad because things you don't see you can see doesn't exist. It's like a little child which puts hands over the eyes. And says, I can be seen because I don't see anything. I like the fact that you got into anecdotal evidence which scientists don't seem to be found out and I'm going. How many anecdotes adds up to fact, I mean, then almost every single person I've ever spoken to a but ORCAS has a story about something fictionally implausible that these orcas down with them. How many of those do you need to hear before you start going? Maybe there's pattern. This pattern means something like what you're talking about with Cros. The think you can see everything from two sides and are negative person. For example, if you're. Today at Pepsi can can compared with with the bubble Internet bubble. Facebook Bob. Whatsoever And when you're interested in negative seeing things to just hear negative things and. Think the world is negative and when you're a scientist, some you're thinking. Animals are working like a machine. Then you just see the machine you as a friendly Guy Orca friendly guy say noble just a moment and Look at this guy wearing long hair. I think. I. Don't know if you know how our things starts that. The other opinion are suppressed and started by start by how people are looking how the living. How they are researching and so on and when you're living your bubble to defend your beverly find one thousand reason why is true and the problem is that I would estimate that seventy percent of the science community is in this bubble. I don't understand why I. Coming at this not being a scientist I actually assumed scientists will be much more open minded about this. So that's been a really startling discoveries go no that's just an anecdote and that's just the other forty anecdotes you've got those don't add up to anything either. It's fascinating. Look at people. Like. For example, I think she had shed a hard life and. Also attacked by my scientists. So. I think the best scientists which we know nowadays from former times were lone wolves their time. Because they did discoveries which the science community wouldn't do this to be true. And but nowadays, you know our that are one for personal. For example, come on lawns. I don't know if you know you made experiments with goose and use emotions and. Our. He did really one for research or Gouda or. Ever and. It's a, it's a strong defending champion. Nowadays, we have another problem. For example, I have I'm tech from some scientists in Germany they are related to the forest industry. And the problem is a although they are Professors University of the. Business Germany is run by the state authorities. They are the biggest timber centers and there should be the control instance. So there's a connection between signs and timbers this, and then you can imagine why for example, why they say it's crazy when you when you talk about the trees Confu pain. Otherwise. Could fell the that's the promos. One thing that I find that we do to distance and I've gotten into this a fair bit lately. I'm finding myself pulling further and further away from using the numbers for whales using the names for Wales and look at the first thing. Jane Goodall did was she named David Greybeard. A or whatever. Can you talk about nine versus numbers and the way they're used in terms of distancing? Yeah, exactly. That's exactly what it is. and. That's exactly why why Lou follow your parents. Your change when you change numbers versus names, you change Change Yeah. What what, what I should say for for numbers. Change perhaps of them sheen to for emotions. And that's let's executive point I discussed also with David Sukey today but we should have to bring more emotions in the in the process in the discussions about in environmentally things in things of climate change because when we just discuss the the numbers or the process or whatsoever. So it's emotionally seen so far away doesn't touch your heart just your mind in the mind is not the most important thing. That's also the topic of the book. To have a happy life, you don't have to have a big brain. You don't have to be intelligent. Fulfilled life to be happy when you when you think about what was important in your life most important and just just a few words, even just one. Well. That's one thing left. You're going to end. You got into in your book, which was Love Altruism empathy. Says nothing to intelligence. Therefore for off, you don't need to have a big brain love if to even fish can feel. They don't have a big. Rain. But in our ranking, we're going down from the top brain size to lower brain size. Therefore, we have problems with ORCAS. Yeah and. That's an in the ranking because we think the bird is working on mind. No vote is murky laugh and that's the difference, and therefore, it doesn't matter even in human populations. It's a ranking it's the intelligence index, which is so important if not. More than one point three. Oh than your your. Guy. No. That's not important and that's for example why we have problems the nowadays with the disabled persons this with my mind because. Of the ranking but they can feel. Like you and that's important and. I think that's where if you can change this and I think perhaps I can give a little break to that you house you too can do to breaks will do wonderful audiobook and. Perhaps. The takes wow, twenty kids, and we have a new house of signs and. I think it's worth it can you say just a bit about animals as Oracle's because I love that chapter animal Oracle's when he oracles or does Orca or oh, this English translates and you're. Good in English. This is about animals known things that we don't the anticipating. Volcanoes image. ORCAS and dolphins constantly seem to know things that they shouldn't, and we don't understand how they know them. Animals are some animals because we also just one species and we can put all animals together in one pot because they they differ as much as we an orchestra example, but there are some animals which have different abilities. They have a sense for. Kind of outbreak or things are soon Nami. And Science is always trying to explain it by wave's Greg registered waves are. The vibrations that we can't feel they can few but there are more census. There are more census when you go down to. The atomic things quirks. And things and in in this level, we know that there are things happening which which we wouldn't have imagined. Imagine ten years ago would say that is Teri now we know that science and in this sense I think animals have possibilities that we don't have an which can't be explained in easy technical terms and they are one thing like like the goats which are able to predict Forecast. We're kind of outbreak and they leave Kano hours before it breaks out or the Salami thing I don't know what waves should go through the air in front of to Nami. I don't think there are some. It's a certain sense and we don't think we don't need to explain everything. It's it's like like a child which has a watch and put out every wheel and it in a box and say, okay, no I know how clockworks note you have destroyed it but you of our works and perhaps those explanations destroy our our view that animals are just wonderful. When you see it, it's a machine, for example, Orca near when you look at the brain and I K can sleep by by just one rain half and the other one is still awake or things like that, and you go deeper and deeper and say, oh, that's how it's years are working and the stole Megan what's ever many have a explained machine. Because you have cut it into. into little parts into the parts themselves, they are not wonderful. And that's I don't like explanation a nature explanation by done by this, it's like having a show which which which. Cuts a pick into parts and sell it in front of its and now. I know how pick worse? Have another big. And have you ever seen a whale. Yeah yesterday. Wow. Can you tell us about? Made also, in Norway several times way Jane yesterday on our way back from. Greg. Phillips Arms. We saw humpback whales Yeah, it's really really wonderful to hear them breathe. Love this that sound it did just just don't have to f anything other. I. Don't have to come very close to them. Just went away to hear the real thing. It's it's wonderful to. Then everything fields com. Few peaceful. Wonderful. Feeling. That seems like a perfect place tenders. Thank you so much time. Thanks for doing this. Thanks again for checking on scanner during these surreal times, scanners produced in Sandwich BC traditional territories of the worst Senate songs. This people's if you like what we're doing and one help assure more strays but. And the environment more often please join scans pod Patriot dot, com even in dollar month. Make this podcast possible sponsors for this episode include Joan, Watterson, Solomon Siegel sign. McNair dare learn Robert Edison Nancy. Campbell and Yosef loss. Please subscribe to Podcast, enter, newsletter, and check out our show at scanning dot org. Follow us on social media. Share the show with your friends shirt with strangers. Everyone's laws more times listen these days. If. The show doesn't I'm Rachel. Motto. Motto has a podcast cool. Scans produced by the always awesome Raymond. Associate Producer and audio Engineer Isabella mushy audio engineer, social media, and so much more Asia Rattigan our web wizard is Katie around. We've also all sorts of help over the last few months from Michigan Coal Flick Bells went Hassan and Brian Murphy skin steam scanner. Abramson. Since. Peter. And I talked about this in the episode. What else could we possibly end off this episode with but a song by our friends the arrogant worms aband- We support on Patriots Dot Com. This is their classic. CARROT JUICE is murder. This. Brothers and sisters come here desperate urban town I speak of our friends off name trapped in third like jam. Vegetables live off Russian served on our tables each nights. This killing of veggies is madness I say we take. Our own me or murderers. Three. Day don't happy. Her out his. Three. Of. The. Swat gene their stadiums being adding their inside for. Steam with no mercy. Eli. Shoots, murder and NAT surreal houses prisoners falsely. The Straw. Gardening Sturdy as much. Spare. Keys eighties. I saw manning's salary. So alive beats him black and blue if he ever touches us, browse again by Tim, clean. Shaven. To. I'm opponent. G Congress stone trapped in no windowless cage 'cause I stunned this loud her RAV turnips by killing five. Arrays. Heights all. sentient speed. My mind. Our. Farmers again just. On more call me. On this green vegetable. Watching Stevens being. Aaron sized. Steam with no. Read That being. Hurts. Soon. To choose murder and NAT? Surreal? By This gardening. To. Spain. Eight is. Still. Making Young. Bleed. By. James. Lance. Ask. Scream screams concern. Speaking as Sir. Steam with no mercy you fat Mesa Power. Sees constitutes murder. Falsely. Yes. Darkening eight. Spain Spain. Spain. Spain is made as. A new?