I can't believe I haven't written about this before, but Ishmael by Daniel Quinn is one of my favorite books ever and consequently the movie Instinct (inspired by the book) starring Anthony Hopkins and Cuba Gooding, Jr. is one of my favorite movies. My dad, brother and I just watched it and I remembered me of how awesome it is.

Here's the general idea of both the book and the movie: humankind as we know it didn't always exist as it does now. We didn't always own land, or exterminate species including other humans just because we wanted to. We didn't eat more than we needed to eat or take more than we needed to take. We lived in the wild not outside it, and we lived with animals not in fear of them. In the simplest terms we were Leavers, not Takers. Takers have dominion over animals, subdue tracks of land all around them, store up excess animals and crops, kill all animals that compete with or kill the domesticated animals, and live under the illusion that it is their right and good to do all of these things. By contrast, as Anthony Hopkins says in the movie, "tribal societies - hunters, gatherers, planters. They never killed more animals than they could use. They never ploughed more land than they needed. They fought, but they never waged war. Never exterminated. They had a place in the world. And in the world, they were part of it. And they shared it." Ten thousand years ago we changed that. If you are interested in the rest of the story, I highly suggest both the book and the movie. As one reviewer from the Whole Earth Review said, "From now on I will divide the books I have read into two categories -- the ones I read before Ishmael and those read after."