Kristin Ohlson - Author of Sweet in Tooth and Claw: Stories of Generosity and Cooperation in the Natural World


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Kristin Ohlson is the author of Sweet in Tooth and Claw: Stories of Generosity and Cooperation in the Natural World. Her other books include The Soil Will Save Us: How Scientists, Farmers and Foodies are Healing the Soil to Save the Planet, and Kabul Beauty School: An American Woman Goes Behind the Veil. Olson appears in the award-winning documentary film Kiss The Ground, speaking about the connection between soil and climate. Her work has appeared in the New York Times, Smithsonian, Discover, New Scientist, Orion, American Archeology, and has also been anthologized in Best American Science Writing, and Best American Food Writing.

"In some ways, our insistence on dominating is actually destroying us."

"It definitely is destroying us. It definitely destroys ecosystems. And I think part of the reason that this story of cooperation among living things appeals to me so much. I mean, in my book Sweet in Tooth and Claw, I look at the work of lots of scientists who studying how nature works and discovering all these incredible connections among living things that certainly help them thrive and help ecosystems thrive.

But I think it's this story of cooperation is important in terms of the story that we tell ourselves about nature, and seeing as how we are part of nature, it's important that we see ourselves as possibly a partner instead of a destroyer. I think that we have held onto the perspective that nature is all about competition and conflict. And when we shift that, when we look at nature as this vast web of interconnection and cooperation, and of course competition and conflict in there obviously in some places. But when we look at this vast web of cooperation and collaboration, I think that it changes our view. It changes our view of what's possible.

You know, instead of us trying to make order out of chaos, largely out of the chaos that we've created, we can instead look at the world as being held together and look for the places where the connections have been snapped, where the connections have been broken, and where we can roll back some of the damage that we've done and help those connections heal.”
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