Solutions for People, Animals and Environment
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Tales of WellBeing – Issue 4, May 2019
NOTE FROM THE PRESIDENT, ANDREW ROWAN
This issue of Tales of WellBeing has two items involving education – both humane and environmental. The “Tale” features the significant impact one individual has had in this arena. Marshall Rinquest is a key part of the success of the Greyton Transition Town project and an important educator – both environmental and humane – in the six villages that make up the Greyton/Genadendal community as well as more broadly across southern Africa (via the Reggae band of which he is a member). Our second item deals with the role of children’s literature in promoting humane and environmental education. Perhaps half of these stories feature animal characters, many of whom are as well-known as any human.

Marshall Rinquest – A Role Model for Environmental & Humane Education

Marshall Rinquest of Genadendal. GFAS Photo

South Africa, like many countries around the world, is struggling to balance the needs of the environment as well as the development and infrastructure needs of the people. The Western Cape (in the southern portion of the country) is the home of a unique Cape Floral Region – Fynbos (which translates as “small leaf”). Fynbos is one of the five floral kingdoms in the world and it is only found in the southern tip of the African continent. Marshall Rinquest, who was raised and educated in the Western Cape, has become an important educator and role model for people who are fortunate enough to live in the region in the midst of Fynbos.
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Wumps on Wump World before the Arrival of the Pollutians. (Illustration by Bill Peet)

The Zoology of Children’s Literature
Andrew Rowan, May 16, 2019

For more than 200 years, children throughout the world have been learning moral lessons from stories heavily populated by both verbal and non-verbal animal characters. Whether we are talking about Peter Rabbit and Jemima Puddleduck fromBeatrix Potter, Babar the Elephantfrom Jean de Brunhoff,Winnie the Pooh and his friends from AA Milne, or the wild animals of African folk tales, these characters have enthralled and educated children the world over. Nevertheless, whenthe first volume of Anthrozoos was launched in 1987 (the first scholarly journal publishing material on human-animal interactions), there were very few articles or books examining the place of animal characters in children’s literature.That gap in scholarship is not as large as it once was. In this brief note, I want to call attention to a few special examples of literature for young children that deliver messages of respect for animals and the environment.

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