Nothing thrills the Waorani more than killing game and cutting down big trees. It’s what so many people don’t understand who haven’t lived in the forest. You don’t have to conserve what you don’t have the power to destroy. Harming the forest is an impossible concept for them. The fact that they use every part of an animal has nothing to do with a conservation ethic, and everthing to do with hunger.”
“They don’t know what it means to destroy.”
“They have no capacity to understand. In a world of such abundance, the word ‘scarcity’ has no meaning. It’s what makes them most vulnerable. It’s the same with their culture. When you’ve lived in complete isolation, how can you understand what it means to lose a culture? It’s not until it is almost gone and when people have become educated that they realize what’s being lost. By then the attractions of the new way are overpowering and the only people who want the old ways are the ones who never lived it.”
From One River, by Wade Davis.