In an attempt to circumvent enmity toward genetically modified foods, Danish scientists are proposing what they claim is a precision breeding technique called “rewilding.” It is named rewilding because it mixes current genes from a plant with ancient genes of the same plant (old genes that were either lost or bred out somewhere along the way). The name sounds harmless, even restorative, and would likely be labelled non-GMO in the US because the genes are modified from the same plant. It could even be labelled “organic” if the introduced gene is determined not to be “foreign.” Like most genetic experiments, it is difficult to know the efficacy of this technique or if it ever will be successfully introduced. The outcome of the initiative notwithstanding, I find the name “rewilding” troubling. It reminds me of other similarly deceptive euphemisms, such as “tax relief” for millionaires. Who could be against “tax relief?” It sounds like a laxative, something we need to make it through the day.
Rewilding is exactly what we need—but not through genetic breeding. We need to rewild by reconnecting with what is wild in Nature and within ourselves if we are to save humanity and many of the other species with which we share this planet. Rewilding is a biological imperative.
So, how do we do this? One important way is to use our mind and our thoughts differently, in ways that reconnect us with our wild roots. These ancient ways of instinctual and intuitive thinking are not obsolete, just suppressed, and their recovery could help promote emotional and spiritual healing. We all need a sense of belonging, especially now. But modern abstract thinking has produced the opposite result—separating us from our “environment.” This fosters alienation, depression, and if untreated, violence.