Chapter 1 -- Deep ecological 'Insectification': integrating small friends with social work

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Besthorn, Fred H.

Besthorn, Fred H. 2014. Chapter 1 -- Deep ecological 'Insectification': integrating small friends with social work. In: Animals in Social Work : Why and How They Matter Edited by Thomas Ryan, pp 3-17


As a child, I was raised in the vast, wide-open spaces of the boundless prairie grasslands of the central United States. This immense expanse is commonly known as the ‘Great Plains’. It was hot, dusty and windy, but afforded ample opportunity for out-of-doors play and exploration – a wild place of sorts, where birds, small animals and especially insects were prolific. During these formative years I forged deep connections with the wind-swept land, the wild flowers and grasses, and the tiny, ubiquitous creatures we simply referred to as bugs. I was particularly entranced by ants. I vividly remember spending hours tracking the movement, activities and community interactions of these small creatures as they navigated their way through the vast expanse of our backyard – an area that, from a child’s spatial perspective, seemed akin to hiking across continental North America.

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