Ishmael is a talking Ape who is teaching a human about the world
Ishmael is an expert on captivity and ecology

Leavers and Takers

According to Ishamael, there are two kinds of Human cultures: Leavers and Takers

Leaver and Taker Religions

Holy Work in Taker Communities


“The story the leavers have been enacting here for the past three million years isn’t a story of conquest and rule.  Enacting it doesn’t give them power.  Enacting it gives them lives that are satisfying and meaningful to them.  This is what you will find if you go among them…

"…They’re not seething with discontent and rebellion, not incessantly wrangling over what should be allowed and what forbidden, not forever accusing each other of not living the right way, not living in terror of each other, not going crazy because their lives seem empty and pointless, not having to stupefy themselves with drugs to get through the days, not inventing a new religion every week to give them something to hold on to, not forever searching for something to do or something to believe in that will make their lives worth living.  And—I repeat—this is not because they live close to nature or have no formal government or because they’re innately noble.  This is simply because they’re enacting a story that works well for people—a story that worked well for three million years and that still works well where the Takers haven’t yet managed to stamp it out”.

Take-home Lesson

We have much to learn from indigenous hunter/gatherer societies about who we are as humans and
how to co-exist sustainably with nature

Return to World Food Issues Webpage