by Kristin Ohlson
What if Nature is more cooperative, and less competitive, than we think?
A follow-up to Kristin Ohlson’s previous book, The Soil Will Save Us (Rodale 2014), Sweet in Tooth and Claw extends the concept of cooperation in nature to the life-affirming connections among microbes, plants, fungi, insects, birds, and animals – including humans—in ecosystems around the globe.
For centuries, people have debated whether nature is mostly competitive — as Darwin theorized and the poet Tennyson described as “red in tooth and claw”—or innately cooperative, as many ancient and indigenous peoples believed. In the last 100 or so years, a growing gang of scientists have studied the mutually beneficial interactions that are believed to benefit every species on earth. This book is full of stories of generosity – not competition — in nature. It is a testament to the importance of a healthy biodiversity, and dispels the widely accepted premise of survival of the fittest.