I read the Illustrated Classic Edition of Treasure Island to my boys as they were supposed to be drifting off to sleep. When finished reading the book I started the same kind of book for Swiss Family Robinson. It was originally written by a professor, Johann Wise, born in 1781, the son of a pastor and a man of faith himself.
So far I have only read six chapters and I feel just awful about it. It seems every time I pick this book up to read to my boys some exotic animal is killed. It would be more understandable if the family had no food and were starving to death but the author makes it very clear that these marooned folks have more then enough from the beginning. It makes reading the kids a bed time story more like reading a horror story.
I figured that since I got this far with it I may as well make it a learning exercise by explaining to them how humans in the past didn’t think much of animals and well, I just had to add, women. Although much has changed and education has improved it is still a problem to this day.
Many of us now understand that you don’t just go to some newly discovered island and start killing random animals. Some of us have shed the god image that humans have adorned themselves with for centuries and chosen to open our minds up to the idea that animals and other genders and colors may also have thoughts, feelings, intelligence and such.
I’m not a vegetarian, but I respect the idea. Actually if I were in a better financial state I wouldn’t mind being vegetarian. But every now and then I seriously crave meat. Still, I don’t think it’s good to over due it. And in the case of the Robinsons, they had an abundance as it was and didn’t need to kill more to survive. I would say they had quite the god complex. If that story were true and more folks like them settled on the Island I am pretty sure all it’s resources and beauty would be used up and long gone by now.
I have seem the film several times but it’s been a long time so I don’t recall exactly how the film handles it. I don’t remember if I had read the book before or not.
I went through the small book and roughly wrote down most of the animals they killed. I may have missed some.
The dogs lived and so did the cow, mule, goats, sheep, pigeons, roosters, pigeons & ducks from the wrecked ship lived at least at first.
Found on island, lobster, oysters, agouti (native pig) for food
had lobster and biscuits, goose, dutch cheese,
found – fields of sugar cane, leafy green plants, coconuts,
Tuck (the dog) killed a monkey, the baby monkey happily attaches to one of the sons as a pet.
brought back from wreck: wine, butter, hams, sausages, sacks of grain, potatoes, hammocks,
chapter 3 & 4
shoots a shark to save animals swimming to shore
found on island: turtle eggs, figs,
kills porcupine then abandoned it
shoots and eats flamingo
caught 15lb fish
eats the kangaroo
finds on wreck: every species of European fruit, pear, peach, apricot, chestnut trees & vine shoots. (For planting)
kills and eats tortoise (sea turtle)
chapter 6 & 7
planted successful garden near water fall
kills and eats iguana after tickling it’s tummy
found guava trees, sweet acorns, cocoa trees
kills momma buffalo out of defense due to dogs
cuts hole in baby buffalo’s nose for string
tames an eagle after it killed a parrot
built bee hive
their animals reproduced
found onagra (wild donkey)
discovered salt mine
area full of fish and game
Chapter 10 & 11
kills stalking boa constrictor
kills and eats eel
tired but failed to kill wild cats
kills ostrich takes home one egg leaving the rest for later
kills, skins and eats bears
they relocate troop of antelope to hunt and tame
kills walrus, uses head to decorate boat
kills lion and lioness out of self defense