Beauty (Spectra special editions) (Paperback)
When she's exposed to the horrors of the near future, learns what her civilization has become, here's how she describes it:
We worship the gobble-god. We burn forests in his name. We kill whales and dolphins in his name. We pave prairies in his name. We have retarded babies in his name. We sell drugs in his name. We set bombs in his name. We worship him everywhere. We call him by different titles and commit blasphemies in the name of worship.
We were given magic to use in creating wonder, and the gobble-god has sucked it dry. His followers reject mystery and madness and marvel. They cannot tolerate questions. They can believe any answer, no matter how false, so long as it is a certainty nailed firmly onto the cross of money. They yearned for the rapture to come, without knowing they have killed rapture forever. (pgs. 320-21)
Sure, Natives burned forests and killed whales. But they didn't do it greedily or gleefully, because God ordered them to go forth and multiply. For instance, they were generally apologetic about killing animals, humbly thanking the Creator for the gift.
I trust it's obvious that I'm generalizing about Western and indigenous cultures. Please don't waste my time responding that not all Western practices were bad and not all indigenous practices were good. I already understood the point, decades ago, which is why I'm making general statements, not absolute ones. In case you hadn't heard, exceptions don't disprove the rule, they prove it.
Anyway, this theme is only one of many in Beauty. My reaction to the book is similar to this reviewer's:
For more on the subject, see Hercules vs. Coyote: Native and Euro-American Beliefs and The Best Indian Books.