My Octopus Teacher's Craig Foster on why we need to connect with our inner 'wild person'

Virgin Radio

3 Jun 2024, 14:10

Chris Evans and Craig Foster chatting in the Virgin Radio studio

Credit: Virgin Radio

Craig Foster, the star of the incredible documentary film My Octopus Teacher, has opened up about how we can better connect with our wilder selves.

Speaking on The Chris Evans Breakfast Show with webuyanycar, the TV star opened up about why we should all be trying to reconnect with our former wilder existence as human beings, despite the fact we now live in today’s modern world.

The author - whose book Amphibious Soul: Finding the Wild in a Tame World is out now - explained to listeners: “Early people [had] relationships with hundreds if not thousands of animals and plants, complex relationships, and [knew] thousands of these subtle signs.”



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As a result, they were “able to survive in this extraordinary world” he continued. “Compare that to a person today, who has a relationship with a phone or computer and maybe you know, a few people… it’s very different.”

However: “We’ve got that three million years of evolution sitting inside of us,” Foster stressed. “That wild person [is] just waiting to come out and re-remember all these extraordinary things… this knew stuff is not who we are. It’s just a veneer. 

“It’s wonderful… it’s beautiful,” he added. “But it’s completely imbalanced. We need that wild person to come back and give us some balance."

Gushing about how he was lucky enough to visit an island north of the Seychelles with “a near pristine environment” untouched by recent human developments, Foster shared: “It’s just incredible. It’s teeming with animals like- you throw a stone into the water, small sharks just come immediately to that stone.

“And just further out there are manta rays in trains, turtles surfacing everywhere, you know, birds just blocking out parts of the sun. The reef is just teeming, you can’t see the reef at times.” But the naturalist called the visit both “uplifting” and “heartbreaking”.

“After being there for a month, you feel uplifted… and at the same time, [its] absolutely heartbreaking, because you realise the entire planet used to look like that," he explained.

One of Foster’s main passions is campaigning about how humanity must focus its attention on protecting the world’s remaining wild world from further harm, particularly through preserving biodiversity. “We desperately need, as a species, to put our focus onto the one thing that is most critical for our future survival.

“The way we interact, regenerate, look after what I call the mother of mothers, which is all the plants and animals on this planet, and all their interactions; that is the fundamental thing that will determine how our children will survive, and if we will survive as a species.

"So," he finished: “What I’m asking is for us to put more tension, more money, more energy towards looking after that most precious thing that we will ever come across.”

Amphibious Soul: Finding the Wild in a Tame World by Craig Foster is out now.

For more great interviews listen to The Chris Evans Breakfast Show with webuyanycar weekdays from 6:30am on Virgin Radio, or catch up on-demand here.