Since the evolution of mankind, a line has always been drawn between the species of the animal kingdom and the human race. Human intelligence and their ability to communicate and evolve at such a fast pace has long separated them from all other species on earth. But what really makes humans so different and isolated? Nothing more than a biased perception has forged this distinction and in actuality, humans are very much on the same level as other animals around them. Mankind has a place in nature just as every other animal does, and though it may be a driving and dominating force in the animal kingdom, it still resides among nature as a piece to the puzzle. Humans are at the mercy of nature; any number of natural disasters could crush mankind in one swift stroke. But humans understand this, they recognize the world will turn with or without them thus they successfully attempted to take an active role in nature's evolution. Still, with the knowledge they gained humans did not extricate themselves from nature, but rather made themselves the most intricate, involved, and dominate part of nature. .
As human societies spread across the world, they showed little concern for nature and the effects of their destructive path that they now regret and are desperately trying to reverse. As settlers moved across nations, they often destroyed any obstacle in their path, most commonly a species indigenous to the area. Primitive Eskimos drove the wooly mammoth to complete extinction, just as American frontiersmen killed off the buffalo hindering the production of railroads. They had no remorse for what they did because the animals stood in the way of progress. Only years later would man understand the value of his surroundings and understand the nature of which he is a part. As environmental awareness spread, more and more humans understood their place in the world. The notions of environmental protection that sprouted in humans showed they are "an integral part of what should be understood as the environment" (Cronon, 301).