The Man Who Tried to Live as a Badger, an Otter, a Fox, a Deer, and a Swift
According to Charles Foster, he’s spent most of his life living as an animal one way or another. From infancy, Foster was obsessed with trying to figure out how animal minds worked, and he has tried living as a badger, an otter, a fox, a deer, and a swift.
With this son, Foster practiced living outdoors as a badger, and as an otter he and his children learned to recognize own another by the smells of their droppings.
Foster also tried to be a deer, but met with less success. Foster grew out his fingernails and hair, and had a friend’s bloodhound chase him through the forest so that he could experience what it was like to be hunted. He admits that this was a failure, however, because he couldn’t “come down the pyramid and become a victim.”
Paragliding and eating worms got him closer to the life of a swift, but he was most successful as an urban fox, eating out of trash cans in London.