The Evolved Nest

The Nature Way of Raising our Children and Communities

by Darcia Narzaez and G. A. Bradshaw (Foreword by Gabor Maté, MD), North Atlantic Books (2023)

North Atlantic Books (2023)


Imagine feeling unconditional love and complete trust. Imagine the comforting embrace of an ever-present caring community and the opportunity to grow and thrive in wellness. This is what wild orcas, bears, and elephants experience every day. It’s how our ancestors and present-day earthcentric cultures live, within Nature’s gift economy, fostering respect for all life. Animal and human parents share something else—the evolved nest.

Evolved nests are developmental systems which provide for species–specific needs of young through responsive care, positive climate, and affectionate touch. Each species’ nest has been perfected through evolution to optimize offspring health and well-being all the way from conception, gestation, childhood, through adulthood. In this way, Nature’s design directly connects child-rearing and ethics to individual, community, and ecological health. Every species learns to thrive in mutual benefit.

Today, the human nest has drastically changed and degraded, harming the well-being of children and the natural world. What happened? At some point, precursors of today’s dominant culture—representing less than 5% of the archeological record—broke with Nature, abandoned the evolved nest, and begat a socially and ecologically tattered world. Forced incursion by the dominant society has caused earth-centric human cultures to suffer egregiously. Orcas, Elephants, and other wildlife struggle to maintain the health of their young and communities.

The Evolved Nest: The Nature Way of Raising our Children and Communities describes how to restore a wellness directed culture that supports human flourishing in balance with Nature. The need for restoring nest consciousness could not be greater. The stakes could not be higher.

Accompanied by science and photo illustrations, The Evolved Nest journeys into Orca, Octopus, Elephant, and other animal lives to re-discover humanity’s earth-centered heritage. This book provides a fascinating resource for Nature advocates, parents-to-be, child-free couples, families with children, teachers, health practitioners, animal-lovers, and anyone seeking to restore well-being on this planet. By describing models of how to achieve this vision, The Evolved Nest shows how we can regain lives which thrive in peace and wellness with the rest of Nature’s family.