Does ‘move to human beat’ mean to act according to what humans want?

For many people, wildness is what we experience when we go into the woods, ascend a mountain, or explore a desert. Wildness, from this perspective, refers to the unwieldy character of the more-than-human world. In the woods, things happen on their own—in a manner that is indifferent and often resistant to human design. As the word’s etymology suggests, ‘wild’ things are self-willed. They operate according to their own unique dynamics. For Leopold and fellow conservationists, encountering things that refuse to move to a human beat is a rush; it enlivens life. For most others, however, it spells annoyance and peril.”(Excerpt From Is Wildness Over? By Paul Wapner)

1 Answer 1


to move to a beat = to dance, basically, metaphor, live

refuse to move to a human beat = animals and insects and fish

Those organisms move to another beat.

There is a very old cliché in English: to march to the beat of a different drum.

A drum creates a beat; the sentence plays on that meaning. Animal life marches to the beat of a drum that is not the one humans march to. A nice image.

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