KLook wrote:But as animals we are subject to the same basic laws in the end and nature will dominate nurture.
I think that is a true statement and confirms my view regarding our kinship with animals. It also denies the godlike status that humans pretend to have. It also contradicts much of what you wrote prior to that statement.
That animals have systems of morality has been confirmed in many studies. Wolves killing for fun is very much like mob mentality in humans. It is not the norm. We get along so well with the wolves we keep as pets ( as dogs) because their sense of morality is so close to our own. Being a different species there is not the hostility humans feel toward other humans not of their group. Morality is just another name for rules of behavior without which no species can survive.
Native Americans did have a mystical juju or spirituality. I don't think they made an environmental study as you imply, but rather recognized the pervasiveness of the forces of nature. A theology confirmed by what they saw around them and which left them unprepared when confronted with Europeans who lacked that basic understanding. Franklin reported that the chiefs he met in Albany thought white men were crazy. He also expressed his admiration of them.
Certainly animals are driven by food and sex as are humans.
Taking an anthropomorphic view of animals which is the ascribing of human traits to them is a no no in biology because it conflicts with our elevated status and denies our animal origins despite the millions and millions who see the very obvious human attributes in them and our kinship with them. Modern day theology or current mythology prefers ignorance to acting on what evolutionary and ethological studies has to tell us regarding human behavior. Maybe they are right since nature will out anyway.