In western thought, the natural world is perceived as those parts of the land and its inhabitants that are untouched by human activity and culture. Everything that is controlled by humanity is considered to be unnatural and the more civilized people become the more they yearn to be, as Dryden wrote in The Conquest of Granada in the seventeenth century:

as free as Nature first made man, Ere the base laws of servitude began, When wild in woods the noble savage ran.