Kill and Eat

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Today, Mr. Bumble Bee was on the menu. The Praying Mantis is one of the biggest and baddest predators in the insect world. The larger varieties have been known to take down small rodents and birds.

Nature is brutal, or indifferent rather. Everything has to eat. I spent a long time trying to force myself into veganism. I was never able to do it long-term. I know there are those who can, and in fact thrive on that eating style. I applaud them.

I don’t have a problem killing to feed myself. What I do have a problem with is cruelty. The factory farming system that the modern world relies on for food is rampant with cruelty and needless suffering. The Praying Mantis above has no interest in making its prey suffer. It is simply driven to kill and eat.

Most of the cruelty in the factory farming industry is driven by the insatiable need to make a profit. Money, as it has been said, is at the root of all kinds of evil. If profit were not a motive, then it would be unnecessary to suppress the scientific evidence that human beings don’t need to eat as much as we do, and that we do not need to eat as much meat as we do. It would be unnecessary to force cattle to eat an unnatural diet of corn, instead of the grass that they have evolved to eat. Sure, it takes longer to get them to “market,” but they would have a life. Our prey animals deserve to have a life. After all, they give everything to us in the end.

I guess as long as I’m eating ground chuck from Krogers, I don’t really have a moral leg to stand on. However, I aspire to live differently. I am in the process of learning to make more ethical choices. We should all strive to do the right thing. Doing the right thing has a price, but it’s not as high as the price we all pay for not giving a shit.

The World on the shoulders of a Bee

20161010_100613I spend my break most mornings reading on the bench just outside of my workplace. It’s a pretty nice space. There are several shade trees and the very fragrant shrubs that you see in this photo. As I was passing them this morning I notices that there were several bumble bees on the various blooms. That’s not unusual at all. The bees often frequent these bushes. The unusual thing was that they were not moving. They seemed to be sleeping.

It was a cool morning, but not cold. I suppose it was just cool enough that the bees had gone into a temporary hibernation. I studied them for a few minutes. These creatures are truly fascinating. So small, but so, so essential. The bees work tirelessly, day in and day out. They have a symbiotic relationship with the plants. Without them, many plants cannot reproduce; many of which we depend on for our survival.

The earth seems so large. How could we small humans ever really hurt it? It’s an illusion. The truth is that the biosphere, the living part of the world, is a fragile system of systems. It’s like a giant Jenga tower. If you pull out too many little blocks, the whole thing comes down.