Is Nature Cruel?
NebraskaLand Magazine (Doug Carroll, Jan/Feb 2010 pp.42-43) published an interesting article about two whitetail deer bucks whose horns were locked together. Although the landowner who found them tried, to save them, one was already dead, and the other was too weak to recover.
While Disney and various cartoons may suggest that nature is cute and cuddly, the reality is much starker than that. Every fall, bucks compete for dominance and the right to mate with various female deer. While many of these conflicts end without injury, deaths clearly occur. I could expand the list of species that employ violent competition between males but that would belabor the issue.
So my question stands as, “Is nature cruel?” You may think it is a stupid question. After all nature is neither moral or immoral. But if we agree that humans are part of nature and not separate from it, then we have another question, “If nature has harsh events that are completely natural, why do animal rights activists complain when humans harm animals too? Isn’t human behavior to be understood as completely natural?” Why should human behavior be understood or evaluated on different terms than those of other animals? Is it possible that humans are not animals?
I would be interested in your responses.
Copyright 2010 Stephen M. Vantassel