Its so easy for us to get lost in the beauty of nature, to admire the wonderfulness of the animal kingdom and the grand variation that it comes in. And even stop to wonder at the fact that, at the end of the day, we all function on the same principle of eating, drinking, sleeping etc. We practically share the same biological systems of body organs with all other mammals and many non-mammals.
But apart from this similarity in the way that animal bodies function, there seems to be another factor that is the same. It’s the nature of life itself.
When you think of a jungle, you think of all kinds of animals company-existing. You think the same thing if you think of the ocean. Full of beautiful variety of lifeforms. But if you ever have the opportunity to look closer and observe for a length of time, you will see other things.
The ultimate nature of life seems to be a cruel one. Each animal is a prey for some other. There are no friends. If indeed, they feel fear like humans, then they would live in constant fear of their respective predator.
I have several birds coming to the garden in my home. Some very lovely ones. A joy to behold. And then one day I noticed it. No two birds ever come close together. They do not eat or drink at the same spot at the same time. Unless they are doves. And never if they are of different species.
In fact certain birds are always charging the other ones away if they come close. Especially if they are bigger. The birds are wary of each other. I am not sure if they will actually hurt each other but they are wary of each other. They want to stay away from each other. They do not like each other.
Now if you think about this with reference to the same gamut of emotions that humans posses, what does it tell you? If they feel like we do then for the most part they do not like each other. They are even afraid of each other. Suddenly the same sight that you saw as tranquil and peaceful takes on another aspect altogether. It is not a tranquil situation for the birds.
I once read somewhere something to this effect by an author who saw the same thing. He wrote, and I am paraphrasing, “can you imagine the constant fear and struggle and pressure that animals in the wild live under?” Meaning to say that they are constantly under a struggle to survive, and feed and hide from predators. The predator thing mostly doesn’t work otherwise how else would the food chain work?
The lion is the apex predator in a jungle. No one hunts him. Although not quiet true. He has to fight other lions to keep his territory and his mates. The lionesses have to do the same to protects their cubs from there lions and their mate from other lionesses. Other lions will kill clubs not born to them. To cut out the potential competition.
What does all of this remind of you off? Aren’t these the same perils that the human society is fraught with?
It is the same everywhere. I gave the example of birds because of the way they are viewed by most of us. We do not see the background of existence. It is cruel and un-forgiving. That is just the nature of how life functions. Recently, I saw a cat pillaging a doves nest and eating of the young chics in a flash.
The amazing animal documentaries that you see on Discovery and NatGeo. The Elephant migration and movement in the Great Plains. I see it all differently now. They were things of wonder before. Now you see the enormous struggle they go through for survival. Its the same thing over and over again, every year.
Its the same thing for lions in Africa. When the dry season comes, it’s a fight for survival and they barely make it to the time when food is available again. Many do not.
So if this is the nature of life, I wonder why… When it could have been anything.. Is this the only way it can function? Think about it. Would it have worked if we could just live off the oxygen in the air? No need to struggle for food. What would one live for then?
Right now, the one thing that you need to do conclusively and deliberately is feed and hydrate yourself. You have been doing that since the say you were born. If you missed a couple of days, you would not be alive. Someone has fed you since the day you were born. Food as been available to you every time. That is quite something to wonder at, if you stop to think about it.
Life in nature is cruel. One thing feeding off another. Hunting. Killing. It’s going on with almost all lifeforms. But that makes me wonder about something else.
I am looking at this from the lens of human emotion. Maybe the animals do not feel the anxiety that humans do. Otherwise how would they deal with the constant pressure of being someone’s prey? To be always on the lookout to survive?
A deer, a bird, a cat can all be tranquil beings. Inspite of being out their in the great wild. Maybe that it how they fool us into believing that all is serene and beautiful in their world. And that is how we look into nature to find peace within us.