Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Nature Red in Tooth & Claw

I live in the country, with animals domestic & wild. I have no vision of Nature as fluffy & sweet. I've witnessed a flock of chickens with their heads ripped off by raccoons. My husband was startled by-- and startled-- a bear this summer as he was walking out to get the mail. I've seen what my well-fed cats do to animals smaller & slower than they are.

I love the ocean, yet am terrified by what it can do--I've sat on the beach & heard later that two people drowned there that same day--rip tides.

So, it's clear that the very nature & meaning of Natural is somewhat problematic...and that's why this is my favorite quote of the year

Do you object to vaccination? You'd probably object even more to smallpox.

It's from this article in The Chronicle of Higher Education by David P. Barash.

A really thoughtful discussion of our ideas of the meaning of Nature, & our connection to it, a& responsibility for it. Another excellent remark:

As beautiful as it is bountiful and awe-inspiring, life proceeds via the taking of life, and is therefore no less likely to be ugly, amoral, and awful. And we are stuck in it, up to our necks ... and more.

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