Dog Eat Dog – “And To You It Shall Be For Food”

Several times a year the Vatican has children release and let fly white doves over the crowds in St. Peter’s Square as signs of peace. During one such release the horrified crowds witnessed a mid-air attack by a hungry crow and seagull when they killed the pope’s blessed doves.

To prevent this brutal contraindication of papal peace, the Swiss Guard acquired a female Harris Hawk with a four-foot wingspan. Like Michael armed with a sword in his hand, the hawkeyed bird of prey perches at the ready to slay these winged dragons who dare to publicly eat the holy symbols of peace.

Nature being what it is – when the crows and seagulls attack the doves outside of the basilica’s protective embrace of the maternal arms of Mother Church, it is the business of eating as usual.

One of the supreme laws of basic life is that each living thing is potentially a good meal for another living thing.

Spiritual beliefs aside, it’s the anatomically material body that is the real driver behind life and death.

Even to eat a dead corn-on-the-cob you still have to pluck it while it’s alive in the cradle of its silky husk.

Both a gazelle and a lion must eat freshly acquired food; the former, the savannas grasslands, the latter, the gazelle.

The strikingly similar pattern of digestive systems in all species that consume, swallow, digest, absorb nutrients and expel waste is the common denominator of all alimentary life as we know it. For mammals, birds, insects, and fish, the viability of life begins with the mouth.

And, it is the foodstuffs in this common esophageal trek from the mouth to the anus that keeps this earthly brotherhood of creatures alive.

Therefore, among the first and strongest points of reference that these creatures possess throughout life – is hunger. We wake up to it every day. It is the inherent, essential feature of “the survival of the fittest.”

Because of it, we humans live in a dog eat dog world. We will do anything to eat to survive, even if it means putting other people and other creatures in harm’s way.

So why does our brutality go far beyond nature’s day to day needs?

Sometimes in philosophy and science we can stop asking why.

Humans have, in fact, acquired an inflated opinion of its own self-importance where fierce competition replaces peaceful cooperation. Particularly, following the rise of the Industrial Revolution and corporatocracy, we foster a culture that willfully harms each other and planetary resources in order to survive. (The motto of corporations is “to maximize profits by any means necessary.”) Moreover, collectives of human beliefs, irrational or not, are a primary component of this self-destructive lifestyle where we place “oneself at the core of one’s world with no (or reduced) concern for others.”

Evidence of why humans are a violent species is all around us. Given that we excel at going over the head of Mother Nature, much like Icarus overwhelmed by the thrill of flying, we are flying too close to the sun. Humans take competitive instincts far beyond the borders of necessity.

It is, in fact, a classic case of why we are and likely will remain our own worst enemies.

It isn’t that we can answer questions needed to achieve peace close to home and around the world. We do have a few beacons from a stellar cast of great minds. Stephen Hawking, reminds us how “small and pointless” we are and sees us as merely bipedal creatures who are “just an advanced breed of monkeys on a minor planet of a very average star.” That is a cosmic broadside from the greatest mind on Earth.

Retired Harvard biologist and naturalist, Edward O. Wilson on the other hand, in his recent book, “The Meaning of Human Existence,” writes in a direct and unambiguous way, “The great religions are sources of ceaseless and unnecessary suffering. They are impediments to the grasp of reality needed to solve most social problems in the real world.”

Moreover, philosopher John Stuart Mill wrote in 1848: “It is lamentable to think how a great proportion of all efforts and talents in the world are employed in merely neutralizing one another.”

White doves of peace? Maybe…but somewhere on other living planets in our singular universe are intelligent creatures who likely got it right. It’s a damn shame it wasn’t us…

~Vidda Crochetta

Comments | 7

  • Apropos

    Ironically, you’ll probably have to endure/click-thru some targeted commercial…but the clip is worth it,  George Carlin  very much on point.

    • Great sheet like this

      Flying high with humor and intelligence – separate but equal. Together, they soar…

      For this genre of online community chat, where can you find great sheet like this?

  • Symbolism

    Symbols eating symbols. Hungry symbols. And the symbolism of a hunger strike.

    If one wants the world to be a better place, one works to make it a better place.

    It’s pretty simple, really. Almost too simple. Want peace? Be peaceful. There is much time, energy, and effort wasted on countering and not nearly enough spent on just doing.

    Plant some flowers on your drab street. Others see them and decide they can do the same. Before long, your street is a garden.

  • By the mere existence of his stomach

    “Even when I was a fairly precocious young man the nothingness of the hopes and strivings which chase most men restlessly throu8gh life came to my consciousness with considerable vitality. Moreover, I soon discovered the cruelty of that chase, which in those years was much more carefully covered up by hypocrisy and glittering words than is the case today. By the mere existence of his stomach everyone was condemned to participate in that chase. Moreover, it was possible to satisfy the stomach by such participation, but not man, insofar as he is a thinking and feeling being.

    As the first way out, there is religion, which is implanted into every child by way of the traditional education-machine. Thus I came – despite the fact that I was the son of entirely irreligious (Jewish) parents – to a deep religiosity, which, however, found an abrupt ending at the age of twelve.

    Through the reading of popular scientific books I soon reached the conviction that much in the stories of the Bible could not be true. The consequence was a positively fanatical orgy of freethinking coupled with the impression that youth is intentionally being deceived by the state through lies; it was a crushing impression.

    Suspicion against every kind of authority grew out of this experience, a skeptical attitude towards the convictions which were alive in any specific social environment – an attitude which has never again left me, even though later on, because of better insight into causal connections, it lost some of its original poignancy.”

    ~Albert Einstein – Notes for an Autobiography 1949

  • Vatican Litterbugs – Balloons for Peace

    Balloons, not doves, were released as a gesture of peace on Sunday in St. Peter’s Square, a year after an attack by a gull and a crow on the symbolic birds set off protests by animal protection groups. “Here’s the balloons that mean ‘peace, ” Francis said Sunday when children in the square let go of their balloons. (NYTimes)

    The mindless idiots in Vatican City are at it again. Released balloons are not only litter, but they are hazardous to wildlife and pollute the environment.

    • No peace for the possibly

      No peace for the possibly hundreds of birds that may become entwined in the deflated balloons or attempt to eat them and die a terrible death. And, yes, an environmental nightmare. Nothing peaceful about that.

  • All this and more seems normal to most

    Great piece Vidda! Kudos. You captured the (what is it?) idiocy? Crudeness? Of this stupid era. Stupid is considered equivalent to intelligence today because we don’t confront stupid. We simply let it go. And then it ends up devouring us. A few points of a different perspective – when people refer to “humans” or “human nature” they are not quite accurate. It’s not women who do the things mentioned, it’s almost always men. Sure a minuscule amount of women do engage in those characterizations, but look at the ratios – this is most important to get a nuanced view. Overall and overwhelmingly, it’s men. Another point – we must develop more trust with each other and believe that we humans are capable of a lot better. I think the reason for all this dystopia and killing is the structure imposed on us, the structure of hierarchy. Change the structure and the entire current one, dissolves. Instead of hierarchy, a “hub-and-spoke” framework where each sovereign is the hub, and the outreach we make to other sovereigns are the spokes. This exalts everyone according to their talents. Such a simple solution, yeah? Here’s a short vid. This structure will change the structure of our thinking and lift us from this pervasive barbarianism.

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