The way in which the human race views animals that live in the wild seems to be a “fighting to survive” live or die type of existence and mentality. A “tough” and “macho” type of energy. Although one cannot deny the fact that this type of existence is true for many different types of animals that live in the wild, it’s not a bad idea to ask ourselves if it’s always been that way.
If it has been then why? If it hasn’t then why not? If we take a closer look, it’s not hard to see that we’ve missed something very important when it comes to wild animals, so lets take a closer look at some of these questions.
Has It Always Been This Way?
There are many examples of altruism between different species in the wild, many instances have been caught on camera, a simple YouTube search would suffice. It’s likely that the percentage of altruism between different species could be much higher than observed given the fact that the wild animal activity that is able to be filmed in the wilderness isn’t even a fraction of the total activity that takes place. Unfortunately, the opposite viscous portrayal, one that is far from the truth is usually glorified.
The view that animals are nothing but beasts for us to consume and observe for entertainment has dominated our thinking for decades, and as a result we’ve become desensitized to how we treat them and how we view them.
Truth is, wild animals are very special creatures that we can co-exist with, interact with, and in some cases befriend. That’s not to say if you go out into the wild, a bear or a lion will not eat you. In some cases they might, but it is more likely that the human will be doing the killing. We must entertain and point out the fact that some lions, and some bears (just to use these two animals for examples) will not engage in that type of activity. At the end of the day, animals are individuals just like humans. What some do, and the activities that some chose to partake in might not be the same as everybody else. Different animals perceive reality from different “levels” (for lack of a better term) of consciousness.
This alone makes it clear that the way many of the masses still view animals in the wild is a little off. That’s not to say that it isn’t a world of scarcity out there, and that they don’t do what they have to do. At the say time, who is to say that there is no feeling of remorse, guilt or sadness for having to do so? Why do we not view animals in that light? Why do we view animals in a view that portrays lower intelligence when many times they demonstrate behavior that human beings can learn from?
Would animals even kill in the wild if it wasn’t necessary for their survival? There are countless examples of animals of different species befriending one another, here is a video of a lion saving a baby calf from another lion attack. Here is a video of a group of whales not eating a seal (which Orca whales commonly do). In fact, they were training their young and decided to put the seal back up on the ice when they were done.
It’s clear that cross species altruism can occur, the amount we see it today proves that.
Maybe one day our species will evolve to the point where we view animals in a different light, as equals, as gifts and as something to preserve and protect. Not abuse, use and kill.
Has It Always Been This Way?
Not only has the animal world been viewed as a “dog eat dog world,” so has the human world. Instead of cooperating with each other they seem to be in competition with each other. Animals living in modern day society have been driven to points of scarcity and loss of habitat, the environment that currently surrounds them is not best for many of them to achieve a peaceful state.
What if they already had everything they needed in abundance? Do you still think they would kill other animals if it was not done out of necessity? Do you think they only kill out of necessity? Today, humans kill for sport. We’ve been programmed and told what is important so much so that we have become desensitized to the sacredness of all life to the point where we act like it’s normal, that it’s always been this way, that it’s the right thing to do.
We have been killing, using and abusing them for a long time for various reasons, from food to consumer products and more. It’s no different from the Holocaust or any other genocide that’s taken place on the planet. It’s simply our lack of ability to view them in the proper light. Why should the killing of innocent wild animals be any different? Why do we look at them in such a light that is “lower” than us.
The “dog eat dog” mentality of the wild might not have always held true, and that being said it’s questionable whether all animals even need meat to survive, or whether or not they’ve always eaten meat in the first place, but that’s an entirely different subject.
There are a host of animals who are vegetarian, and several more who could be. Some evidence also exists that suggests our ancestors did not eat and hunt meat. A recent paper illustrated how Neanderthals have eaten much more plant food material than previously thought. (source) We must be careful to question what we think we know, especially when there is evidence that supports the contrary.
Using the behavior of modern day animal, focusing on moments of survival and necessity and our tendency to glorify that has contributed to a very backwards portrayal regarding the nature of animals and what they are really like.
Are animals simply reflecting what humans are doing on a mass scale?
Would wild animals really be so guarded, protected and violent towards one another if they were surrounded by a completely different environment? If you really think about it, the way we treat animals on this planet is horrible, and there are plenty of examples of that. If you visit organizations like Sea Shepard and PETA, to name a few, you’ll be able to see for yourself. We kill billions of animals a year and that’s just for food consumption alone. If I were a wild animal I’d be terrified of humans. We have not created a fit environment where we can co-exist together, we’ve created one where we are to be feared. We rape their land, destroy their homes and hunt them for entertainment.
Our perception and treatment of wild animals is a great example of how disconnected we’ve become to what is natural. It’s one of many great examples of change that needs to take place on a mass scale in order to shift the direction of our planet in a more positive direction that resonates with the masses.
Perhaps if we change the way we treated and interacted with them we would be able to have more experiences with them as well as change their perception of us, which can’t be good.
Essentially, wild animals seem to be reflecting and responding to human consciousness, to the environment that we’ve created for them.
We must tune in and get in touch with how others are feeling, regardless of the species. We are all interconnected and the best way to move forward is to recognize that connection and start operating (the human race) in ways that are more harmonious with the environment and all life on it.