I recently read a paper published in 2010 by Oscar Horta University of Santiago de Compostela entitled, “Debunking the Idyllic View of Natural Processes: Population Dynamics and Suffering in the Wild.” (accessed through Faunalytics.org)
Horta mentions that we have some romantic idea of what it must be like for animals to live in the wild and do not consider the suffering experienced with these animals, such as the pain of mating, giving birth, and dying.
It’s true, you know. Some of us humans are so hell-bent on animals not suffering that we inadvertently cause them greater suffering. So we fly animals cross-country to increase their odds of adoption and place them in sketchy rescues that turn out to be fronts for hoarders.
We feed wild animals such as birds, raccoons, and even bears, then wonder why those animals start hanging around areas inhabited by humans and spread disease, and in some cases are eventually killed.
We see people taking in baby wild animals like deer and opossums and rearing them because otherwise they’ll die. Then when the animal cannot survive in the wild (because they weren’t taught how), they’re kept as pets.
We humans don’t think we should have to suffer, either. And yet, life is about suffering. People will be harmed physically. Emotionally. They will hurt. They will die.
I cause pain to people just by doing the job I do. No one likes to see me knock on their door, and know a painful experience awaits once the door is opened. But that has never bothered me, and I’m more than willing to put a little heat up under someone, because I know that, for most of us, it’s only when we hurt enough we are willing to change.
In Nature, babies die soon after birth-more die than live. Animals starve. They are brutally killed by other animals who must eat them to survive themselves. That’s the way Nature works.
We humans, however, have decided we know better than Nature, and we want everyone to live. Since we have no natural predators, our invalids and challenged individuals survive. More of our children survive than don’t, and we punish mothers if they don’t do everything in their power to keep their babies alive, even if it means sacrificing themselves in the process.
Because we have adopted this way of thinking, we are tapping the Earth’s resources, making it impossible for many of the other species of life to survive, and making it likely that eventually we, too, will suffer and die as a species.
We are so afraid of a little suffering that we will bring about our eventual demise.