Jeffrey Masson on Our Fear of Being Eaten

A young crocodile who utters a distress call will bring immediate help from completely unrelated adult crocodiles, even if it means risking their lives…Obviously this altruism does not extend to us.  Saltwater crocodiles kill approximately one person every year in Australia.  The same is true, more or less, in North America, where between 2000 and 2010, the American alligator killed thirteen people.  In sub-Saharan Africa, however, it is believed that the Nile crocodile kills hundreds (possibly thousands) of people each year.

We are not prey for most supreme predators, but we are for crocodiles it would seem.  They happily consume us.

Read the full post and wish Jeffrey Moussaieff Masson a happy birthday here! (Birthday is the 28th; post timed to catch it in the New Zealand time zone.)


Banner photo from: 

The True Nature

Meg profileVeganism is about, primarily, non-exploitation. Making it about the animals is like making feminism about the females. Not only does it maintain and enforce the separation and hierarchy of us and them – it creates a victim group, leaving little room for a perception of the true nature of anyone involved.
– Meg Graney

Thank you, Meg, for that thought for today, and…happy birthday!

I Dreamt of a Close Encounter With a Coyote-Wolf

I had been separated from my group.

I saw the animal with an untidy grey-buff coat, somewhat slender but imposing, wolf-sized, unquestionably moving in my direction.

The correct advice jumped through my thoughts: Don’t run. Stay with other people. If alone, wave your arms and look big. I glanced sideways to ascertain whether the other people I’d been with were within range. No.

I ran—a this-isn’t-really-running run. The coyote matched my pace, coming closer. There was no getting away. I thought I might well be chewed up momentarily. I imagined the wounds, the emergency room. With my whole being I would strive to turn the media to call for understanding and respect. All of this flashed through my mind in an instant.

Now, the coyote-wolf was at my hand. I averted my eyes, so as not to be a threat, and blanking out my own fear. My hand swept over the muzzle of the being in charge of my immediate fate.  And the being paused, having felt my hand, and looked at me closely, and then moved off. I felt a surge of emotion—of awe.

Who would have the temerity to try to tame such an animal, to make such beings belong to us?

“I just saw a coyote-wolf hybrid.”

The person I told, some official in the area, asked, “Did you chase the animal off?”

“No. I ran. And that was no good, so I stopped. We got close enough to touch. I didn’t plan to—there is no reason for alarm.”

The official answered:  So-and-so would have just loved to have seen that coyote-wolf. I left my story to be told and woke up, knowing. That is exactly how I’d behave. With that coyote-wolf, at least.


 

Image: Eastern coyote, from ForestWander.

One Day in January

One day, the ears of those

With the fake festive deer

On their lawns

Awakened

To the breathing

Of the living ones, and those

Whose homes they took for lawns.

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Photo: White-tailed deer running by Jeff Houdret