Reflections on the evil of nature - my encounter with a hawk.
One spring several years ago I was frequently doing yard work for my mom. Both my parents were avid gardeners, and over the years they had put up many bird houses too. As I was doing yard work, I noticed that in one old and slightly dilapidated wooden birdhouse with a small gap in the roof edge, there were eggs. Some weeks later, I noticed the eggs had hatched and there were baby birds. As I did weeding and other chores around the yard I would frequently see the mother busily gathering food and flying back and forth from the nest to feed her newborns.
One day I heard a commotion, many birds were chirping rapidly in alarm. The chirps were loud, it was like the birds were screaming. It was coming from the nest. I looked over and there was a large hawk perched on the birdhouse, it had pried the rest of the little wooden roof off and it was eating the babies right in from of the panicking mom. I ran over and shooed it away, but I was more frightened of it than it was me. I'd not seen a bird that large before up close and it was intimidating. In response to my shooing, it just flew up to a branch right above the birdhouse and glared down at me. I yelled for it to go away, but it just sat up there, staring. It wouldn't leave. It was waiting for me to go away so it could continue eating.
I went in the house and got a .22 rifle. When I came back it was back on the birdhouse. I aimed and shot it, it fell to the ground and started hopping around. I quickly shot it again and it fell over. I walked over and it was still breathing, it looked me right in the eye and there was nothing but fear and anger there. It was the eye of a predator, a creature born to kill. I quickly put the barrel to it's head and fired the final shot that ended its existence.
After this I went to the birdhouse and looked inside, the babies not already eaten were dead, their fragile bodies mauled and dismembered by the beak of the hawk. Over the next weeks their bodies decayed and desiccated.
Was it illegal to kill a large bird of prey? I don't know, I'm not sure what species it was. I had to do it though. I couldn't sit and watch passively as that thing killed the babies in front of the mom, and anyway, the statute of limitations has long since run out so I can now tell this story.
When we become vegetarians and vegans many of us are soon confronted with some variation of the argument "But it's natural to eat meat! Look at all the animals in nature eating each other." Some vegetarians, when confronted with this cognitive dissonance, draw a line between themselves and nature. "Natural predators have no choice, people do" they say, and thus, they absolve nature of its inherent evil and continue looking at it as some beautiful, majestic thing. My response is different, "Yes it's natural, but nature is evil." is my response. Most people can't seem to wrap their heads around this elementary concept. "But..but...nature just exists, how can something that exists that man didn't create be evil?" For many people, they simply seem incapable of getting it.
As we go about our lives we inevitably get in conflicts with others and the natural instincts of aggression rise to the surface, this is our inner-hawk, our inner-carnivore coming out. Many people look at predatory animals with admiration. They look at creatures like hawks, lions, and wolves as things to be emulated. They seem powerful, they're at the top of the food chain. But the food chain is oriented towards hell, the further you go on it the closer to hell you get. When my instincts of aggression rise to the surface, I just ignore them. When people insult me, cut in front of me in line, flip me off in traffic, or do similar things, I just turn away. Some people have told me, "I admire how calm you are. I would have exploded into a rage there." But it's easy to be calm, because in doing so I know that I'm better than other people and that I'm on a higher and more intellectual existence than them. If it was absolutely necessary to unleash my inner-carnivore I'd do it, but in a logical, not instinctual way. For the most part I enjoy being peaceful and understanding with others, and the pride it brings when people remark on my calmness.