Reflections on the evil of nature - my encounter with a hawk. - VeggieBoards
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#1 Old 12-12-2015, 02:48 PM
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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.
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#2 Old 12-12-2015, 02:58 PM
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What is 'evil' and what is 'hell'?


Edit- hahahaha, I just realized this was my 666th post!

A plastic hutch is no substitute for a mother. Replace dairy, not mothers.

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#3 Old 12-12-2015, 03:16 PM
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I understand the anguish that you felt over the bird eating the babies. Your actions of killing the bird did nothing to save the babies lives so what was even the point. You killed it for doing what it does. The bird was doing what it was suppose to be doing. Nature is not evil at all it is neutral. Things take place in nature that we may or may not agree with. Before humans decided that we would make birdhouses watch these birds outside of their natural habitat, what took place in your yard would have taken place in a tree high up to where you could not do anything. I am not saying any of this to be cruel, but do you think what you did was humane? When Omni's say it about animals they kill the veggie world is in arms. How is this different?

I look at all animals ( except insects I confess) with admiration. They are all creatures of nature. We as humans are the top of the food chain. I must confess I have no plans of heading toward hell unless you are talking about Hell, Michigan. Just because you can stay calm does not make you superior to others or even more intelligent than they. There are pills that can obtain that same calmness as well (I am not trying to offend anyone just making a point.) There is a saying. Still waters run deep. We were as humans given a wide variety of emotions. We don't stay in a constant state of one all the time.
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#4 Old 12-12-2015, 03:37 PM
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I have a hard time believing you are a calm and peaceful person when you get your rifle and shoot a bird down for trying to survive. I might have shooed the hawk off and guarded the nest, but I would never have killed that bird. Just wow. Plus I am fairly certain in many areas this would be considered illegal. At least where I live.

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#5 Old 12-12-2015, 04:47 PM
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It may be cruel, but this hawk probably had nothing else to eat. A hawk would die if a hawk did not prey on small animals.
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#6 Old 12-12-2015, 05:09 PM
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yer, nature is cruel......it's the nature of reality......did you repair the birdhouse roof...?
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#7 Old 12-12-2015, 05:34 PM
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Reminds me of an episode of next gen. silicon avatar.
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#8 Old 12-12-2015, 06:10 PM
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Red-tailed hawks have about a 20-year lifespan if they aren't shot by humans. Same with eagles, which that bird you killed may have been.
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#9 Old 12-12-2015, 06:13 PM
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"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.
"


You don't sound calm, nor someone at peace. Your actions were that of an enraged vigilante who feels superior to other life.
As a human you have no need for an "inner carnivore" and exhibit nothing but hubris and specism.
You come across as a narcissist.

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#10 Old 12-12-2015, 06:36 PM
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@LedBoots Bacillus Anthracis, the organism that causes Anthrax, can survive for hundreds of years. What's your point? I guess we'd better not stop the Anthrax spores from growing and infecting things, they're just doing what they need to do to survive. It wouldn't be ethical to kill them when they've infected an animal, that's just nature.

@Blobbenstein I don't know what became of the birdhouse, this all happened well over a decade ago.

@Naturebound Sorry you feel that way man. I tried to shoo the hawk away at first but it wouldn't leave. The thing just perched itself up on a tree branch above the nest and glared down at me like it was the Raven from the Edgar Allen Poe poem. Your suggestion to guard the nest is very impractical, how long are you prepared to sit out there guarding the nest? How would you sleep? These baby birds had become like my pets, everyday when I saw the mom fly out I'd steal a peek into the birdhouse and look at their progress. It had become a daily ritual and I had an emotional attachment to them.

@Ladyjay , you say "We humans are at the top of the food chain" but what else is vegetarianism but a conscious rejection of your place at the top of the food chain? That's why I'm a vegetarian at least.
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#11 Old 12-13-2015, 12:08 AM
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You're wrong on so many levels that I'm not even sure where to begin. "Evil" and "hell" are religious ideas, human inventions. They don't exist for a hawk. There are aspects of the natural world that seem cruel to us. There is a good deal of fear, anguish, grief. There are horrors. There is also love, joy, playfulness, beauty. That's the duality of life. It's both. Perhaps the people who "are incapable of getting" that nature is evil understand this. Your view is remarkably simplistic. It's a vision of the world through a children's storybook-- painting yourself, of course, as a hero. Reality is much more complex than good versus evil.

You don't have influence over the actions of a hawk. You can't convince a hawk to act in a way that you consider to be ethical. Hawks have no concept of morality, and if they did and could argue their side, I'm sure that hawk could have told you that she had babies to feed, too, or how she'll wither and die if she doesn't feed. If you needed to kill to feed yourself and your family, you would have a solid argument against vegetarianism, too-- but you don't. You're also a human being with the ability to understand morality and to make choices accordingly, and you chose to kill. You could have refrained from killing, unlike the "evil" hawk, but you didn't.Your reaction was understandable, but it was not ethical and it certainly doesn't make you superior or enlightened. It was also not calm and calculated, but instead a reaction to the strong emotions you felt when seeing these babies in pain. Completely understandable, but not laudable-- just the same mechanism by which someone might flip off a fellow driver who cuts him off. It's strange that you think of yourself as above that.

There is no such thing as an "inner carnivore." This is, again, an example of a really simplistic worldview, an attempt to sort all of reality into good and evil piles. To be a carnivore is to have a physiological need for meat. That's all. There is no value judgment there, no choice-- it's a necessity. To be an herbivore is to be physiologically incapable of digesting meat. Again, this isn't a reflection on the moral character of herbivores. They CAN'T kill and eat others. It's not that they've made the decision not to, it's that they CAN'T, anymore than a hawk could choose not to kill and eat birds. To be an omnivore is to be physiologically capable of surviving either through violence or not, and it's because we are omnivorous that we can make a moral decision on what to eat. Without that capacity, veganism could not exist.
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#12 Old 12-13-2015, 01:47 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AdorableMogwai View Post
@LedBoots Bacillus Anthracis, the organism that causes Anthrax, can survive for hundreds of years. What's your point? I guess we'd better not stop the Anthrax spores from growing and infecting things, they're just doing what they need to do to survive. It wouldn't be ethical to kill them when they've infected an animal, that's just nature.


@Blobbenstein I don't know what became of the birdhouse, this all happened well over a decade ago.
Well, then the hawk might still be alive today, for another decade, soaring beautifully with his beautiful cry, if you had not killed him.

And telling an RN that a dormant bacteria survives for hundreds of years, comparing that to a bird's life, just made me laugh out loud. Why not discuss the 10,000 year old microbes found dormant in amber that were successfully revived. Are these comparable to a hawk?

Vs:
"Like many other members of the genus Bacillus, B. anthracis can form dormant spores that are able to survive in harsh conditions for decades or even centuries.[1] (wiki)

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#13 Old 12-13-2015, 02:34 AM
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MOD NOTE:


This thread violates the rules of Veggieboards by promoting violence against animals. Furthermore, taking the life of a hawk or eagle is a federal offence. This thread is being permanently closed.
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