Friday, April 3, 2009
During class when we discussed "The Ledge" and tragedy, I was thinking a lot about untimely death being considered tragedy to humans, but when it happens in the animal world, although it is generally viewed as sad, it's "nature." In the plains episode of Planet Earth, a young caribou is stalked, killed, and eaten by 2 wolves. Now, although this scene evokes a lot of emotion, particularly because it is a cute young little animal being viciously torn apart, it is still nature. It's all a part of an ecological interaction. Also take into consideration natural selection. If you're not strong enough, you're dead. However brutal it may seem, it is a well accepted part of science, biology, and life in the animal kingdom. Animals may die when they are young or before "their time" when they are eaten or subject to some natural disaster that kills them. But again, this is all what we view as part of nature. When the tables are turned on humans, though, and a person dies young or in some sort of accident, we view it as tragedy, not nature. The fisherman and the young boys died an untimely death in part because of the harsh environment they were in, and their death was classified as a tragety. What then, makes that any different than something like an animal dying in a flash flood? The way we view "tragedy" and our "oh well, that's just nature" attitude towards the untimely deaths of people and animals just shows another way of how human society separates itself from nature.