The Water Buffalo and the Lions
I was recently watching a NatGeo program depicting animal struggles, and it was heart-wrenching to see a herd of water buffalo distressed and angered by a pride of lions who had killed one of their own.
As the lions were feasting on the buffalo’s fallen family member, the herd refused to leave their brother and gathered around him.
They were so angry and distraught that they soon extracted their revenge.
They managed to corner one lone female lion, and tossed her about with their powerful horns like a rag doll, her pitiful cries of pain echoing out.
I could hardly watch.
Soon, the queen of the jungle was dead.
It reminded me of how both hunter and hunted are sometimes victims and that pain and suffering are not exclusive to either.
I felt for both the water buffalo and the lioness, equally caught up in the cruel web of nature.
And then I thought of how man uses and abuses animals for his own desires, pleasures and fun, and that at least with the lioness, as well as the buffalo, you could understand the killings, although distressing to watch.
But with man, when there is no need to cause suffering or death to other creatures, it’s a different story.
And of course with these wild creatures there is at least a somewhat even playing field–sometimes the lions win and sometimes the buffalo win; they are both formidable.
Not so in man’s world of factory farms and slaughterhouses.
In these living hells, there is no way for an animal to defend itself from the dominance of man; they have no ability to fight back–tortured daily and killed mercilessly, without recourse, without a ghost of a chance.
Wild animals may seem cruel, but they are only acting on survival instincts, and in the case of the water buffalo killing the lioness, perhaps a bit of payback, but certainly mostly a desire to eliminate their enemy so that she wouldn’t live another day to again kill a member of their herd.
We are the cruel species, for our cruelty is chosen consciously, and we don’t have to choose it to survive.