When we are not overwhelmed by work or lost in our own self-preoccupation, it will eventually come to us, at least once, that the lives we lead are not quite as optimistic or as ordinary as it seems. It’s not to say that bad things exist and therefore we have reasons to be pessimistic. Rather, the entire enterprise of this world, upon whose founding principles we are forced to live by, is entirely macabre and sinister: our methods of sustenance must depend on the destruction of creatures who are entitled to living as much as we are.
To stay alive, you must see to the assured death of an organism, rip its insides out and hungrily consume its fluids, thus absorbing its energy for yours. This is most assuredly, the indisputable governing rule of the world. When you consume food, whether meat or leaf, you fuel yourself through the destruction of organisms who would fight as hard as you do to survive. And they would, if they were apex predators, do the same to us with the same care and concern we put out on the dinner table – that is to say, none. This is a world where survival is predicated on the mutual destruction of fellow living creatures.
And what goes on in our stomach is arguably even more repugnant. As if killing a creature isn’t enough, we dissolve its remains into distillable sources of energy, or if we ate vegetables, the plant fiber is reduced to indigestible cellulose, making our stomach the machine equivalent of an extremely powerful blender. And what’s left, is efficiently though inelegantly removed from our body as warm urine and excrement. Imagine a majestic creature, say a rooster in all its resplendence, basking in its vigour of youth, nonchalantly strutting around. We catch it, break it, and reduce it to nothing but lumps of brown feces and a puddle of waste. How’s that for reality?
We can pretend we have decency, or that these are ultimately means of necessity, but it doesn’t alter the fact that the logic for survival is horribly twisted – a sort of unholy matrimony between a deranged fiend and the shadowy abyss of a very dark mind. Setting aside humans for a while, every organism that has existed or gone extinct, for which each is more diverse and bizarre than the last, evolved with specific features that allow it to excel under certain environmental challenges. Long, regal claws, strapping muscles or a devilishly sharp mandible, these are all weapons of destruction evolved not for admiration but for the guarantee of landing a kill. All are built to consume and be consumed. Lives are expendable, and so dying and being eaten is a natural consequence.
It’s easy to miss out the some of the most successful specialists in coldblooded ruthlessness (whose methods that we have only recently understood). Viruses infect very specific cells by forcefully injecting its DNA into the host cell, hijacking its machinery to replicate thousands of virus copies, and then proceeds to explode the hapless cell from the inside out so that the entire process of infection may being anew. Just like that, these microorganisms can bring down even the most powerful beings in the world, and they in turn, are destroyed when their host dies. Truly, even at the microscopic level, war is waged endlessly, all at the expense of survival. And all participants are equipped with instruments of pain, death and destruction.
Optimism in this world, must therefore constitute some form of ignorance or pretense: those who seek religious comfort don’t bother questioning why this world is designed by a divine being who is clearly malevolent and outright sadistic; those whose nature predisposes them for cheerfulness, choose not to think so much, preferring to live life as it is. Living is a cycle, and we are, with no special exceptions, part of that. It’s not ordinary, nor is it normal, and such is the grim reality of the world we find ourselves in.
So have you thought about (HYTA) the grim reality of the world we live in?