In a previous post, I presented an article by ethicist Jeff McMahan on the issue of natural harms and predation. In it, McMahan argued that the fact that nonhuman animals suffer and die in nature is a very important issue that deserves our attention. I agree.
Most people’s attitude towards natural evils, and in particular predation, is a rather simplistic one. In fact, most people tend to see these evils as something good. In this post, I want to present an example of this attitude. It’s something we can see very clearly in this loathsome video:
This ghastly attitude of celebration of predation and other natural processes which means death and suffering for animals is at odds with the moral consideration of their interests.
There is a widespread view of nature as a pristine idyllic place in which animals live in paradisiacal conditions. This, unfortunately, is wrong. The scene this video shows is everyday life in nature.
We should definitely go beyond the disgusting attitude of celebration of animal suffering and death in nature displayed in this video. In order to do that, we should start by acknowledging that animals suffer terribly and die in many different ways in nature. There is no reason to keep this fact hidden. It is something we should be able to consider. Insofar as we are concerned with the interests of sentient beings, we should not dismiss this issue.
In fact, we should be able to change our view of natural processes and our attitude toward it. I really think that this is an issue we should think about.