What do you immediately think after reading this headline from a recent article on Mashable?
“Five hungry sharks eat whale carcass in terrifying footage. It’s a shark feeding frenzy. This is the stuff of nightmares.”
Do you start feeling threatened by sharks, worried that their nasty nature is to hunt you down and eat you – possibly in order to wipe out all humans? Could this headline, perhaps, be just a little dramatic? Couldn’t it have read instead:
“Five happy sharks happen upon the biggest meal of their lives! Have a grand time eating and rejoicing over their awesome food find!”
I’ve been noticing this who drama-trend (or, let’s call it what it really is: click bait) a lot lately on the web but also in my own home. This weekend, my husband took down a hornet’s nest. Of course I understand that we can’t have hornet nests around the pool, especially when we have a bunch of teenagers hanging out, but when I asked Kevin why he did it the way he did it (spraying this poison on the poor hornets who were gasping for life on the pavement) he said, “those bees are really NASTY! It was the only way because they are so mean!”
For me though, it was his choice to use the word “nasty.” I really question if nasty, BAD animals truly exist at all. Weren’t those hornets just doing what evolution has taught them to do? They were protecting their home, their babies, and their well-being. Yes, they protect themselves by burrowing into wood to create a safe home and they attack and try to sting anyone who violates that (my dog Tuukka and I learned this the hard way this summer) – but it is not because they are mean or nasty. It’s because they are in survival situation and they’re fighting tooth stinger to survive.
Have YOU ever had to fight for survival like that? If so, I bet you used every single tactic available to you! And because of that fight, did other people determine that you were a bad person?
No, no one said that. You were probably congratulated for being such a tough fighter. And that’s what these animals, insects, fish, and birds are doing as well!
They are not mean. They are not nasty. They are not evil. And they are not trying to wipe out the human race.
So, while I may not want to hang out with those hornets because I’ll be worried about getting stung, I respect and love these for who they are.
How animals behave toward me does not affect my feelings about them – I know they are just doing what they’re supposed to do. Every animal, insect, and bird in the world doesn’t have to “be nice” to me in order for me to feel that love for them. My love of animals is unconditional – no matter what the natural order of that animal is.
And do you know what is cool about this? I’m seeing more and more people in the world who feel the same way I do. Hooray for the evolution human’s views on animals, love, and how to work with and respect the earth!