Feb 17, 2010

Snake and deer

Recently, I happened to land on Discovery channel only to see a python preparing to devour a deer that was drinking water on the banks of a river. It was remarkable underwater photography but more than that there were many scientific explanations such as how the snake’s eyes are designed like the cross hairs of a long range gun to target its prey.

The snake has to lunge out of the water and a less than perfect aim would make the sure footed deer run away.  The snake precisely grabbed the throat of the deer with its backward curving teeth. The deer fell down. It then coiled itself around the deer’s body.

Unlike popular perceptions, the snake does not kill its victim by breaking their bones. It allows the deer to breathe and with each breath slowly tightens its hold and the victim dies of suffocation.  They don’t chew their food at all. They swallow it whole and then rely on the powerful stomach acids to do the job of digesting. This single meal would last it for several weeks.

Now, the common perception is that the deer is an innocent animal and the snake is cruel to kill its prey in such a manner. Any sane person would blame the snake for using its might to attack such a lovely creature. Yet, the same God or Consciousness created both the snake and the deer. Not just created but gave the snake a super size jaw, razor sharp teeth and powerful acids to digest a far bigger creature. Without all that, the poor snake would starve. If deers are not eliminated by an occasional snake or a lion or a tiger, the deer population would multiply and be deprived of sufficient food.

My point is that nature is perfect. Cruel, innocent, mighty are concepts that we have added to an activity that is going on fine. Not just fine, but in the bigger picture, it is the perfect activity for evolution, for all.

Nature is impersonal. The snake is not selfish- it is just hunting for its food in the manner provided by its instincts. The particular deer that has been targeted has not done some evil act to deserve its fate.

Indeed, all izz well.


  1. vurshaa said...
    exactly! thanks to NGC & Discovery, i learnt to empathise with the lions & the leopards and cheetahs which had to make 25-50 chases for every single prey that it caught. and to top it all there's always competition. there are hyenas, or other lions or tigers around. i think it's the stories we learnt as children that need to be retold, without any bias toward the 'poor' deer. children need to learn that everything in nature is 'fair' and 'just'.
    Suresh said...
    Yes, and by extension, for a deeper lesson, we should be conveying to our children that just as in nature, everything that happens to them, the people who have betrayed them, the cruelty that they may have been subjected to, the failures etc. all adds up to make them stronger, unique and helps them to lead a much richer life.
    Jazzy said...
    Ummm , M a person who is more of a veggie and can't even dare to see a chicken/goat butchering act.....i feel butchering is very unpleasant sight, My usual instant reaction to ths kinda sight was " Omg omg.... thats so so inhumane...."
    Although its the law of nature but it looks a little inhumane for me. ...sigh!!!! I can imagine if the chicken/goat or this deer(prey for the snake) were to be me..... Its stressful, isn't it?

    However, after reading your article.....i had to rethink on this subject and came to this conclusion ........
    "When it comes to nature.....i feel, no human has the right to say what is acceptable or unacceptible. The fact is, the snake is hungry so it must eat what it’s supposed to eat or else it will die. We can’t give a snake a bowl of boiled vegetables coz that’s not what its body needs. And the majority of meat eating entities kill what they eat. That’s not cruel, that’s nature.....but maybe nature is cruel....but is eating cruel? I mean, the deer deserves to live but not the snake??

    What actually matters at the end of the day is....We have to balance our act so that there will be enough space to live for all of us.

    Yups.....and I do agree, "Nature is impersonal."

    Last but not the least ....thanks for helping me have a broader outlook towards nature......Henceforth, as long as killing of animals is not done for pleasure.....I am quite ok with it !!!

Post a Comment